The Workers in Early Childhood Action Network (WECAN) is a social justice movement to uplift the working conditions in the childcare industry and fighting to expand resources and access to quality, affordable childcare for New Jersey's working-class communities.
* * *
Childcare is an essential part of public infrastructure which allows working families the ability to fully participate in the economy. Yet the childcare industry is woefully underfunded and under-resourced. Despite the steep cost of childcare, In-Home providers and center workers – most of whom are Black women, women of color and Latina - are paid poverty wages and lack access to affordable health care and other benefits. As a result, the childcare industry is in crisis.
In response, New Jersey Communities United (NJCU) and Communications Workers of America Local 1037 (CWA Local 1037) have launched a successful partnership to build a movement of childcare workers. This worker movement has increased resources for childcare, expanded access for working families, and improved the working conditions for childcare workers across the State of New Jersey.
This partnership was funded in part by The Lift Fund, which supports collaborations and partnerships that are leading innovative efforts with an emphasis on racial, economic, and gender justice. Recently, The Lift Fund published a case study about the partnership between NJ Communities United and CWA Local 1037, highlighting the successes and victories of childcare workers in New Jersey in their workplaces and communities.
“Family Child Care and Community Power: The Partnership Between New Jersey Communities United and CWA Local 1037” by Sanjay Pinto, Ph.D., presents key strategies and offers recommendations for addressing the concerns of childcare workers and their communities.
“Childcare workers built a movement, led campaigns, and secured important victories in their workplaces and in their communities,” said Trina Scordo, Executive Director of NJ Communities United. “Our role as an organization was to facilitate the development of leaders and provide the technical support they needed. This was possible only because of the commitment of CWA Local 1037 to support this work beyond the limitation of a campaign. The commitment was to build and support a long-term movement.”
* If you are a childcare worker in New Jersey interested in joining WECAN, contact us at [email protected] and an organizer will reach out to you.
* If you are a social justice organization or labor union looking to learn more about the partnership between NJ Communities United and CWA Local 1037, please email [email protected].
* If you want to support the continued success of our partnership and the movement of childcare workers in New Jersey as a donor or funder, please email [email protected].
* * *
WATCH NOW! Childcare Workers Speak Out about Health & Safety
Issues in the Childcare Industry During the COVID-19 Pandemic
WATCH NOW! Meet Nicole, an NJCU member and early childhood education specialist with a masters degree. She spoke at the #CancelStudentDebt Speak Out
WATCH NOW! Meet Azucena and Diocelin, two of the dedicated
child care workers at La Casa de Don Pedro and leaders of WECAN
just moments after they ratified their first union contract
WATCH NOW! Shanita is one of NJCU's most fearless and outspoken leaders. She's also a dedicated early childhood
education specialist who came out to call out Prudential's hypocrisy.