Heard on All Things Considered

Detroiters Petition for Higher Wages for Child Care Workers

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Image credit: Bre'Anna Tinsley/ WDET

Detroit child care workers and parents are calling for a $15 minimum wage and a union.

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Bre'Anna Tinsley/ WDET
Bre’Anna Tinsley/ WDET

Detroit parents and child care workers gathered in a town hall meeting Wednesday in Detroit’s North Rosedale Park to petition for an increased wage and a union for child care providers. Petitioners provided testimonies of their hardships trying to afford child care.

Betty Henderson has been working in child care for 15 years. She owns the Angels of Essence Child Care Center, yet she still has to work another part time job to afford the care her children needs. 

I have about 17 children enrolled and with that enrollment comes expenses. There were often times I had to decide whether to buy food for my own family or food for the day care children. So I know what it’s like to be a parent and I know what it’s like to be a child care worker. Therefore I know that we as childcare providers need a livable wage.

- Betty Henderson, Owner of Angels of Essence Child Care Center

Workers in Detroit started the petition after efforts began to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers in the country. According to a study by The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at The University of California, Berkley the average child care worker has not seen a wage increase since 1997.  

Bre'Anna Tinsley, Reporter

Bre’Anna Tinsley is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, providing news spots and features. She’s an expert in “Friends” trivia.

btinsley@wdet.org Follow @Bre_Tin

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