Why the Labor Shortage Is Hitting Child Care Hard (with Lea Austin)

Subscribe to Lemonada Premium for Bonus Content

Description

Gloria explores the child care labor crisis with Dr. Lea Austin, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. They get into why so many early educators are leaving their jobs, where they’re going to get better wages and benefits, and what we can do to improve pay disparities and racial inequities within the field. Plus, Lea reveals why she’s more hopeful today than she has been in her entire career studying early education.

This podcast is presented by Neighborhood Villages, and is brought to you with generous support from Imaginable FuturesCare For All Children by the David and Laura Merage Foundation, and Spring Point Partners.

Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium.

Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows: http://lemonadamedia.com/sponsors/.

Laugh, cry, be outraged, and hear solutions! Join our community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nooneiscomingtosaveus.

Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.

For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com.

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Gloria Riviera, Lea Austin,

Gloria Riviera  00:35

[…] Listen to me, it makes sense that you’re upset. But I think you can do it. And you’re going to be with your brothers. Oh, you know what? Look at me. Look at me. Stand up. Okay. Just really, I have to tell you. I don’t want to see any smiles. […], I’m actually being serious right now. The smile police, I just saw their caravan they’re down the road. Don’t smile. They’re just down the street. This is No One is Coming To Save from Lemonada Media. I’m Gloria Riviera. And I’m just gonna say it. This episode is going to be good. Are you guys psyched? I’m super psyched. Because today we’re going to speak with someone who has been seriously studying everything that is, let’s just say not so good about the early care and education system in this country. Her name is Dr. Lea Austin, and she is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of child care employment at the University of California Berkeley. Her research focuses on how to improve the well-being of early educators. Super, super important work. And on top of having this really important job. She also has two nine-year-old twin boys. In addition to two older stepchildren, she even welcomed her first grandchild this year. She is as in it as it gets. She knows this world from the inside out. her backstory which we’re going to hear how she got into this work is so interesting. It’s one of those stories that reminds you when something is not going well. When you feel unhappy or unsatisfied, you can make a change. And you just might open a door that will bring fulfillment. I won’t tell you all the details now. But I will say she makes my own optimism look tame. And I like that I could feel that energy. Her team is out there every day figuring out what policies we need to support the child care workforce, which will in turn support us and our children and get us where we need to be as a country. And that helps me sleep at night. Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough. I’m so excited here is the indomitable Dr. Leah Austin, all the way from California.

Gloria Riviera  04:10

Hi, Lea.

Lea Austin 

Hi.

Gloria Riviera

Thank you for doing this with us.

Lea Austin 

Oh, yeah. I’m glad to glad to be here talking about this.

Gloria Riviera 

Well, I’m glad to be here talking to you about this. And how did you get into this work?

Lea Austin 

You know, I got into this work. I got into early childhood, maybe accidentally, I actually was working in affordable housing programs in the late 90s, early 2000s. And this was at the time of welfare reform, kind of the big welfare to work programs. And I was managing this program was called The Family Self Sufficiency program. And it became a welfare to work grantee. And so we were supposed to work with mostly moms, right? And many single moms who were receiving public assistance and do all of the things that are required to make sure they’re meeting these, you know, going to work or school or something. Right. And that was, it was horrible. It was a horrible, horrible experience. Because really what was happening is, I ended up meeting, you know, daily with women, who many of them were new moms, and struggling with childcare, all of the things we all know, as parents that we struggle with, and basically sit being told, that really doesn’t matter. Right? Sure. We’re going to give you some support for childcare payment and resources, which was never enough to actually pay for what they need it, there was never enough childcare available, people were horrified by some of the choices that were in front of them, like choose some childcare arrangement that they would, in no other circumstance feel like, you know, they would choose for their child or risk losing their public assistance, because then they weren’t participating in their program. And I just I was like, this is, I mean, this is insane, and maddening and horrible and cruel. And so I could not work in that program. And at the same time, this in California, this first five initiative that was spearheaded by Rob Reiner, it was a tobacco tax that Californians passed to fund investments in early different early childhood programs was just coming..

Gloria Riviera

Wild. I didn’t know, the tobacco tax. Rob Reiner was behind it.

Lea Austin  06:55

He was the first chair  of that commission; I think the statewide commission. And so they were they created these county level agencies that were supposed to do things at the county level of support, early education and development. And so those two things just happen to coincide. And I was learning about first five, I knew some people who were working there. And like I naively thought, well, I’m going to go work on that side of the problem, right? Having seen the childcare problems families were facing, I’m gonna go work over there and figure out how I can, you know, help solve the childcare problem? Well, that was 20 years ago, we haven’t solved the problem. But that’s how I got into it.

Gloria Riviera 

Well, let’s talk about what it looks like right now out there. Tell me a little bit about your research and what you’re seeing there in terms of, I’m really interested in this. The numbers around how many child educators, early educators there are in the workforce right now, how many we’ve lost during the pandemic, what is the landscape look like right now.

Lea Austin  08:02

It’s a bleak landscape. When we look at the childcare landscape today, you know, there are 131,000 fewer jobs today than there were in February 2020, before the onset of the pandemic. And we had a childcare shortage, then we didn’t have any childcare, and we didn’t have enough jobs, for people to be providing childcare. So, you know, it’s not like, even if we recover to pre pandemic levels, that’s not really a repair of a childcare or childcare system. It’s just getting back to some frail shaky, right, you know, child care system that we had to begin with.

Gloria Riviera 

I think of it is sort of threadbare. It’s like this patchwork quilt that’s just about to disintegrate in your hands. But 131,000 that number fewer jobs in the early care and education sector. What does that actually mean? Because when I speak to people at early education centers, they say they’re trying to hire people they can’t find. One person we spoke with said they were thinking about looking at high schools to get hopefully some responsible, motivated 18-year old’s in to help. And I was like, What do you mean to intern? And she’s like, no, we need more bodies in here who are responsible and who care about these kids. Make How do an 18-year-old, it just sounded a little bit bananas to me.

Lea Austin 

It is bananas, and I’m sure you know, that director does not want to have to be looking at 18-year old’s, right? But there are not a lot of options. You know, she doesn’t have enough resources to increase the compensation and create the conditions to encourage job retention. You know, my staff and I were just talking about this yesterday, hearing that states like Iowa, Utah, Minnesota, Alabama, that’s just a few are attempting, and some of them have been successful at changing regulations to do things like lower the age limit to 16 or 17 lessen safety requirements on background checks.

Gloria Riviera  10:18

I hate to hear you say that.

Lea Austin 

You know, allowing more children with fewer teachers like, these are not the things that teachers and, and directors are asking for, you know, they’re, they want to have good jobs, they want to make sure that there’s enough teachers for children, but they’re just not the resources to, to do so. And, you know, I think we really have to shift the policy conversation around this from like, what’s the minimum just to keep kids safe, and you know, alive to what’s needed to actually support healthy child development and learning? Right, and, you know, like, no shade to 16-, 17- and 18-year old’s, but like, when I think about my 18-year-old self, even as a responsible, you know, like, good student, and all of those things that 18. And like, think about being granted responsibility for a group of, you know, 12 or 14 small children. Like, that’s terrifying for me and for the children.

Gloria Riviera 

That’s not a good place to be, that’s not the solution. No, so these 131,000 jobs, those are, those are centers that have closed, those are jobs that have gone away.

Lea Austin 

Those are jobs that have gone away. And I will just say it’s probably a conservative estimate, because it doesn’t really capture the family, childcare, people who are operating programs in their home. And we know that 1000s of those have also closed.

Gloria Riviera

So those are predominantly I remember, one person said to me, we need to think about this as supporting, you know, women run businesses, those businesses have just closed their doors, because they couldn’t make it through COVID. So all of those jobs have gone away to those businesses have been lost. And we don’t even know what that number is.

Lea Austin  12:06

That’s right. I mean, there are some estimates, you know, that have that have come out that show, you know, collectively, we’ve lost 16,000 programs between our family childcare and our childcare centers. You know, that’s, it’s massive, right? And if we understand that, in the context of a shortage to begin with, it’s devastating for families, it’s devastating for the women who owned and operated those businesses. It’s, you know, it’s not good for anybody.

Gloria Riviera 

So do you know where these former employees in childcare where they’re going? I mean, we’ve heard a little bit about I know, Amazon, Walmart, they can all raise their hourly wages, the childcare industry cannot. So where do they go?

Lea Austin 

Well, we are hearing anecdotally that they are going to places like Walmart, Starbucks, you know, McDonald’s, you know, one of my colleagues here, she talked with a teacher who did like, literally went across the street and got a job at a hardware store and left her job teaching children because it paid more, and she needed to pay your bills, right? Well, there used to be this kind of joke, not a haha joke, but a riddle, if you will. That was very popular with a worthy wage campaign movement of childcare workers in the 90s. And they would say, you know, why did the childcare teacher cross the road to get to her second job? And that’s what’s happening. You know, people are, it’s not even a second job. People are leaving their early care and education, teaching jobs, to be able to make a living to support their own families to pay their bills to put food on their table. Can’t do that with a childcare job.

Gloria Riviera

Do you see a lot of people who do figure out how to have a second job? I mean, when I talk to a teacher, who’s in childcare, they’re telling me the hours are really hard. You know, it’s 8 to 5, 8:30 to 5:30. And, you know, they have their own families. It’s just, you know, stress upon stress, but do you know, of childcare educators who then leave the school and go do a shift at a Target or a Starbucks or because they’re not making enough?

Lea Austin  14:24

You know, we don’t have great data on this. I wish we did. But you know, when I think that, it is hard, because the hours are long, especially if you are operating like a family childcare program that’s in your home. It’s very hard to go out for a second, you know, or even third job. Which, you know, we’ve heard anecdotally, we did ask this, my center did a study we surveyed over 6000 early care and education providers and teachers in the midst of this pandemic, and we did ask Question, we found that about 8% of family childcare and 11% of teachers did say that they were working at least one other job. You know, but that was at a time when a lot of communities and businesses were just starting to reopen. So it’s not clear if that number would change with that increase in a more steady economy. So we’re just not sure..

Gloria Riviera 

So where does your best data come from?

Lea Austin  18:18

It’s a mix of places. I mean, there is a data problem in early care and education. And I think this in part speaks to the invisibility of this workforce. You know, part of the problem with the federal data sources which you know, can be helpful is that they break up the childcare workforce. So they divide preschool teachers from what they call childcare workers, they don’t collect the data together. In some datasets, it’s hard to actually pull preschool teachers out from kindergarten teachers. So it can make it really challenging to get a comprehensive picture of what’s you know, what’s happening. And, you know, I think that is really problematic for so many reasons, because when we don’t have enough data and we don’t have good data, it can hide many of these problems, and it can mask inequities like we know when we have been able to get better data sets. And look at those data, for example, that those we’re working with our youngest children with infants and toddlers are consistently paid less than those who work with preschool aged children.

Gloria Riviera 

That is wild to me, because I’ve heard so much about how much work goes into caring for infants and toddlers. What did it show that set of good data? What did it show about racial inequities in the business and the industry?

Lea Austin

Well, they there are, you know, fairly large discrepancies when we look at the workforce by race and ethnicity. In particular, Black educators in this work are consistently paid less than their counterparts to, you know, in amounts that end up being 1000s of dollars difference per year, they’re paid 78 cents less per hour than their peers. And when we look at it by age of child, so again, introducing the idea that infant and toddler teachers are paid less than preschool teachers, that gap gets even bigger. So it doesn’t matter if you know, it doesn’t matter if you have a college degree, it doesn’t matter. If you’re, you know, the years of experience, these sorts of things only look across all of these factors, we continue to see that Black teachers are paid less. So we are seeing what we know exist in the larger society being layered into early care and education. You know, we’re not immune from racial, you know, bias and systemic racism that are just baked into our systems.

Gloria Riviera 

I know I mean; I wish people could see my face right now. Because I feel like I’m looking at you like, I’m like, I just don’t. It’s one of these things that just makes my head explode. And I guess my question for you is, how do you approach changing that? And where do you think it comes from? I mean, it doesn’t come from the fact that we don’t think taking care of an 18-month-old is as important as taking care of a three-year-old.

Lea Austin 

I think it comes from a lot of different places. You know, I think when we look at like, how do these disparities exists, kind of, even within early care and education is how I kind of hear that sometimes. Right? Like, how could this be in early childhood? There’s, I think this perception that, well, it’s early care and education, like it’s all, you know, everybody’s focused, who’s doing this work and working in this sector on making it good for everybody. But I think that that idea that if you’re working in this sector, like there’s a some kind of inherent like, oh, of course, we’re equitable. And, you know, everybody cares about everybody the same. I think that actually masks a lot of the discussions that could be had and should be had about racial disparities and racism in our system. I mean, this is a, you know, a service that is built on the backs of the women doing the work, right, that is, relies on their exploitation, it relies on paying them low wages. And, you know, at the center of that is just the deep-rooted devaluing of work performed by people of color, and by women, right, this is a workforce that is almost exclusively women. 98% of the people who do this work are women. Many are women of color. In states, like California, it’s mostly women of color. When we look at those who are doing home based family childcare programs and businesses, they’re more likely to be women of color, and immigrant women. And so there’s, you know, there are just deep-seated values about what it means to do this work. And that gets that plays out and how people are treated, how they’re paid, who works in which programs, you know, part of what we see, for example, is that, you know, public preschool teachers, who are still making less than their elementary school counterparts. But when we look within the Early Childhood kind of infants through preschool, those public preschool teachers tend to be the better paid of the early childhood system. Those teachers are also more likely to be white than teachers who were working outside of the public school system. So we see that it’s not just you know, people are necessarily working in the same classroom together, which may be the case getting paid differently, but it’s also in terms of who has access to which jobs who’s being hired into better paying jobs. What are the assumptions and expectations people have about who cares for babies, and toddlers, and who cares for preschool children and these notions that get attached to preschool is something different than quote unquote, childcare? Right, as if they’re separate? And like, suddenly, I don’t know. You turn four and like, oh, it’s time to learn and you go to preschool. So we get all of just these values and Miss consumption and misperceptions applied to what it means to do this work.

Gloria Riviera 

You said just back there, you said in the same classroom, the pay disparity can exist. And it just makes me think so who’s running that organization, who’s writing those checks for salaries, people are making different decisions in the same classroom about how much teachers are paid, caregivers are paid.

Lea Austin 

I mean, in theory, that could be happening, right? So, you know, one of the things that we don’t have, that would be really helpful in the sector, in addition to public funding, like we really can’t deal with a lot of the underfunding and being underpaid without public investment. But as part of that, you know, establishing things like, you know, salary scales, and requirements for what people are paid, so that there’s some guidelines, right? And we remove some of the bias that we know, exist, and it plays out in different ways. I mean, I think we have this very interesting situation here in my home state of California, where we have now introduced a new grade, which is called Transitional Kindergarten, it essentially preschool is for four-year old’s, it’s a great for kindergarten, it is now universal. So it is across the entire state.

Gloria Riviera  26:31

It’s not called pre-K?

Lea Austin 

It’s called Transitional Kindergarten.

Gloria Riviera 

First time I’m hearing this phrase, but I got it.

Lea Austin 

Yeah, that has to do with like, how are we going to make this happen and not, like create something new. So we have this thing, right, which is essentially preschool. But it is situated in the public school system. And in order to be a public-school teacher, you have to have a certain credential in California, most states have some version of this. That credential even though it authorizes you to teach four-year old’s, really has no content, very little content related to four-year old’s, we actually did a study of our higher ed system in California and our multiple subject credential programs years ago, and found that to be the case, like, they’re just not dealing with young children, right? So then, you know, this new program comes along, well, where are you going to get all these teachers, right? To come into this, teach this new grade that’s going to be needed. And so there’s still some trying to figure this out. But some of the solutions just, like make my head explode. So one school district, their approach was to put two teachers in a classroom which you need for your ratios, call them co-teachers, equal teachers. One is credentialed, who may not have the early childhood experience, so they partner them with an early childhood teacher expert. That is not a credential teacher. And it’s very hard. If you’re already working in this sector, you’ve already gone through and gotten your education, to then go and get a teaching credential you would have to leave your job, go do with your student teaching is not set up for you to go and get this credential. So they would have these co-teachers that are supposed to be equal, but they’re on different pay scales. The credentialed teacher is paid like any other elementary school teacher with the benefits and these sorts of things. That early childhood teacher who would not be credentialed or expected to be credentialed in their model would be on a lower pay scale. Right? Even if they walked in with a master’s degree in early childhood education, and 10 years of experience. Without that paper, they are not going to be considered the same and be able to be paid the same as that other teacher I mean, that is mind boggling to me. And when we heard this, and we saw this written down.

Gloria Riviera 

My head is exploding too. I mean, my mouth fell open. I couldn’t, so someone could have a masters. I know this is happening over and over and over again across the country. But that doesn’t seem like a solution to me.

Lea Austin 

It is not a solution. I mean, it is really just infuriating. And when we look at this, we look at like how this is set up. It’s like, this is what we mean when we talk about inequities baked into the system. Right now there is a value on teaching older children that is not applied to teaching younger children. I mean, this has played out in our public policies where you are considered less than if you are working with younger children, even if you are coming with, again, kind of education and experience, it’s like there are loopholes for those other credential teachers to get a credential and other ways. Those same loopholes don’t exist for our experienced early educators who again are more likely to be women of color. And they’re more likely to be women anyways, and they’re more likely to be women of color. You know, they’ve been dealing with these poverty level wages. And here’s an opportunity in this case in California to get access to different jobs. And there are just barrier after barrier, after barrier presented to them.

Gloria Riviera  30:51

Do you know a lot of early educators who are also say on food stamps are receiving government assistance. You’re nodding your head.

Lea Austin 

Yes, you know, our research has identified that about half of the childcare workforce utilizes some sort of public safety net program like food stamps. You know, that’s compared to about 20% of workers overall. So it is much higher, you know, 98% of other occupations are paid more than childcare workers. So it’s not surprising when we see those really high numbers of utilization of public assistance.

Gloria Riviera  32:08

You know, I always, I am an optimist. So I guess this season two of this will really test that I am an optimist. And I feel that energy from you as well. I mean, we’re talking about this bleak landscape. And yet, you know, it’s felt like a positive conversation just from your energy. So I guess what I want to ask you is what do we need to do to change it when you talk to your staff? How do you decide where to put your focus for change?

Lea Austin

So you know, our goal at the center, our mission really is to get to a point in this country where we have realized early care and education as a public good and treated it and invested in it as a public good. And so and we understand that the early educators themselves are key to that, that they are really central and that their well-being matters that their well-being is going to be what our Early Care and Education System rest on. And so that is our focus, our research is really about what do we need to understand document and what then what does that tell us about proposals and strategies to ensure that our early educators are well prepared with the skills and knowledge that they have access to good education and preparation, that they work in conditions that support their teaching and their well-being, and that they have the compensation that is really required to be able to do this work and support your own family. So when we’re thinking about what do we need to? What should we be researching, what sort of analysis should we be doing, we are really focused on documenting the experiences, the lived experiences and conditions of our early education workforce, both in a quantitative way, like we want to get the numbers we know that’s important, and to show what it looks like across the sector, but also the qualitative data, you know, what are people saying about their own experiences? What are their perspectives about what they need to be well prepared and to do their job’s well. And what’s the impact on them for not when they don’t have those things? And so those are our priorities, and making sure that we are keeping the workforce in the center of early care and education and policy and investment. Investment Decisions. And, you know, these last couple of years, you know, have been hard for everybody, for the most part, right, it’s been hard for the country. And we know, it has been just devastating for our early care and education workforce. And as my staff has been doing studies, you know, we did the study of over 6000 early childhood workers in California, and we had 1000s of responses to this open-ended question in our survey, which said, what do you want people to know about being an early educator today. And while we got some positive responses about, you know, people feeling, being able to feel really good about serving their community in this time, serving families, being able to be there with children, and what was really scary for many people. A lot of the responses were just about the invisibility, people were experiencing the economic insecurity, the stress and worry about their own health and their families. You know, feeling demoralized, really. And this was hard for our staff who weren’t even having to live where the educators were living, to read and process those responses, and then really think about, you know, what’s our role in communicating this information and really taking seriously our role is where our responsibility to be good stewards, people’s data, their stories.

Gloria Riviera  

Their stories, that’s what I was thinking about, you’re collecting their stories.

Lea Austin 

Exactly. And to share those with people not to, you know, not to say not to be always the bearer of bad news, and how bleak things are, but to say, well, these are people’s lives. Yeah, these are their experiences. And we have our responsibility, as community, right as society to ensure that people who are working with our youngest children have what they need to take care of their own family so that they’re not worried about how they’re going to feed themselves. So that’s what we prioritize, like, how do we make sure people can really understand that, you know, it’s not just a random number on a page, right, but it impacts people’s lives and impacts children and their families as well. It’s really devastating for so many. Because we don’t have the resources and the policies and the investments that we need.

Gloria Riviera 

Do you feel hopeful that change will happen? And does it need to happen on the federal level? Or should it be happening, you know, on the state level, how do you envision it? I guess, how do you envision it realistically happening in the next 10 years?

Lea Austin 

Well, I am hopeful. And I mean, I have to say I even in the midst of just the crises that we’re experiencing now. I feel more hopeful today than I have in my 20 years in the sector.

Gloria Riviera

You feel more hopeful today. 2022 than you have in your entire career?

Lea Austin 

I do.

Gloria Riviera 

Oh yeah. You are delivering the hope. I like it. Tell me why, that’s an amazing thing to hear.

Lea Austin  40:01

Yeah, I feel, I think hopeful because we are talking about the workforce. You know, I was invited to speak to Congress, to a congressional committee a couple of weeks ago, because they wanted to hear about the childcare workforce. I mean, that, yes, that’s amazing, right? Because the workforce has been, for so long, really invisible in conversations about early care and education, there’s been a lot about let’s make sure families have access. Absolutely. But guess what families aren’t going to have access if we can’t keep people in their jobs, and they need good conditions to be in those jobs. So talking about educator compensation and their working conditions, is not something that we have been talking about in federal government or state government in an explicit way, until now, wow, you know, the pandemic, for all of the horrible things that it has brought, it has forced people to see the child care crisis in a different way, and to see the people doing the work in a different way. You know, we have federal legislation now and Build Back Better, I mean, who knows where that’s going to go. But the way that is laid out, investments in early care and education workforce are front and center, in how reform is going to happen. And there is a clear acknowledgement that childcare in this country cannot be stable, and it cannot be, you know, kind of good and high quality and all of those things, we need it to be, you know, universally for most children and families unless we do something different for the workforce, unless we do something better for the workforce. And so while I can offer plenty of critiques about, you know, any of the existing legislation, or the existing proposals, that’s a game changer. Like we had just not seen that before. So that makes me feel hopeful. You know, we are seeing educators all across the country, you know, in social, their social media groups and organizing together in other ways, really just, you know, speaking their truth and organizing. And you know, that also gives me hope.

Gloria Riviera  42:38

Well, Lea, I just want to say thank you for your work, keep going. It’s sort of my new hashtag. Let’s all just keep going. We would love to speak to you again, I’m sure but for now, thank you for your time. I appreciate it. Appreciate everything you’re doing.

Lea Austin 

Thank you.

Gloria Riviera 

Isn’t she just the best? I really want to say thank you to Dr. Austin, for speaking with me. Part of the reason we’re doing this show is yes, to share our experiences as parents and caregivers so that we can build a community. That’s why I have been sharing my innermost parenting moments with you at the top of every episode, so that you know you are not alone. For better or for worse, we are in this childcare thing together. It takes a village and that’s why I want to hear from you, my village. Last week, I asked you all to send me your voice memos that feature The Good, the Bad, and the ugly moments in your lives as parents and caregivers. And let me just say, these were so much fun to listen to. I cannot wait to share them with you guys. Let’s take a listen.

Speaker 3 

Hi, Gloria. This is Julia from Portland. I am sharing a moment of my day out walking our dog child free for the moment. It’s spring break. And my four-and-a-half-year-old is with my husband works from home. I also work from home. And she just got out of gymnastics camp. It’s mid-day. So it’s one o’clock in the afternoon. And this is just a nice break for me to go walk the dog at noon after lunch.

Speaker 4  44:34

This is Lauren from Minneapolis. So here’s what happened today. We’re on vacation and my youngest, who’s recently been potty trained, was adamant he did not want to go before getting in the car. So we get in anyway. And 20 minutes in the ride. Guess what happens? He yells I have to go potty at the top of his lungs with some serious conviction. My husband looks at me and is like there’s nowhere to stop. So like McGyver, I remember that I just had a prescription filled that day and the bottle was in my purse, I dumped the meds climb into the backseat and put the bottle where it needs to go. Needless to say, 95% of the pee went into the bottle and the rest on me and the rental car. Not gonna lie felt like a superhero.

Speaker 4 

This is the two, day two of mornings with the two kids and no help. And I don’t know how to the moms do it? Because this is bananas. River, did you brush your teeth? I’m talking to myself Exactly. I’m talking about how it’s kind of difficult to be alone in the morning especially because daddy’s usually the morning king. But he also does a lot of work for you guys. He reads you two books at breakfast, and I think he cuts all of your fruit up. Just so and I don’t do that. Do I? What does mommy do? Okay, but we don’t tend to read them. You have to brush your teeth and we need to go. We need to go go go go go.

Gloria Riviera  46:16

I mean, how amazing were those, incredible! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m so excited to keep sharing your experiences here every week. So if you want to hear yourself on the show, all you have to do is take out your phone and record a short voice memo. And then just email it to me at gloria@lemonadamedia.com. I cannot wait to hear what you guys send in. Okay, I am so fired up are you guys, we’ve got a couple of great guests coming up next week, we’re going to hear a step-by-step plan about how we could fix the child care crisis from Elliot Haspel. He wrote a whole book about it. Very cool. And also think about this. What if there was an actual politician with an actual platform about child care. Deb VanderGaast is a child care center director in Iowa, and she is running for State Senate on that exact platform. I can’t wait for you to hear my conversation with her. And then in three weeks, I’m so excited about this. I will chat with actress and producer Sara Gilbert from the Conners and Roseanne and the Talk. And we’re going to speak about what it’s like for her being part of one of the most iconic TV families of all time. What it’s like raising her own family, her own kids and her activism in the parenting and child care world. Alright, that’s it. I want to thank you guys again for listening and coming on this journey with me. And I will see you back here next week.

CREDITS

NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US is a Lemonada media original presented by and created with Neighborhood Villages. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease and Alex McOwen, Veronica Rodriguez is our engineer music is by Hannis Brown. Our executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and me Gloria Riviera. If you like the show, and you believe what we’re doing is important. Please help others find us by leaving us a rating and writing us a review. Do you have your own experiences and frustrations with the childcare system? Do you have ideas for what we could do to make it better? Join the no one is coming to save us Facebook group where we can continue the conversation together. You can also follow us and other Lemonada podcasts at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms. Thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week. Until then hang in there. You can do it.

Spoil Your Inbox

Pods, news, special deals… oh my.