Without child care, many women couldn’t work

Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell

Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell knows about the importance of child care.

A single working mother herself, until December Mitchell was chief executive officer of a non-profit agency in Los Angeles that helps connect low-income families to child care providers and manages the billing with the state.

In that job, Mitchell fought former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attempt to eliminate funding for a child care program that helps welfare parents transition into the workforce. Known as Stage 3, the program is considered crucial to helping low income parents, mostly mothers, stay off public assistance and earn a living on their own.

Now Mitchell, a former legislative aide, is a legislator herself, representing Los Angeles in the Assembly, and in her new role she is helping to lead the fight to restore funding for that program. Although the state has no money to spare, Mitchell argues that taking away subsidized child care will cost the state more in the long run as women are forced to quit their jobs and the child care providers themselves face economic hardship.

I sat down with her recently in her state Capitol office for a conversation about the importance of Stage 3 child care, the role it plays in keeping parents working, and the effect of eliminating it…

To hear the interview, click here.

NOTE: Assemblywoman Mitchell is co-chair of the Working Families Policy Summit Wednesday in Sacramento.

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