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Lawmakers debate bill to increase child care vouchers, allow workers to unionize




Childcare provider Antonia Rivas works with 2-year-old Selena on a Valentine's Day art project at Rivas Family Child Care in Reseda on Friday morning, Feb. 13.
Childcare provider Antonia Rivas works with 2-year-old Selena on a Valentine's Day art project at Rivas Family Child Care in Reseda on Friday morning, Feb. 13.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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The lack of sufficient child care has been an issue statewide.

In Los Angeles County, a recent study found only 2 percent of infants and toddlers have access to a licensed child care facility; for preschoolers, it's about 40 percent. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León introduced a new bill on Wednesday that he says would address the state's critical child care shortage by increasing the number of slots for child care vouchers and giving providers the right to unionize.

Read KPCC's coverage of the issue

Guests:

Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Senate President pro Tempore, represents California’s 24th district, which includes Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Alhambra. He introduced the bill

Tonia McMillian, co-chair of Raising California Together, a coalition of child care providers, parents, educators, clergy, and business and community organizations. She is a child care Provider, Union Steward and Executive Board member of SEIU 99.

Don Wagner (R-Irvine), State Assemblyman representing California’s 68th district, which covers portions of Orange County including Tustin and the city of Orange.