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From child care provider to community organizer: one woman's story.

Preschool Worker - 1

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Tonia McMillian, a home-based child care provider, high-fives 6-year-old Skylar on Feb. 12 in her Bellflower home. In addition to her home care, McMillian also visits other childcare through the day as a consultant.

Preschool Worker - 2

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Tonia McMillian, a home-based child care provider, feeds 6-year-old Skylar a blueberry. McMillian is one of many care providers that are organizing to try and improve their pay and work conditions.

Preschool Worker - 4

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Home-based care provider Tonia McMillian transformed her attached garage into a child care space.

Preschool Worker - 5

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Tonia McMillian helps 7-year-old Jayden with his homework after school on Feb. 12.

Preschool Worker - 7

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Home-based care provider Tonia McMillian makes a meal for brothers Jason, 8, Jayden, 7, and Skylar, 6.


Early education has hit the national radar. President Obama mentioned universal preschool again last month in the State of the Union address, but few are talking about the workforce that provides this education.

KPCC's Deepa Fernandes brings us this story from the front lines.


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