By Katie Orr, KQED, June 25, 2019.
There’s an overwhelming demand for child care in California but not enough people who provide it. The industry is notorious for offering low pay and long hours. Several bills pending in the Legislature seek to address these problems, including one that would let in-home providers unionize.
It's a measure that longtime in-home provider Pat Alexander is passionate about.
Alexander runs Alexander Preschool and Child Care out of her home in Elk Grove (Sacramento County). On a recent morning, a group of 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds work on getting their wiggles out before breakfast. The kids alternate between dancing around and falling to the ground in time with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
As the kids dance, Alexander, better known as Miss Pat, gets the food together in her small kitchen. When it’s time to eat, her husband, known as Mr. Ed, gets everyone settled at miniature tables and begins doling out waffles and sausages.
It’s controlled chaos, but Alexander is used to it. She's been in the child care business for a long time.
“It'll be 49 years next month," she said.