Ashley C. Williams, a senior policy analyst at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, says the states that are decoupling early childhood educators from their K-12 counterparts illustrate not only the "societal dissonance" that exists between the two sectors but also the underlying equity issues rooted in history.
"What is it about this workforce of women that they are expected to shoulder the burden of a pandemic, with their own health and wellbeing and their economic dignity on the line? What is it about this group that continues to be undervalued?" Williams asks. "I think it dials me back to issues of inequity and injustice for the people performing this work. Child care in this country has deep roots of oppression and roots in slavery, where Black women were caring for white women's children and having to prioritize those children's needs over their own. That is a deeper conversation and a deeper perspective that we need to have."