The following is a transcript of the video above, from our webinar on “Remaking the Economy: Caring for the Care Economy.” View the full webinar here.

Mary Wilder: Childcare workers are not in the same conversation [with] regular teachers…we don’t get lumped into that same conversation. We’re an afterthought, so we have to fight harder for funding than normal schools—and there is funding out there, but you just have to dig for it and find it. But those are the things that we are seeing in childcare that workers need: they need higher wages, they need healthcare, they need more benefits.

That is where Shine is at right now. We are trying to offer our workers [more] so that we can keep our workers and retain them. One of the leading things that causes them to leave the workforce is not being able, like Jenn [Stowe] said, to make enough money to take care of their own families—[often] having to get a second or third job to do that. Shine does not want that for their employees. We’re doing everything that we possibly can to get everybody above $15 an hour, $16 an hour, to try and level that out where we can. It’s a challenge without the funding or the advocacy. Since the pandemic, [we’ve] heard more about childcare. The government in Ohio, [for example, has] been doing HEROES pay, giving workers that work in childcare extra money, because it’s needed.