The importance of high-quality, affordable child care affects everyone. Child Care Aware® of America is pleased to share with you our fifth story in Faces of Child Care, an eight-week series of stories from individuals of various walks of life who are affected by child care.
Read Bianca’s story to learn more about our series and how you can help Child Care Aware® of America ensure that every family in America has access to high-quality, affordable child care.
Guest blog post by Bianca Ramirez, MSW, Parent and Family Advocate
My parents raised me to believe that education was important. Without it, you won’t get anywhere in life. So when I got pregnant while working to complete my undergraduate degree, I realized that I was going to need child care in order to finish my studies. To make things more difficult, my living situation with my son’s father didn’t work out, and I couldn’t stay with family. I was finally out of options when I was referred to a homeless shelter with a long waitlist.
I wanted to make a better life for myself and my son, so I knew I had to finish my education. I managed to get into the shelter and started receiving subsidies for child care so that I could finish my bachelor’s degree. At one point during my undergrad career I was taking classes, interning, working a part-time job, and caring for my son.
When I saw students bringing their children to class with them because they had no other child care option, I knew I had to do something—not just for me, but for all parents struggling to make a better life for themselves and their children. I found out the main campus offered child care for students, and I started advocating for the same services on our branch campus, circulating petitions, and putting together rallies.
While I was doing research on statistics surrounding the child care space for my rallies and petitions, I came across Child Care Aware® of America and applied to their Family Advocacy Summit. It was at the Family Advocacy Summit that I was able to hone my organizing skills, meet other advocates from around the country, and talk with my legislators about the importance of child care on college campuses. I learned so much that I was able to take back with me to Texas.
Now I have a meeting scheduled with the executives at my college this summer to share a proposal to bring child care to our campus. I graduated this semester with my master’s degree in social work. I’m able to show my son that education is important, and I am able to better support him as a single mother. Without child care, I would never have been able to accomplish that.
Over 25 percent of undergraduate students and two-thirds of nondependent women have children. Child Care Aware® of America recommends increased funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program.
Bianca is making a difference in the lives of children and families every day. We need more advocates like Bianca who are making child care accessible to all parents. When you support Child Care Aware® of America, it’s an investment in America’s future. Your donation supports parent and family advocates like Bianca, and our public policy and advocacy efforts toward affordable, high-quality child care for all.
Every day Bianca invests in children and families. Make your investment in America’s future.