Metro Detroit families protest for affordable childcare, equitable wages

Families and activists hit the streets of Detroit on Monday, demanding action when it comes to childcare. 

Not having affordable care is putting stress on working families who are looking to provide for their kids. 

"When you think about folks paying the equivalent of rent or mortgage for childcare – most folks can't afford it," said Aisha Wells with Mothering Justice.

Wells, other activists, parents and legal guardians participated in a nation-wide protest Monday morning, demanding affordable childcare and equitable wages through an initiative called a "Day without Childcare."

"This is to shut down daycare centers, take these babies to work, stay home from work," Wells said. "So they can understand the impact that it causes when we don’t have affordable, accessible childcare for all working families."

(Provided by Aisha Wells)

Tanisha Burton’s voice was heard at the rally. She’s a grandmother from Detroit who is raising her 2-year-old grandson, and needs affordable daycare so she can work.

"Between the food budget, the DTE budget and childcare, it’s a lot," Burton said.

Wyman Stewart of Beverly Hills, a father, is also advocating for change. He said daycare is no longer an option for his family after realizing that private school was better for their budget.

"We pay about $450 a month, in comparison to $350 a week, to send her to private school," Stewart told FOX 2.

The owner of Unique Leaners Academy, Dr Angela Dawson, joined the fight for better pay for child care workers by closing her center on Monday.

"This is a great effort. The amazing part of this is how the families have come together to support us," Dawson said. "Without this service industry, families would not be able to go out and earn a living to support their own families."

These activists want more families to join the fight by signing the Community Change Action petition and calling on lawmakers to do their part for just wages and affordable childcare.

"This is to let lawmakers know that they need to put in the budget that we need affordable childcare," Wells said. "We need them to put that into policy, right? We need to put that in the budget."