Are you a parent or guardian looking for childcare? Check out these links for childcare resources in the Bay Area.
We are committed to offering free, play-based childcare and childcare resources to grassroots liberation groups composed of and led by people who face multiple oppressions, particularly low/no income immigrant women and women of color. Our priority is to support groups that have many mothers and other caregivers in their membership.
We envision intergenerational movements where people of all ages and abilities have the power and support to determine what happens in their communities.
Our History and Reason for Being
The Bay Area Childcare Collective was formed in 2002 in response to a direct ask for childcare support from volunteers who were outside their constituency from two of our founding partner groups–La Colectiva de Mujeres and POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights — they have since merged with Causa Justa :: Just Cause). We are part of a long-term effort to build multi-generational movements with parents, women and children at the center.
In 2010, we connected with other childcare collectives across the country at the US Social Forum, and all together we formed the Intergalactic Conspiracy of Childcare Collectives.
The Bay Area Childcare Collective hopes to play a part in building a movement that prioritizes the voices and political agendas of women and mothers, especially women of color, low-income women, and immigrants.
We see childcare as a political act. To that end, we put the utmost emphasis on accountability, both to the organizations we partner with, and to the children and parents we work with. In order for any movement to succeed, its ideas must be passed on from generation to generation. We hope to help children realize themselves as valuable and important members of the community and the movement.
Because the needs of parents have traditionally not been recognized, and because parents’ access to quality childcare is sporadic at best, we are committed to providing grassroots organizations and movements composed of and led by immigrant women, low-income women, and women of color with trained, competent, patient and politicized childcare providers for one-time events and ongoing meetings. We are committed to taking leadership from the organizations we partner with, and we aim to help organizations take steps to organize self-sufficient, sustainable childcare if they identify childcare as an institutional need.
“Spaces We Create” Philosophy of Care
view/download the pretty poster version here! Design by Lex Nonscripta. In English and Spanish.
As BACC members, we strive to…
- prioritize safety
- We foster and encourage creative, spiritual, socio-emotional & intellectual risk-taking; however, this is not the appropriate place and time for physical risk-taking.
- respect home cultures & leadership of primary caregivers
- We believe in the leadership & expertise of the parents & other caregivers we work with, and that these caregivers should have a say in what childcare looks like.
- create child-centered collaborative spaces
- Kids can direct their own activities & have input in decisions that affect them.
- Kids’ voices and needs are at the center of our care.
- Kids’ thoughts and opinions are important and their participation in the larger social justice work of the organizations we support benefits everyone.
- create inclusive spaces
- Kids & grown-ups alike are seen, embraced and accommodated in all their differences & similarities.
- create play-based, creative spaces
- Play is a right, a core need of children; it is not a privilege. Play & creative expression build skills including cooperation, negotiation, conflict-resolution, leadership, & empathy; allow kids to work through fears, anxiety & trauma & build resilience; & create a foundation for future learning. Access to safe places to play is absolutely a racial & economic justice issue.
- resonate with the work grown-ups are doing in the other room;
- Through play, creativity, modeling our values, & conversation, we help lay the groundwork for kids to make their own connections.
view our guiding principles as a google doc!
The Bay Area Childcare Collective consists of a base of volunteer providers, who commit to provide childcare at least once a month. The collective is organized by the Core, which meets once a month. Collective members and interested community members are invited to attend and participate in Core meetings.
Each organization we work with has a coordinator who plans childcare and responds to the needs of that particular group.
If you have questions, are interested in joining BACC or are interested in coming to a BACC Core meeting, please contact us at email@example.com.
Who We Work With
The Bay Area Childcare Collective works with any organization that fits within the scope of our mission, depending on our capacity. During the typical childcare shift, parents are on site. The volunteers engage the youth with toys, books, games, arts, crafts, music, and political education.
Here is a list of organizations for which we currently provide childcare as long-term partners:
- La Colectiva de Mujeres / The Women’s Collective, a worker-run cleaning collective and voice for immigrant workers in SF (and nationally!).
- Causa Justa :: Just Cause, a multi-racial, grassroots organization building community leadership to achieve justice for low-income San Francisco and Oakland residents. CJJC merged with another of BACC’s long-term partner groups, POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) in 2014, and with St. Peter’s Housing Coalition in 2010.
- LeftRoots, a national formation of social movement organizers and activists who want to connect grassroots struggles to a strategy to win liberation for all people and the planet. (BACC works with the Bay Area branch.)
- Young Women’s Freedom Center: “Building a movement of formerly incarcerated and system involved young women to transform the systems that keep us living in poverty, stuck in cycles of violence, and incarcerated.”
While we prioritize providing childcare for our long-term partner groups, we work with other groups on a case-by-case basis as capacity allows. Strategically, we try to work with groups that:
- are building community power and fighting for more than reform
- center the membership and promote the leadership of mothers and other caregivers who experience multiple oppressions
- are low-resourced (but having a childcare budget is not a disqualifying factor!)
However, we get many more requests from groups that meet these criteria than we’re able to fill, and we’ve learned that when we overextend ourselves the quality of care we provide directly suffers.
The next determining factor will be whether any of our core members are able to bottom-line organizing volunteers for the event. Right now, we’re down to 3 core members–so the odds of this are not high. But even if we can’t bottom-line childcare for you, we can list your event on our monthly volunteer calendar.
If you think your organization might be a good fit for our collective, and have a childcare request, please send us an email (bayareachildcarecollective (at) gmail.com) including the following information:
- Estimated date, time, and location of your event
- Estimated # of children expected, and estimated age range
- Budget for childcare (if any)
If your social justice group does not fit our mission criteria, we would be happy to connect you with paid providers or help brainstorm ways to get your childcare needs met.
Current Core Members
Amber bio coming soon!
Lo bio coming soon!
Encian joined BACC in 2008, recently after moving to the Bay Area from the Northeast, where he had had some very special kids in his life. As a transplant with race and class privilege, he felt it was particularly important to support local anti-displacement efforts, while also laying down roots and preparing to stay in the Bay for the long-haul. Encian soon fell in love with working with kids, so much so that he left the nonprofit industrial complex in 2012 to pursue becoming a preschool teacher. He is now happily teaching at a parent-teacher cooperative in Berkeley, and continuing to study early childhood education with the excellent teachers Contra Costa Community College as well as mentors. Encian is particularly fascinated by childrens’ fantasy play and the use of storytelling as a method of empowerment and liberation in and out of the classroom. He feels utterly honored and humbled by the caregivers who have trusted him with their babies over the years, and the young people who have opened up and shared their perspectives, imagination and wisdom.
If you want to learn more about the work we do please contact us at: bayareachildcarecollective (at) gmail (dot) com