Provedoras Unidas: Latina Migrant Family Child Care Providers Negotiating Poverty, Power & Organized Labor in Neoliberal Los Angeles

Project: Research project

Project Details


The growth of a feminized global service sector, intersecting with the move from welfare to “workfare” in the U.S., has engendered a “child care crisis” where demand for care has skyrocketed while costs have outpaced rents in most states. In response, family child care (FCC) has become one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., with an estimated 2.3 million workers and many more working informally, providing alternatives to institutionalized daycare hours, cost and access. Like the low-income women they serve, U.S. FCC providers are predominantly Latina and black women; in Los Angeles, they are primarily recent migrants from Mexico and Central America. I propose to study Latina migrant family child care providers in Los Angeles and the ways in which they negotiate the contradictions among market demands for “flexible” and cheap care, increased regulatory surveillance by government and racialized and gendered ideas of “good motherhood” and “proper families”. Joining a growing trend across the U.S., family child care workers in California have attempted to gain legal recognition as a union, yet face opposition from left- and
right- leaning legislators alike. I will examine family child care union organizing alongside providers’ daily experiences to understand the historical political-economic factors and racialized and gendered structures shaping Latina migrant women’s participation in family child care. At the same time, I hope to uncover how Latina family child care providers – in their everyday practices and collective action – create new spaces where migrant groups and marginalized workers craft new forms of political and social life in urban landscapes reconfigured by transnational flows and neoliberal globalization.
Effective start/end date11/18/1311/17/14


  • Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (GR. 8788 // CN 24519)


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