For our economy to work, we need an infrastructure that cares about its workers, and that includes child care. On the October 28th streaming episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart, Amy Jo Hutchison, a West Virginia activist who joined the Raising Child Care Fund grantee community earlier this year, talked about the importance of child care to our workforce, why child care should not be a political issue, and the importance of child care in addressing the basic needs of kids and families. Watch this clip from the episode featuring Amy talking about the high cost of child care per child in West Virginia (more than a year of college tuition at the state’s two largest universities).
Amy Jo Hutchinson is a born and raised West Virginian where she is the only parent of two teenagers. She earned her label of organizing for “economic justice” while working for a West Virginia nonprofit and now is organizing independently as Rattle The Windows. The bulk of her experience focuses on organizing on safety net/income support, including child care, issues with poor and marginalized folks across the state, especially single moms. Amy Jo was named a West Virginia Wonder Woman by WV Living in 2020, an annual recognition of amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. She is widely known for her viral testimony in the United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform on the struggles of the work poor, and changing the federal poverty guidelines in 2020. Within hours of that testimony, hundreds of people had reached out to her from across the U.S. to share their stories of struggle and resilience. #RattleTheWindows, a line from her speech, became a battle cry across social media. That moment launched a grassroots movement built from the ground up, a space where the poor and marginalized are the experts and leaders.
In September 2021, the Raising Child Care Fund (RCCF), a project of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, welcomed #RattleTheWindows and MomsRising West Virginia to our national grantee network to ramp up a child care-focused educational campaign that informs national policy and builds parent power in the state of West Virginia.