begun! Although I have been exceedingly frustrated over the years at
the slowness of progress in improving our child care services and jobs,
I still find nourishment and direction in that early vision of child care
as a service that supports parents, nourishes children, and rewards
practitioners for the complexity of their work. Indeed, it is this shared
vision that has helped me and others get through the hard times, put
disagreements in perspective, and, most important, keep reflecting on
how best to do our work.

In the 1990s developing the Worthy Wage Campaign has served
as another vision to guide our efforts to create quality, affordable
programs for families and fair and decent employment for child care
teachers and providers. The goals and growth of this campaign par-
allel the picture Margie and Deb paint on these pages—all that can
happen when people germinate a vision together and roll up their
sleeves to make it happen. The underlying idea of the Worthy Wage
Campaign is to engage everyone involved or affected by child care in
understanding that a skilled and stable workforce is the cornerstone
of a good child care system. But stabilizing and adequately compen-
sating the workforce only addresses the basics of what we really long
for. Our dreams reach far beyond. The Worthy Wage Campaign aims
to build a critical mass of people who begin to see issues about af-
fordability and compensation in child care as political, not just per-
sonal issues. As people become engaged in seeking solutions, they
will see the connections that ultimately suggest a vision and demand
for larger social change. The vision of the Worthy Wage Campaign
has not only sustained many of us “old-timers” but generated a new
generation of advocates and activists willing to take on the challenge
of improving child care jobs and services so that we can move a step
closer to our dreams. For those of us working on child care issues
over the last quarter century or more, the most heartening develop-
ment is this group of new folks committed to refining and carrying
forward the vision.

In this book, Margie Carter and Deb Curtis help take the “envi-
sioning” process out of the realm of tasks that sound too overwhelm-
ing and impossible to begin, let alone complete, and in their inimi-
table way, they make it not only manageable but creative, inspiring,
and playful. They are guided by a vision of child care that acknowl-
edges the importance of both child and adult development, recogniz-
ing that adults, too, must be acknowledged as individuals, respected
for their points of view, and challenged gently to see things in new
ways. Their vision affirms the right and responsibility that we have as
Foreword to the First Edition xxi