Child Care Expansion Takes a Toll on Poorly Paid Workers

While the scramble to find affordable child care has drawn a lot of attention, prompting President Obama to label it “a must ­have” economic priority, the struggles of the workers — mostly women — who provide that care have not.

Yet the fortunes of both are inextricably intertwined. “You can’t separate the quality of children’s experiences from the knowledge, skills and well­-being of early educators,” said Marcy Whitebook, director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley.

New York Times

One thought on “Child Care Expansion Takes a Toll on Poorly Paid Workers”

  1. Under-paying the childcare workforce is strongly correlated with the worker’s lack of higher education. States can hire and then pay low wages because the workforce is under-educated. Low education levels and low wages are two sides of the same coin. Today a high school diploma/GED offers very few employment options. Given the option, childcare is seen as a better alternative to working at McDonald’s or Walmart. Of course this coin has serious consequences. Both the childcare workforce and the children in their care are both at-risk for the word gap (functional illiteracy) and other stresses due to poverty. Child/Educator outcomes would improve if states invested in ECE professional development that included adult literacy support as well as a means for the workforce to better understand and develop their own social emotional competence. See:

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