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Worthy Work with Continued Unlivable Wage

by Margie Carter
July/August 2015
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/worthy-work-with-continued-unlivable-wage/5022440/

Reading the updated 2014 research report on the early childhood workforce, Worthy Work, Still Unlivable Wages (Whitebook, Phillips, & Howes, 2014), both depressed and infuriated me. In case you missed it, the research highlights include these salient points: 

Child care providers’ wage growth was lower than the growth in wages paid to fast food workers. The mean hourly wage of a child care worker in 2013 was $10.33 an hour or $21,490 annually. This puts child care workers in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ lowest income tier along with parking lot attendants and dry cleaners, meaning that most child care workers live in poverty.

People providing early care and education to three- to- five-year-olds outside of a school setting earn two-thirds of what their peers earn in school-sponsored Pre-K, and half of what they earn in kindergarten. Those who seek out higher degrees still earn less than they would in another field. Pre-K teachers with a bachelor’s degree make just three-quarters of what female college graduates make in the general workforce.

The combination of low wages and the rising cost of living means that many child care workers aren’t ...

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