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: http://nyti.ms/29MZWiK
One thought on “Child Care Expansion Takes a Toll on Poorly Paid Workers”
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: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/16/the-famous-word-gap-doesnt-hurt-only-the-young-it-affects-many-educators-too/.