News & Events

Digging Deeper into the Economics of the Early Childhood Workforce

Despite minimum wage hikes, ECE wages stay low. A consequence of low pay is that the participation of child care worker families and preschool/kindergarten teacher families in public income support programs is more than double the rate for workers across all occupations.

The second edition of the biennial Early Childhood Workforce Index continues to track the status of the ECE workforce and related state policies in order to understand changes over time. It shows that between 2014 and 2016, more than one-half (53 percent) of child care workers, compared to 21 percent of the U.S. workforce as a whole, were part of families enrolled in at least one of four public support and health care programs (EITC, CHIP, SNAP and TANF, or food stamps).

Read more in the Early Childhood Workforce Index 2018 (Berkeley) HERE

Meanwhile, a recent blog post from New America focuses more on the wage findings from the Workforce Index and says the average worker still makes only slightly more than $10 an hour, the equivalent of $22,290 annually. In 2015 to 2017, child care workers saw a boost in pay, but it was mostly due to states that raised their minimum wage during that time span.

Read the New America blog outlining the median hourly wage issue HERE

Our Work

The Bipartisan Policy Center partnered with Luntz Global to survey conservative and liberal viewpoints on child care and early learning. One overwhelming conclusion from this research:

“Conservatives and liberals alike recognize that early childhood development is critical to the well being of the nation as a whole and even align on some possible policy approaches.”

From that, 78% of survey respondents said they support assistance programs that ensure child care workers receive a living wage.

Read more on these research conclusions from the Bipartisan Policy Center HERE