If you take your kid to daycare, you may want to bring some extra cash for a tip or pack an extra peanut butter sandwich for the person watching your child. According to a study published by the Economic Policy Institute, daycare employees are amongst the lowest paid workers in the country.
The study, which relied on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, revealed that the average daycare worker only makes $10.31 an hour. The only thing that pays less than taking care of America’s youth is working retail, which pays an average of $10.29 an hour.
One may wonder why more daycare workers don’t take to kidnapping, given the meager wage that the profession pays. After all, the average daycare worker lives well below the poverty level. However, it may be hard to get ransom money from parents of children in daycare given the exorbitant cost of the service. A study done by the EPI in October reviled that child care can cost as much as a year of tuition at a public college.
Each of the studies was conducted by Elise Gould, an economist for the EPI who says her intention was to show that the quality of care may suffer, due to the job’s low wages. The studies also revealed the unsurprising statistic that 95.6 percent of daycare workers are women and people of color.
From the study:
Simply put, high-quality, dependable child care is not an inexpensive proposition, and this is especially true if we care about the quality of the child care workforce and their economic security. Yet this high-quality care is something every child and family in the United States deserves.
The EPI defined child care workers as preschool teachers and professional caregivers for purposes of this study.