Priceless Work But Low Wages

Low Pay For Northeast WI Childcare Teachers

A recent survey of group childcare centers in Northeast Wisconsin shows the pay rate of childcare teachers is just under the national average. Despite the important role they play in early childhood development and school readiness, childcare workers are some of the lowest paid workers in the United States.

“Parents can’t afford the real cost of childcare, which then results in low wages for the childcare teachers,” says Paula Breese, Executive Director of Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. “Due to low wages, staff turnover can be high, which can affect the quality of care.”

Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. collects data from area childcare providers to help connect families to regulated care and to advocate for childcare needs in Northeast Wisconsin. The recent survey showed the average wage in seven northeast Wisconsin counties to be $9.55 an hour just under the national average identified by Child Care Aware as $10.25 an hour.

Quality of childcare is greatly improved when teachers have continued education, which in most fields results in higher wages. In area childcare centers, many teachers have or are working towards an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree and all teachers in regulated programs have some yearly continued education.

“Because of our work with childcare providers, we know they aren’t doing it for the pay or benefits but because of their passion for improving early childhood experiences,” says Breese. “As a community we can raise awareness to the importance of the work being done by childcare teachers so that we can be sure we are showing appreciation for the teachers and by advocating for programs that support them.”

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