Noteworthy News

Home » About » Noteworthy News » Report: Child care workforce underpaid in California

Report: Child care workforce underpaid in California

Women of color in the California workforce are routinely underpaid, according to a new report, and that’s no more evident than in the child care sector. Reporting by the Los Angeles Times includes an interview with CCRC Government Relations Director LaWanda Wesley, who before working at CCRC was a child care provider, herself.

“The message I got as a Black woman in early education was that no matter what you do — what letters and degree attainment — this is your place. And this place is not one of value,” Wesley told the LA Times reporter. “I remember feeling so less than, so demeaned and confused.”

The study by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley surveyed 7,500 individuals working in the child-care sector in late 2020. They found that Black and Latina educators are more likely to be employed in lower-paying roles. The report also highlights other financial disparity like the fact that White workers make up about a third of the child care work force but control over half of the leadership roles.

The study identified one outlier: Head Start. The researchers found that women of color working in Head Start receive higher wages than many privately owned child-care centers.

CCRC has long advocated for higher wages for child care providers, who have historically been underpaid for essential work. With input from CCRC and partner agencies, state lawmakers are currently considering an alternative methodology for paying providers. The five phases of this process are:

  • Engage with diverse families, providers, and communities.
  • Collect information through surveys, input sessions, & other sources
  • Develop a tool that uses that information to estimate the cost of care.
  • Analyze the findings to understand variations in the cost of care.
  • Inform how the state sets rates and policies.

“As of this writing, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing has made policy choices that privilege the current K-12 teacher pipeline (a traditionally White workforce) as well as early educators with greater financial means,” the researchers wrote. “It is not too late to change course.”

Free ebook

Vroom turns shared moments into brain building moments.

Photo of three girls sitting with books