Current Events Corner

Child-Care Workers are Quitting at an Astounding Rate…Why?
By: Sophie (8th)

All across the nation, child-care workers are either quitting their jobs or not applying at all. Hiring and retaining devoted workers has already been a challenging aspect of the child care industry, and even more so now due to the pandemic.

When these positions are left unfilled, this leaves these businesses and their patrons alike at a massive disadvantage. The absence of able-bodied workers runs the business into the ground and forces their customers to make sacrifices— sacrifices that cost them their job.

One of the most fundamental issues is that the pay is severely lacking. On average, child-care workers make twelve dollars an hour. This is completely inadequate for the demanding position it pays for. “The pay is absolute crap for what’s required for the position,” says Tanzie Roberts, who quit her child-care position in early June. “I can’t afford to live on my own and work the child-care jobs that I am qualified for.” (Heather Long, The Washington Post, 2021)

Lawmakers located in Washington passed a $39 billion relief package for child care centers as part of the Democrats’ America Rescue Plan to provide lower costs of child care to middle and lower-income families while offering higher wages to caregivers. In addition, this would also offer free kindergarten to all three and four-year-olds.

But if this bill is reduced in cost or even blocked, what will this mean for the child-care industry? Child-care centers are struggling every day to find even the bare minimum of employees, and much less pay them basic minimum wage. The fight to care for children is growing immensely harder, what happens if that fight becomes insurmountable.