15/07/2024

Before learn

Before we learn

Child care providers shouldn’t have to go hungry to feed the American economy

Child care providers shouldn’t have to go hungry to feed the American economy

More than twenty years after Barbara Ehrenreich uncovered deep economic inequities and indignities endured by the working poor, America’s child care workers are sacrificing their own well-being to support the U.S. economy.

In a recent survey conducted by researchers with the RAPID-EC Project at Stanford University, 29 percent of child care workers reported not being able to consistently afford nutritious food in 2021, up from 23 percent prior to the pandemic. Among family, friend and neighbor providers — the license-exempt caregivers who look after more than 5.8 million 0-5-year-olds in their own homes — 34 percent reported experiencing food insecurity in the past six months.

The average child care provider takes home just $13.22 per hour,  an unlivable wage that is not keeping pace with the 13 percent rise in the cost of groceries in 2022. Child care workers often feed the children in their care two or three meals a day plus snacks, a cost that comes out of their own pockets and sometimes off their own dinner plates.