Low pay for child care workers puts more than half at poverty level, study finds

Thursday, July 05, 2018

(EdSource) - A majority of child care workers in California are paid so little they qualify for public assistance programs, according to a new report on the early education workforce.

Fifty-eight percent of child care workers in California are on one or more public assistance programs, such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federally funded program that helps pay for food, housing and other expenses, the report by UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Child Care Employment found. This is according to the most recent data by the American Community Survey and Current Population Survey.

Researchers said while there is little debate about how “woefully underfunded” some early childhood programs are, policy rarely addresses workers’ economic well-being. In 2017, the median wage for childcare workers in California was $12.29 per hour, a 3 percent increase from 2015. Statewide, the median annual income for child care workers is $25,570, the report states.

The federal poverty level, based on annual income $24,250 for a family of four. This differs from the California Poverty Measure which factors in the state’s cost of living. Based on this measure, the poverty level in California is $30,000, for a family of four giving California one of the highest rates of poverty in the nation.

In a state-by-state analysis researchers found that only five states including Colorado and Arizona pay child care workers enough to meet the livable wage standards in the state. Nationwide, 53 percent of child care workers were on at least one public assistance program between 2014 and 2016, the Early Workforce Index report states. In 2017, the median wage for U.S. child care workers was $10.72 per hour or $22.290 per year.

The report, released June 27, includes a comprehensive analysis of efforts made in 50 states to improve early childhood education workforce conditions, such as work environments and compensation.

Child care workers in the report include adults who work with infants and toddlers in child care centers and some home-based settings. In California, education and training requirements vary among child care programs and there are different credential requirements for staff such as lead teacher or teacher assistant and aide. Statewide, licensed child care centers and homes do not have a degree requirement and child workers are not required to have a bachelor’s degree. Some child care centers who contract directly with the state do require staff to have some early childhood education coursework or college units.

“While a major goal of early childhood services has been to relieve poverty among children, many of these same efforts continue to generate poverty in the early care and education workforce, who are predominantly female, ethnically and racially diverse and often have children of their own,” the report states.

The report measures the rate of improvement in five main categories: compensation (goals for increasing how much child care workers and other early educators earn as starting and ongoing wages), workforce data (developing and improving the way states collect and analyze data on early childhood programs), qualifications (goals for increasing access to education and training, aligning education requirements for those who teach children under age 5), financial resources (steps taken to increase funding for early education programs and teaching staff) and work environments (availability of quality supports for staff such as lesson planning time). The report provides a state-by-state comparison in all five categories.

In four of the five categories, California’s status is listed as “stalled.” For the fifth category — work environments — information wasn’t available. “Stalled” is defined as the state making limited or no progress. Researchers used a scoring system of 0-12 for each policy area. A zero to 4 earned a “stalled” rating.

The report states there has been limited progress in raising the wages of child care workers and even the modest increases that have been made are unequal.

Nationwide, median wages for child care workers increased by 7 percent between 2015 and 2017. Child care workers are classified as “low wage” based on median wages across occupations.

Researchers have also identified what they call a “racial wage gap,” which predominantly affects women of color, who comprise 40 percent of the workforce. After accounting for educational attainment, African-American early educators still earn 78 cents less per hour or ($1,622.40 less per year for a full-time worker) than their white counterparts, said Marcy Whitebook, workforce specialist for The Center for the Study of Early Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley. This estimate includes African-American child care workers who work at centers and some preschool teachers, researchers said. Women of color also occupy a disproportionate share of the lowest-paying jobs in the field and hold fewer leadership positions, the report states.

The report also found those who work with infants and toddlers earn less than those who work with children ages 3 to 5. Nationwide, this pay difference disproportionately affects African-Americans, 52 percent of whom work with infants and toddlers compared to 43 percent of all child care workers in child care centers.

One key recommendation in the report is to establish a process to include more child care workers and other early educators, such as preschool teachers, in conversations about how to reform or improve the profession. It states that many child care workers and preschool teachers are left out of critical conversations on policies that directly impact their well-being.


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What we get wrong about the poverty gap in education

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

(Washington Post) - Poor children don't struggle in school because of their parents. They struggle because of poverty.

If you have young children, chances are you’ve been to a pediatrician’s office and have left with a new book in hand. This is often part of a program, recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics, designed to promote literacy by providing families with age-appropriate books. Although such programs are uncontroversial and popular, the reasoning behind them — a focus on what poor children and families lack — is misguided.

Over the past 60 years, this emphasis has derailed policies meant to advance early-childhood education. Even more important, it has substituted unfounded critiques of parenting for more significant— and difficult — discussions about how to combat poverty and channel meaningful investments in anti-poverty programs and early education.


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Senators To DeVos On TEACH Grant Debacle: 'Urgent That These Mistakes Are Fixed'

Tuesday, July 03, 2018


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July 1st Brings New State Laws

Monday, July 02, 2018

The Denver Channel  

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Early Childhood Workforce Index 2018

Monday, July 02, 2018

(CSCCE) - The 2016 inaugural edition of the Biennial Early Childhood Work- force Index represented our first report to establish a baseline description of early childhood employment conditions and policies on a state-by-state basis in order to improve early childhood jobs. This 2018 edition, as well as future editions of the Index, will focus on tracking progress and identifying trends in the states over time.

Early Childhood Workforce Index – 2018


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Public Health Notification for Child Care Providers

Friday, June 29, 2018


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Reminder: Child Care Licensing Fee Changes Effective July 1

Friday, June 29, 2018


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School of Secrets: Day care delays reporting alleged sex assault

Friday, June 29, 2018
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Park Hill Golf Course operator will renew lease, adding complications for Clayton

Thursday, June 28, 2018

(Denver Post) -

Park Hill Golf Course operator will renew lease, adding new complication to nonprofit owner’s plans. Arcis Golf filed lawsuit in spring in bid to buy the course under its contract terms.

The operator of the Park Hill Golf Course gave notice this week that it will renew its lease for five years, adding a new complication to discussions about the 155-acre property’s future. Arcis Golf’s renewal notice comes on the heels of its pending lawsuit that aims to force a sale to the Dallas-based operator. The company is the second-largest owner of golf courses in the country.

Last fall, the George W. Clayton Trust, which owns the land in northeast Denver, briefly reached a $20.5 million deal in which the city would buy the course and continue a community discussion over potential future uses. Clayton Early Learning, an early-childhood education nonprofit that manages the trust, has been looking for ways to make more money for its programs than it was reaping from the $700,000-a-year operator lease with Arcis.

But the city’s deal was scuttled in November, when Arcis said it might exercise its option for the first of two five-year lease extensions. Its lease expires at the end of this year, and Arcis had until July 1 to notify Clayton of its decision.

“Arcis has informed us of their intent to renew the lease,” Clayton president and CEO Charlotte Brantley told The Denver Post on Wednesday morning.

Arcis’ lawsuit, filed in April, seeks to activate its contractual right of first refusal to match the city’s earlier purchase offer. But Clayton officials contend that the city’s offer didn’t trigger that provision because the City Council hadn’t yet signed off.

It’s unclear whether Arcis still intends to pursue a purchase of Park Hill. An attempt to reach Scott Siddons, the company’s general counsel, was not immediately successful.

While Arcis may hold legal leverage to continue operating the golf course, company officials also are aware that a city stormwater drainage and detention project — part of the massive Platte to Park Hill program — will require the closing of the golf course for up to two years, starting in 2019. Arcis probably will have a claim to compensation from the city during the closure.

Clayton officials are pushing ahead with a planned community open house July 10. They plan to share a summary of the input they have received during a two-year “visioning process” for the property, which has featured passionate arguments for preserving open space as well as addressing needs such as affordable housing.

But that conversation may now be speculative, at best.

“The golf course land continues to be an asset of the Clayton Trust, and its revenue helps support Clayton Early Learning’s mission to improve early care and education during the critical first five years, especially for children living in communities of limited opportunity,” says a statement issued by the nonprofit. “Arcis’ decision does not change our mission, and we will continue our work educating Denver’s children.”

Siddons said during an interview last month that after years of losing money on its lease, Arcis unsuccessfully asked to cut the annual rent back to $300,000. But he said that last year, for the first time, the operator made a slight profit at Park Hill.

Siddons said the city’s proposal to buy the property last summer took the operator by surprise. The deal could have meant as much as $24 million for Clayton, depending on the site’s development potential.

“We thought that they would be in breach of that lease if they didn’t offer on the same terms to purchase (as the city had offered),” Siddons said. “Our position is: Look, we went through all the bad times on the lease. We upheld our obligations. The fact that you went out and cut a deal with the city — and didn’t offer it to us — is a breach of the lease.”



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AmeriCorps ‘volunteers’ in Denver schools were district employees, investigation finds

Thursday, June 28, 2018

(Chalkbeat) - Denver Public Schools will have to pay back the federal agency that administers the grants.  

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