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The labor shortage continues in child care

Amanda Peacher Dec 9, 2021
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Little pay and a lack of benefits are among the factors deterring people from entering the child care sector. Alexandra Beier via Getty Images

The labor shortage continues in child care

Amanda Peacher Dec 9, 2021
Heard on:
Little pay and a lack of benefits are among the factors deterring people from entering the child care sector. Alexandra Beier via Getty Images
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For months now, daycare and preschool centers have struggled to hire staff and teachers. A new analysis from the UC Berkeley Center for Child Care Employment shows that recruiting is not getting any easier at day care centers and preschools.

In fact, the child care sector recorded 2,100 fewer jobs last month than it did in October.

At Genesis Child Development Center in Burlington, North Carolina, Davina Woods leads a group of toddlers in a song before snack time.

Woods opened up this day care in 2020 and cares for 12 kids.

“It was quite nightmarish finding teachers,” she said. In fact, to hire one very experienced teacher — who’s a grandmother — Woods had to offer a daycare slot to her grandson.

Woods had worked with that teacher before “and I know her and I trust her,” she said. But still, it’s been a scramble.

The job loss in the industry isn’t surprising, according to Lea Austin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley.

“Wages are incredibly low. Poverty rates are high for people who do this work. And there are just not enough resources in programs today to increase pay and benefits,” she said.

And with fewer teachers in the mix, families feel the crunch too because there’s more competition for the daycare slots that do open up.

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