California is one of 11 states that allows in-home child care providers to bargain collectively. This year, the union that represents 40,000 of these workers in that state won big in their fight for better pay and benefits.
Staffing shortages and high turnover have dogged the early education and child care field for years. The pandemic has made them acute issues.
Child care is critical if more parents are going to return to work.
The worker-owned co-op shut down in the spring due to staffing shortages. It reopened by raising wages and tuition.
Marketplace’s senior economics contributor explains how an unreliable child care system doesn’t just hold back parents.
One result of the ongoing staff shortage is that parents may have trouble finding daycare slots for their kids.
Low pay is still an obstacle to bringing people into the field, where employment is 10% lower than before the pandemic.
The pandemic has shown that child care in the U.S. isn’t working. Most early childhood caregivers and teachers don’t earn a living wage.
Hiring has been chronically tough for early childhood education jobs, especially during the pandemic.