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Childcare Work: Underpaid and Downwardly Mobile

By Sara Mead — March 21, 2014 1 min read

I’m pretty fascinated with these NPR charts comparing adults’ professions and earnings today with their families’ incomes when they were children (even though my own profession is too obscure to show up in them)! But dang, the information on childcare workers in these charts is depressing. Of all the professions included, childcare workers tend to come from families with some of the lowest earnings--and their economic status is worse as adults. In other words, childcare is downwardly mobile work, even for people from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds to start with. What a sad reflection of how we as a society value the people who take care of our kids. And what a huge challenge for improving the quality of early care and education.

The opinions expressed in Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.