workers deserve worthy wage
Fifty-hour work weeks; poverty level pay; children
with special needs and difficult behaviors;
parents with demands for high quality care;
100 diapers to change a week; new program standards
to achieve; high exposure to illness; and rare
health insurance benefits. Is there any doubt
as to why there is a record high job turnover
in Iowa’s child care providers?
The committed individuals who nurture and teach
the nearly 70 percent of Iowa’s young children
who are cared for outside of their home every
day continue to be undervalued despite the importance
of their work. We know that children begin to
learn at birth, and that the quality of care
they receive both at home and while their parents
work plays a major role in their language development,
math skills, behavior and general readiness
for school. However, the grossly inadequate
level of wages for child care staff — roughly
$18,180 a year and typically less than that
in Iowa — has led to difficulties in attracting
and retaining high quality early childhood caretakers
In addition to low wages, only approximately
one-third of child care workers have health
insurance, and even fewer have pension benefits.
As a result, the turnover of childcare providers
is 30 percent a year; this high turnover rate
interrupts consistent and stable relationships
that children need to have with their caregivers
in order to flourish and grow.
The Iowa Center and Family Child Care Provider
Wage Study — completed in 2010 by Iowa Workforce
Development in collaboration with Early Childhood
Iowa, the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa
State University — found the average hourly
wage for a teacher in a licensed childcare program
to be $9.96 per hour, barely more than $20,000
per year. Assistant teachers and childcare providers
who provide care in their homes earn even less,
between $8,000 and $18,000 per year for full-time
When compared to other occupations on the OES
Wage Survey from the Iowa Workforce Development,
only fast food cooks and cashiers typically
earn less than your child’s teacher or caregiver.
Even animal caretakers (non-farm) and parking
lot attendants average more per hour than a
childcare provider. Those responsible for the
care of our most precious possessions, our babies
and young children, are earning poverty-level
wages that typically do not allow adequate support
for their own families.
Executive Director, Iowa Association for the
Education of Young Children
Program Manager, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®
And you call yourselves independent
I’m disappointed that Cityview calls themselves
independent and alternative but publishes pro-censorship
propaganda from Douglas Eschon (“Continuing
the fight against rogue websites,” April 19).
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