ERIC Number: ED419614
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Worthy Work, Unlivable Wages: The National Child Care Staffing Study, 1988-1997.
Whitebook, Marcy; Howes, Carollee; Phillips, Deborah
In 1988, the National Child Care Staffing Study first gathered information on staffing and quality from a sample of child care centers in five metropolitan areas--Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Phoenix, and Seattle--and returned for updated information in 1992. In 1997, directors of the original sample of centers still in operation were contacted again in order to collect basic information on staffing and funding nine years after the first data collection. Findings included: (1) child care teaching staff continue to earn low wages, even in a sample of relatively high-quality centers; (2) approximately one-third of child care centers employ welfare Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, sometimes at less than the prevailing wage and often with limited training; (3) more child care centers received public dollars in 1997 than in 1988, allowing more of them to assist low-income families with child care costs, these dollars have not resulted in better wages or lower staff turnover; (4) child care centers continue to experience very high turnover of teaching staff, threatening their ability to offer good-quality, consistent services to children; (5) centers which paid better wages in 1997, as in 1988, experienced less teaching staff turnover--these are also the centers which were rated higher in quality in 1988; and (6) a substantial number of centers have improved their level of health coverage, especially for teachers, during a period of declining levels of coverage by U.S. employers as a whole--the majority of centers, however, still offer their teaching staff limited or no health insurance, despite heavy exposure to illness in child care employment. Recommendations based on these findings include increasing public funds for child care, targeted to quality and compensation; and reforming reimbursement rates. (Contains 15 references.) (EV)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Child Care Occupations, Child Caregivers, Compensation (Remuneration), Day Care, Day Care Centers, Early Childhood Education, Faculty Mobility, Quality of Working Life, Wages
Center for the Child Care Workforce, 733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 1037, Washington, DC 20005-2112; phone: 800-U-R-WORTHY, 202-737-7700; fax: 202-737-0370; World Wide Web: http://www.ccw.org; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ($19.95, plus $5 shipping and handling. CCW members subtract 10%. DC residents must add 5.75% sales tax).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Child Care Workforce, Washington, DC.