Child-care workers earn about $10 an hour, according to a new Berkeley report, “Worthy Work, Still Unlivable Wages. That’s more than fast-food cooks but less than animal caretakers. Preschool teachers earn 40 percent less than kindergarten teachers.
Pay preschool teachers like they matter, argues Laura Bornfreund in The Atlantic. Early-childhood educators can make a big difference, research shows.
The adults working in early-childhood programs set the foundation for future learning, developing essential knowledge in their young students as well as the skills, habits, and mindsets children need to succeed later in school and flourish in life. And the quality of interactions between teachers and children is especially important when it comes to sustaining the gains children make in pre-k programs.
It will be hard to hire and retain smart, skilled preschool teachers if they’re paid like babysitters.