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Childcare programs face tough obstacles | Opinion
Childcare programs across the United States are in dire straits. The industry is missing over 10% of its workforce — the result of its inability to raise compensation and provide benefits to keep pace with fast food and retail.
However, these are not the only reasons. Earning the credentials to work as an early educator is extensive and costly, the responsibility is high, the respect is low, and the job is highly demanding with numerous requirements.
In addition, many children are exhibiting post-pandemic out-of-control behaviors and mental health concerns for which early educators receive little to no support in addressing and managing.
Nationally, 46% of the childcare workforce qualifies for public benefits. Chronic system and provider underfunding results in low rates of compensation for early educators, the vast majority of whom are female.