Childcare pays poverty-level wage, but Arizona still tops most states

Source: Veronica Acosta | Cronkite News
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016
Image credit: Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Arizona childcare workers were paid less, on average, than parking lot attendants, manicurists and pedicurists in 2015, part of a national trend that saw workers in all states earning salaries that could qualify them for food stamps.

And Arizona’s median salary of $20,070 last year for childcare workers was not even the worst in the nation – in fact, it ranked ahead of 30 other states and Puerto Rico, according to the recent report by the U.S. departments of Education and Health and Human Services that provided the numbers.

The report looked at salaries of childcare workers, Head Start and preschool teachers, preschool special education teachers, kindergarten and other elementary school teachers and found them all lacking. That hinders the ability to attract educators to help children during the years that “have the greatest potential for setting a foundation for lifelong learning and health,” the report said.

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