The Forgotten Essential Workers

 ·  Lynette M. Fraga & Renee Boynton-Jarrett , RealClearPolicy   ·   Link to Article

As politicians and pundits rightfully praise essential workers during this pandemic, rarely does anyone mention another group of genuine heroes: those who care for the children of other essential workers. Could it be that because these workers are disproportionately women of color, their service is overlooked and undervalued? While women of color represent only 20% of the American population, they comprise 40% of the roughly 1.5 million child care workers in the United States.

This pandemic has exacerbated the existing inequities in the child care system. The average wage in 2018 for those employed in child care centers was $11.17 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hardly a living wage. Nearly 15% of child care workers live below the artificially low “official” poverty line, more than double the rate of other industries, and 85% do not have health insurance

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