In 2020, the median hourly wage was $12.99 for center-based teachers and the equivalent of $7.46 for family providers. The wage for family providers, estimated based on a typical 60-hour work week, is just above the federally-required minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. With low hourly wages, most family providers rely on additional sources of income. The most frequently reported sources are a spouse’s income (61 percent) and a second job (20 percent). Moreover, 27 percent of center-based teachers and 20 percent of family providers indicated being worried that food might run out in their household by the end of the month.
ECE professionals have a long tenure to the field, with a median of 15 years’ experience for family providers, a median of 7 years’ experience for center-based teachers.
Only one fifth of center-based teachers receive health insurance through their employer, although slightly over half of teachers work in programs that offer it. About one fourth of family providers purchase their own health insurance. An additional 38 percent of family providers receive insurance through their spouse/partner’s employer compared to 26 percent of center-based teachers. Twelve percent of center-based teachers and 8 percent of family providers have no health insurance.
ECE professionals relied extensively on public benefits; indeed 26 percent of center-based teachers and 34 percent of family providers reported that they (or someone else in their household) were enrolled in either BadgerCare or Medicare, and 14 percent of all ECE professionals benefitted from FoodShare.