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The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

  • 1.  The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-17-2021 11:50 AM
    Here is how Biden's recent announcement that he wants to raise minimum wage to $15.00 an hour will affect the cost of Childcare. I currently have 22 employees most of which have been with me for over 5 years. On average they get paid $10.00 an hour and are currently working 30 hours per week due to pandemic. My payroll is around $6,600.00 per week and we are operating around 50% capacity due to the pandemic. If minimum wage is raised to $15.0" an hour this year, my payroll will go up by $3,300.00 per week for a total payroll of $9,900.00 per week. We are averaging around $11,000 per week in tuition for around 82 students. Our weekly expenses are around $4,000 per week which includes our mortgage. In order to make up the difference in the $3,300.00 labor cost from a $15.00 hour minimum wage and to spread the cost out over all our enrollments, we would have to raise our tuition by $40.00 per week per student. It's simple basic math. How many of your families out there could take on an additional $160.00 per tuition payments each month? Remember this is with my staff only getting 30 hours per week. If we go back to 40 hour per week the situation would be even worse. We have to get the word out to the leadership that they can't make the $15.00 minimum wage mandatory for childcare without giving us Federal funds to cover that increased cost. I am intersected to hear other childcare owners thoughts on this.#


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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
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  • 2.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 01:51 AM
    Mr. Kaminiski- what you just described is what was left out of most of not all debates and discussions. There are more costs coming to businesses and people alike. Companies will pass the cost on to consumers. 15.00 wage increase is not really an increase. Taxes will take away 14 or 15 percent of the wages earned.

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    Joshua Salinas
    Gatesville TX
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  • 3.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 08:11 AM
    Hi Tim,
    I certainly don't have answers to this ongoing conundrum.  While it has plagued childcare and early education throughout its history and seems no closer to a solution, it saddens me that we are talking about whether those in child care should make $15/hour at a minimum.  I hope there will be a day when the importance of these years and how they are impacted by early care and education professionals is widely recognized by the federal government and the public.  At that time, I expect both professional requirements and compensation will increase to mirror those in the wider education sector.
    Kathy Stewart

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    Kathleen Stewart
    Director
    Saint Saviour's Church Nursery School
    Old Greenwich CT
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  • 4.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 05:38 PM
    Kathleen,

    Those working in childcare should be making $15.00 per hour and most likely more for the incredible responsibility they take on each day in educating and developing the at the most early stages of learning and growing.  The problem with the ECE industry is that most ECE program owners have never really treated their programs as a business and operated them based on sound business principles.  These are not bad people.  They love children and they want to do whats best for children.  However, by not demanding to be paid what it actually costs them to provide the program, they ultimately put themselves into a box they cannot escape from.  I have been advocating for increased funding both at the State and National level for the past 8 years.  The pandemic has made that advocacy work even more imperative over the last 11 months.  I told someone else earlier, that we are beyond "hoping" that something will change in the future.  We have to get the government to make changes now, but those changes have to make sense, without putting current owners out of business.  It will be interesting to see what actually happens in the first 100 days.

    Thank you for your response.


    Tim Kaminski

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 09:01 AM
    As a fellow early childhood educator it saddens me to read your thoughts concerning minimum wage being set at 15$. The world as it is does not considered early childhood education as it is to be pivotal to the development of a child's life and that saddens me. As for myself the center I am currently working in, we never closed during the pandemic but our hours have been cut as well. Please explain to me how am I suppose to pay bills with bringing in 300$ a month if I am making 10$ dollars a hour and working 30 hours a week. That's 300$ and not even including the taxes being taken out. Not every center offers automatic coverage doing this pandemic. When they they have to stay home in case of Covid. They don't have any money coming in. 15$ would be nice considering we are risking our lives everyday just to come to work. As for you sir there are many different things you do and offer at your center to have money coming in to pay your employees. Places and agencies, cooperations and many more others things will give you money to have coming to your center so you can have enough to pay your employees. 10$ just won't do considering everything we are facing just to work.

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    Jessica Bryant
    Columbia SC
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  • 6.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 10:22 AM
    Excuse me I meant 300$ a week

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    Jessica Bryant
    Columbia SC
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  • 7.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 11:59 AM
    Jessica, here is another good article about this dilemma.  https://www.qualitycareforchildren.org/ece-wages

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    Cathy McAuliffe, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    NorthWest Arkansas Community College
    Bentonville, Arkansas
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  • 8.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 11:56 AM
    Jessica, early childhood educators such as yourself as subsidized the true cost of child care for many decades. Other countries do a much better job of providing either free or low-cost child care so that families aren't put in the position of having to choose between quality programs and more affordable (and usually low-quality) programs AND they insure that early childhood educators can get the required education and then get paid a living wage upon graduation.  https://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2017-02-23/the-us-is-a-laggard-on-child-care

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    Cathy McAuliffe, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    NorthWest Arkansas Community College
    Bentonville, Arkansas
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  • 9.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 06:31 PM
    Hi Jessica,

    Thank you for your reply.  Unfortunately your assumption that we have money coming in from other sources is incorrect.  90% of our income is from private pay families and that income has been cut in half since the beginning of the pandemic.  We do take some subsidized students, but we have to limit that number because in our state we only get $160.00 per week for that child but our fee is $230.00 per week so we have to write off $80.00 per week of income on that child.

    I do believe that you and my staff deserve to paid higher wages.  But that cannot happen until the federal government decides they are going to pay us more for subsidized kids or parents are willing to pay us more for the great work that you guys do with their children.  Right now there is a limit as to how much parents can afford to pay for childcare and so far the government has no plans to put more money into the subsidy program to cover a $15.00 per hour minimum wage.

    I would imagine that your programs owner is in the same boat we are with their enrollments being down due to the pandemic.  More than half the daycares in the US have closed since the pandemic started and many more like the one you work for most likely will have to close by the end of this year, if the government doesn't step in to help them cover their bills.  It's not their fault and it's not your fault.  It's just the reality of what we are all dealing with.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Tim

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 09:02 AM
    Perhaps the rise in payroll costs can be offset by purchasing less items for the classroom.  I do find that many classrooms have an overabundance of materials and/or materials that are unused.  Just a thought....






  • 11.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 11:22 AM
    My classroom supply budget would not begin to cover the cost of increased staffing costs.  Typically, child care staff is 55% of the budget.  Also, kids tend to break things and tear up items in a classroom.  You cannot keep broken items for them to play with.  My supply budget which includes office and classroom is only 5% of our total budget.  Do you think the children should just play with rocks, sticks and dirt?  Hardly, providing them with a quality educational experience.

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    Kaye Boehning
    Huntsville TX
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  • 12.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 02:23 PM
    The person who responded that we should make up the difference of the increased cost of payroll by buying less supplies for the classrooms, proves my point that the general public and people who do not own childcare centers have no clue as to what it currently costs to operate a childcare program.  Payroll costs alone are 50-60% of a centers budget regardless of how much they are paying their employees or how much they are charging for their tuition.  Those people that have responded on this feed that they are already paying wages of $15.00 or more are also charging tuition rates of $300 or more per week.  If they can charge that in their area, that's great.  But in our area the highest rate charged among all of the daycare is around $240.00 per week.  We have two primary locations.  One is located in a lower income area and the highest rate we can charge there is $175.00 per.  That location has been there for 40 years and it has taken the last 12 years to move the tuition there from $95.00 per week to $175.00 per week.  Parents in that area say the the tuition is too high.  Our second location is in a newer area of town and has been there for 7 years.  This area is more middle and upper middle income households  Our current highest rate at that location is $235.00.  When we first opened our highest rate was $220.00.  We have tried to increase our rate each year by $5.00 per week.  The families that we have in this area, also think that our rate of $235.00 is too high.

    The overriding issue is the "perception" that childcare is "too expensive."  Because the perception is that childcare is expensive, then the perception is that owners of childcare centers are "raking in the money" and "taking advantage of their staff".  The reality is that the profit margins are typically around 10% or less, so anytime there is a new or added expense to operating the childcare center, the only options are to go into further debt, raise tuition to cover the increased costs or close.  If enrollments start to trend down along with revenues the only real place to cut costs is by reducing labor hours.  This is what we need to make non childcare business owners understand which includes the teachers that work in these locations.  In order for this to improve and get all of the things people want from childcare, the federal government is going to have to pay for it in some form or fashion.  The political leadership of both parties have made lots of promises but have not delivered in any significant way, so for most of the childcare centers that have remained open it may still be too little too late.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-28-2021 06:19 PM
    Hi Tim,
    I cannot agree  with you more, when you say that "it proves my point that the general public and people who do not own childcare centers have no clue as to what it currently costs to operate a childcare program". It really takes  staff, directors and teachers working day after day serving our children and families, making miracles to stay afloat, especially during this pandemia, to really understand what we're going through.  I can even feel your words, because I couldn't have said it better. Thank you so much for your input.
    Juanita B. Estrada
    Director
    Little FACES Full-Time Preschool and Daycare
    Salem OR


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    Juanita Estrada
    Faces of America
    Salem OR
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  • 14.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-29-2021 09:43 AM
    In order for the general public to recognize the issues that have been raised about the $15 an hour minimum wage, you have to put the issue out there, clearly explain it in a way that the general public understands, lobby the officials in Washington DC as well as those from your State. Federal money tends to flow through State agencies.

    The difficulty this issue places on private early care and education centers does not obviate the fact that those working in early care and education are not paid a living wage and many also do not have any benefits - retirement or health (depending on which State you live in).

    NAEYC is supposed to be the professional organization for early childhood teachers and administrators, not just a supporter of the rights and needs of young children, although these efforts should coincide. They should be at the forefront in this effort to right the industry. There is a tension setting up where more and more public schools are including preschool (for 3 and 4-year-olds) in their programs and those working in those programs are earning much higher salaries than those in private EC programs. Will the future be where stand-alone early childhood programs will not be able to survive??? I do not have the answer. If you look at the history of education, you will learn that kindergartens were once only provided outside the public education sector, but now kindergarten is an integral part of public education and many private schools that house grades through 12th grade also provide preschool and sometimes infant and toddler programs as part of their schools. The tuition for these schools is very high or it is on a sliding scale (For example, I think Slate School in CT tuition is income-based).

    There is a lot of work to be done. There are so many moving parts that have changed over the years, which have to be dealt with.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 10:21 AM
    This is a concern for our center also.  I am afraid of what it will do the center as a whole.  We can't raise the tuition enough to cover the rising costs.  Those of our staff that are already making $15.00 will have to be pushed up to help them feel valued and to adjust for the difference. Most of our lead teachers make $15.00 now.  We try to make up the inability to offer more pay with benefits such as extra time off and scholarship sponsorships.   And believe me, everyone of our staff deserve the raises.  The biggest effect that it may have is on our part time college students.  I am afraid of what is going to happen.  There is a general lack of understanding of what costs a privately run child care center incurs.  It is scary!

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    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Center
    Ellisville MO
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  • 16.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 10:40 AM
    If minimum wage goes up also all supplies and services will go up. Therefore the cost of tuition will probably double. My parents live in a rural area where they can’t afford it even if they do get a raise. The raise won’t make a difference if everything else increases to offset employment.

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 17.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 12:56 PM
    I think Tim's points are valid ones.  He is not saying that our Early Childhood Educators do not deserve higher wages, I believe all educators and owners can agree that they are deserved.  He is simply stating the facts and posing an important question that many people do not ask; Where will this money come from?  I believe the new administration plans to tackle the age-old issue of providing high quality care at an affordable price, or possibly for free.  Let's hope this help comes before many of our high quality ECE programs are forced to close their doors due to higher payrolls and COVID restrictions.

    I'm in Los Angeles where the minimum wage is rising each year to meet the $15.00 mark this summer.  We have passed on the cost to our parents.  We are in an area where most families can afford the increase, but we still feel that some families are cut out of our program, which has decreased our diversity across the spectrum.

    Federal help in the form of tax credits or workers comp reform would help out.  I'm with Tim, the Leadership needs to help figure this out for childcare centers soon! We aren't an industry that flips burgers, we are educating young children.


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    Christina Moreno
    Director/Owner
    Home Sweet Home Preschool
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 18.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 02:22 PM
    Christina,

    I was going to say something similar. To just say that ECE professionals deserve more money (though accurate) is not a complete argument. Who pays for the wage increase? How? Until politicians address the monetary issues, it's a flawed string of buzzwords and nothing more.

    Further, the monetary issues need to be addressed by policymakers sooner rather than later. I'm in Long Beach, CA. When minimum wage goes up this year (up to $14 for us), it only applies to employers with more than 25 employees. Most centers will likely remain at $13. How can we obtain and retain quality professionals in ECE when they can make more money working at Target? Granted this discrepancy in Long Beach is planned to even out by 2023 but that's two years of skilled laborers being paid less than entry level retail employees. Two years is a long time when we're talking about the education of young children.

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    Sarah Quest
    Long Beach CA
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  • 19.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 06:20 PM
    Hi Sarah,

    You are correct.  ECE professionals deserve higher wages, but no one is ever willing to say where the money is going to come from.  Some staff level teachers have commented on this feed that owners should be paying their teachers more now and how its horrible that we are not paying a livable wage.  What they fail to realize or acknowledge is that employee pay is directly related to how much income is coming into the business regardless if your working at a childcare center or some other form of business.  The highest rate we can charge in our area for one of our locations is $235.00 per week and at our other location we can only charge $175.00 per week.  The difference in rate is based on where each center is located in our county and what families in each of those parts of the county can afford to pay.  One building is paid for and the other has a mortgage.  The average pay rate in our area is $8.00 to $11.00 and there are around 200 centers still open since the pandemic started.  Originally there were over 400.  The cost of living here is not as high as it is in California, so even though our hourly pay rates are lower, my staff here can still afford a nice place to live, but some do have to get assistance from the state if they have multiple children and they get free childcare when they work for us.  With enrollments cut in half by covid, everyone is just barely hanging on so any increase to pay rates over the next year or two, would most likely put the rest of us out of business.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Tim

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 04:17 PM

    For those wishing to read:

    first, educators are worth a lot more. The issues are not necessarily economic but more how our society views early childhood education. Throughout the world and here in America higher education is the focus but for valid reasons. Yet, my personal belief gained from my years of teaching and international experience tells me that this focus misses the mark. If we want to manage inter generational poverty, reduce child trafficking, child abuse, violent crimes and a slew of other societal issues then we need to start with early childhood. Educators do not deal within a ten year frame work. Educators influence and set the conditions for the next 20-30 years. It is for this reason the following should happen:

    better benefits (not free)
    Shift investment from higher education and ineffectual government programs.
    Provide better training for teachers.
    reduce and rethink the push for academics in Early Childhood Education

    A 15 dollar wage increase does nothing to alleviate these issues. It is a band aid. Taxes and the transfer of the cost of goods sold to the consumer will eliminate any chance of an increase in living standards. The redistribution of wealth/income in the form of grants or to satisfy promises made does nothing to alleviate the issues we face as educators. . Individual consumption behavior is dynamic so this an influencing factor.



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    Joshua Salinas
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  • 21.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 05:07 PM
    Based on the some the responses to my earlier post, I would like to clarify the message and intent behind the post.  I am not against a $15.00 per hour minimum wage.  I would already be paying my staff $15.00 per hour if it were economically feasible, however under the current structure of early childhood education and how it is paid for, it is not possible to make that type of pay increase without going out of business.  The Covid 19 pandemic and the mandatory reduction of classroom ratios that many states have put in place, has proven that you cannot continue to operate an ECE program with decreased revenues and increased employee costs due to needing more staff to meet those ratios.  Our leaders in government would like to claim that they are helping to save the childcare industry by putting more money into a stimulus package, but none of the money will go towards advancing the industry, it will barely keep some ECE programs going through the summer, much less there being any money left during or after that time to raise staff wages.

    Although money was set aside in the first stimulus package specifically for childcare under the CARES ACT, more than half the childcare centers in the United States did not receive any of those funds.  In most cases, the reason they did not received any of those funds is that the Federal Funds were sent to the states via the Community Development Block Grant programs which in most states restrict those funds for childcare subsidy programs.  More than half the childcare centers in the US do not participate in their states childcare subsidy programs because the reimbursement rates are too low, therefore they were not qualified to receive any of the funds.  There were also many providers who do participate in their states subsidy programs that did not receive those funds or received very few of those funds because they either had low subsidy enrollments or no subsidy enrollments when the money became available.

    Unless you understand the whole picture, you should not condemn or be upset with the owners and directors of ECE programs who are struggling to see how a mandatory $15.00 per hour minimum wage is going to work within the current constraints of their operating budgets.  My point was that Biden doesn't understand the impact that kind of increase will have on our industry, nor does he understand that the "money" he is saying is going to "allocate" specifically for childcare is not going to get to the majority of the intended targets, because the current CDBG programs does not allow for that to happen and nor is it enough money to cover those increased operating costs for providers.

    If you want to be angry with someone or something, be angry with the childcare subsidy program and the US government.  They are the ones that undervalue childcare workers by not putting enough money into that program to cover a $15.00 per hour minimum wage.  They say they want higher wages for workers, more access to high quality ECE programs for all children, and a reduced burden on families to pay for childcare.  But so far their rhetoric and pandering has been bigger than their purse strings.

    Our current situation is not new or surprising.  Experts in the field have been warning for years that something like this was going to happen unless more money was put toward ECE programs by the federal government.  I personally have been to Washington D.C. 5 times over the last 8 years to advocate for increase funding and to warn about what would happen if there were mandatory decreases in ratios and new mandatory educational requirements for ECE teachers without federal funding being there to support ECE businesses through those changes.  Not once did our state representatives meet with us directly regarding these issues unless there was a photo op.  We did have meetings with their staffers, but that was about as effective as meeting with their receptionist.

    For those who read the first post and responded negatively because they think ECE program owners are taking advantage of their staff, please understand we do want better for our staff and we want the public and the federal government to step up to the plate to make that happen.  If you are truly passionate about making a change to this industry, get involved at a level outside of your job to help make those changes a reality.  Sometimes It only takes one person to say what everyone else has been thinking but were unwilling to say, to get the fire started to make the change happen.

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 05:24 PM
    Joshua,

    There has been more concern shown for restaurant owners and their workers regarding losing their businesses or their jobs versus the current dismal state of the childcare industry and the people who work in it.  You are correct in that America needs to get its priorities straight as to where our tax dollars will have the biggest impact over the long haul.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Tim

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 09:12 PM
    Tim - appreciate the discussion. I am with you and support your concerns. I enjoy working with children. It has been amazing.

    ------------------------------
    Joshua Salinas
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  • 24.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 05:56 PM
    Hello Christina,

    Thank you for your response.  You are correct.  I do believe our ECE educators deserve higher wages and benefits.  However over the last 10 years that, as I have watched others advocate for higher wages, increased educational requirements, lower ratios etc, etc, no one has ever said what those kind of changes would cost  to implement and where the money would come from.  The pandemic has demonstrated the ECE programs cannot survive on mandated decreased ratios and increased operating costs.  Throwing a mandatory $15.00 per hour minimum wage on top of that this year or next year would be catastrophic for most small providers, unless there is some federal funding to go along with it that goes directly to the providers.  Let's see what the next 100 days brings.

    Tim

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 03:51 PM
    Hopefully, raising the minimum wage will be combined with more and better government support for early care and education centers so that the cost of early care and education won't be 100% tuition-dependent. On the other hand, raising the minimum wage will lift many employees in early care and education centers out of poverty.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 05:20 PM
    Nora there has to be a commitment and allocation of the federal funding before the raising of the minimum wage or it will not work.  At this point we are way beyond being able to just "hope" that there is going to be some action taken.  The current federal funding for childcare does not support a $15.00 per hour minimum wage and the new stimulus package is barely going to make a dent in our current crisis situation.  I am having to apply for a second PPP loan which is only going to cover the next two months of my payroll but not all of the additional expenses we have had to take on to stay open.  After 11 months we are still operating at less than 50% capacity at both of our primary locations and 4 of our other locations have still not been able to reopen.

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-18-2021 08:34 PM
    Childcare workers deserve a living wage of at least $15.00 an hour. But families should not have to hold on to this burden with more increased childcare costs. This is why no one is willing to discuss this issue. Working parents think they will have to pay more. I am advocating for government subsidy like public schools get and the community investment. I wrote a paper on this. Society and local community benefits greatly from a good childcare program. A good program turns out well regulated  workers and leaders for future years. And presently enables their parents to be in the workforce.  This is a big deal in the business world. We need to advocate for aid from local businesses and federal government. Then we will have a happy, well trained childcare workforce.


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    Shariya Dhammapala
    Olympia WA
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  • 28.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 09:31 AM
    Maybe I'm playing devil's advocate here, but if you are paying your employees the increased $15/hour in wages which will lead to increased tuition, won't your parents also be receiving that same bump in their pay as well and be in a better position to afford it?,

    ------------------------------
    Cheryl Quillman
    N/A
    Bend OR
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  • 29.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 04:14 PM
    Most of my clients work for the state as correctional officers.  So, for them to get a raise taxes in the state have to go up.  No one wins when the Federal Government MAKES people pay more for minimum wage except for the government who will now get to collect more in taxes because people will move into a higher tax bracket.  Think also of restaurants, how many of them will close because people won't pay twice as much or more for their food.  Every time minimum wage increases more jobs are automated and more jobs are eliminated.  Unemployment goes up for the unskilled workers and teenagers.  (I won't hire a teenager anymore to clean because of the costs.  They make too many mistakes.)

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    Kaye Boehning
    Huntsville TX
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  • 30.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 04:45 PM
    Check out what happened in Oregon and Washington State when the minimum wage was raised in one of the States. There was hand-wringing that businesses would leave the State and that prices would skyrocket with the higher minimum wage but it did not happen.

    Higher taxes when you get something for those taxes that affect your life positively is not a negative. How that tax money is used is what is important.

    Someone wrote that everything will get more expensive, which may or may not be true but the real question is if the prices do go up, how much will they go up and what will you get in return from the taxes collected. Prices go up all the time. When I was growing up and worked in the supermarket for $1 an hour (minimum wage in NYC at the time), a loaf of bread was $0.21. Take that in for a second.

    Effect on business in Washington from higher minimum wage: https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/7/13/20690266/seattle-minimum-wage-15-dollars

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 05:10 PM
    Nora I am not concerned with what is going to happen with other businesses.  I want to know what happens to the cost of childcare when payroll costs for childcare goes up significantly from what they were previously paying.  How many of them were able to raise their rates enough to stay in business and what did that amount turn out to be.  ECE programs' primary source of income is private pay tuition based on number of students enrolled.  If the tuition is higher than what the parents can or want to pay, the enrollment will go down along with revenues, essentially putting the center out of business.  What does the report you referenced above say specifically about how what they did impacted childcare?  If it doesn't say anything specific about childcare, it is irrelevant to this conversation.  We all want higher wages for our staff.  If parents aren't going to pay for it, then it has to come from the government. Period end of discussion.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 05:11 PM
    Nora I am not concerned with what is going to happen with other businesses.  I want to know what happens to the cost of childcare when payroll costs for childcare goes up significantly from what they were previously paying.  How many of them were able to raise their rates enough to stay in business and what did that amount turn out to be.  ECE programs' primary source of income is private pay tuition based on number of students enrolled.  If the tuition is higher than what the parents can or want to pay, the enrollment will go down along with revenues, essentially putting the center out of business.  What does the report you referenced above say specifically about how what they did impacted childcare?  If it doesn't say anything specific about childcare, it is irrelevant to this conversation.  We all want higher wages for our staff.  If parents aren't going to pay for it, then it has to come from the government. Period end of discussion.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 05:23 PM
    There have to be universal subsidies for quality programs to support early care and education, which serves two functions for the country and families, as James Heckman says. The two functions are providing care so that parents can work and the other, to me more importantly, providing children with a good start to their development.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 05:30 PM
    As several people pointed out, state subsidies would be a huge benefit.  Our state only pays approximately, $20.00 for a day for an infant/toddler, $14.00 for a two year old and $12.00 for children 3-6.  The child must be in attendance at least 5 hours or the center does not receive payment.  Also, if the child doesn't attend for a day, there is also no payment to the center.  What are other states paying?  I am very curious.  These amounts do not cover the cost of what it takes to care for a child.


    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 05:45 PM

    Hello Cynthia,

    In Texas our subsidy rates range anywhere from $20.00 to $33.00 per day based on the age of the child and also based on your "star level of 1, 2 3 or 4.  The higher your "Star" rating the higher your reimbursement rate.  The published rates of the providers in our area are anywhere from a low of $30.00 per day to high of $50.00 per day.  The lower published daily rates tend to be in our lower quality centers in our lower income areas.  One of our centers is located in a lower income area and has been there for 40 years.  The highest daily rate we can charge there is $35.00 compared to $48.00 rate we charge at our newer location in a more middle income area.  Program quality and offerings are the same at both locations but the original location has lower overhead costs because the building is paid for and there is no rent.

    Pre-pandemic, the subsidy program only paid us for days the child attended and they could only have so many absences before they were dropped from the program.  Since March that has changed and they have paid us for missed days as well and are not counting absences, however that is suppose to stop this month.  We are asking them to make that a permanent change to the system where they would pay us for a full week regardless of the number of days the child attended as happens with our private pay clients.  Also we only get paid for 1 week at at time and that come two weeks after we have already provided the service, so our subsidy clients always have a balance on their accounts.

    Tim



    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 36.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 06:09 PM
    Thank you, Tim.  That shows that Missouri is a bit behind.  For some families on state subsidy, we can charge the difference, but for others we cannot.  As I said, it doesn't cover the cost of caring for a child.  We even get a bit more than some centers because we are NAEYC Accredited, but not much more.  The raising of the minimum wage isn't going to mean that the state will raise its subsidies for centers.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 05:38 PM
    Nora & Tim - I lived in Germany for 11 years. My children had great child care but the price we paid for it in taxes was astronomical. No it did not come from the government taking taxes. The price I paid was in purchasing groceries, entertainment, car repair, public transportation, parking just about everything in daily life was paid for even the public bathroom. Everything was expensive. The biggest was the that age old concept of personal choice. There was very little. Very little personal freedoms. That is where we are headed as a nation. In Germany the cost  of  a T shirt in Nuernberg is the same in Berlin or in Stuttgart. This idea of also effected the work force. Some one could call out sick and be gone for 28 days and not lose their job. Yet they were still paid. Shoving economic policies like this down the hatch of Americans without much thought is going to back fire. The key? Compromise. Tim you have every right to make a profit. You, as the owner, should decide what the wage of an employee should be, yes, with regards to minimum wage included. On the other hand government should assist in creating policies that work not that attempt to create a utopia. We, as Americans, know what is best for us as a Nation. You, me, and Nora as well as the rest of the people on this thread. I appreciate what both of you do. Lastly, the biggest issue we have in this country is materialism. Some measure success by having a 2.3 million dollar yacht, a 17 million dollar home and fine jewelry. (I make no value judgement here) Others measure success by the relationships they have or their contributions to society. Some both.

    ------------------------------
    Joshua Salinas
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  • 38.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-21-2021 10:22 AM
    Dear Joshua:

    I lived in Switzerland in the early 1970s. I taught at the United Nations School in Geneva. Yes, taxes were high but, in return, you received peace of mind in many aspects of life through universal healthcare and the availability of early care and education for all.

    Changes to wages and benefits for people have a cascading effect across all parts of society. So, when those changes are contemplated, those with the power to design and implement change must discuss broadly the full impact of change.

    European labor laws are very different from ours. We cannot make a comparison between the USA and Europe.

    I am sad that materialism and the accumulation of extreme wealth have become the measure of success and worth of a person in our country. As the very top accumulates extreme wealth and the items that represent that wealth, the guiding belief in the "common good" has lost ground. Profit and shareholders are numero uno with the "workers" (used in the broadest sense) way down the bottom have been written out of the equation. the result of this is that the labor movement in this country has lost ground. Workers who need unions to negotiate for them have been convinced by those with power and money that they don't need help. They have been convinced that union dues provide nothing for them. The courts have upheld the powerful who have taken away the power of the union by making it hard for them to collect dues and therefore to promote the needs of workers. And, of course, as in any endeavor, there are folks who abuse their power - unions are no exception.

    I agree that the government should try to enact policies that ease the struggles with which many families are working. This has all been complicated by the COVID virus. There is no utopia but if we are not careful, and I think as a society we have turned away from the idea that we are all in this together and that for the good of society, we need to help lift up those who are struggling, we will become a dog eat dog society where all we do is look out for ourselves.

    Let's hope for the best with the new administration. Let's hope there is a resurrection of the values that I believe most people in the USA have about their fellow citizens.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 39.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-21-2021 10:14 AM
    I am from Washington state and our minimum wage went up from $9 something to currently $13.69. But it was a gradual increase taking four or five years. Thinking Biden will also do it in stages. Not everyone's wages went up. Just those getting close to minimum wage. But in childcare this could mean everyone. It is definitely hard to make these decisions. But I think families will expect an increase to happen. We need to seriously advocate for government subsidy since this year our eyes were opened to how essential childcare services are.

    ------------------------------
    Shariya Dhammapala
    Olympia WA
    ------------------------------



  • 40.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 05:22 PM
    Cheryl,

    Thank you for joining the discussion.  A mandatory increase to the minimum wage whether it is $10.00 or $15.00 would not mean that our parent's wages would go up as well.  The parents that utilize our services already make above $15.00 per hour.  The only parents we have that make below $15.00 per hour would be our parents that receive subsidies for their childcare.  If they were to start making $15.00 or more per hour, they would lose their subsidy and have to pay the full rate.  In areas where they currently pay their employees $15.00 or more per hour, at a minimum they have to charge around $300.00 per week per child and average around 60 kids in order to maintain their payroll and other expenses.  In our area the weekly rates are between $175.00 to $240.00.  Our parents currently say that this amount is too expensive.  The difference in tuition rates is based on the differences in overhead costs between the different facilities.  The average pay rate in our area is $8.00 to $11.00 per hour.

    Hope this provided some clarification.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 41.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 10:36 AM
    Thank you for posting this. We have discussed this at our center, which is a parent cooperative, a few times now. This increase will force our program to close its doors after over 50 years in the community. The government does not see us as educators, therefore we don't receive educational funding. Many state officials have claimed they will fight for us, but I have yet to see anyone follow through on all the promises made. Good luck to us all.

    ------------------------------
    Amanda Anders
    Administrator
    Racine Cooperative Preschool
    Mt Pleasant WI
    ------------------------------



  • 42.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-19-2021 02:57 PM
    Hi Amanda,

    I am sorry to hear that the $15.00 per hour wage proposal will also have a significant impact on your ECE program.  Our programs have been in our county for 40 years this year.  At the beginning of the pandemic, I started reaching out to our local political leadership as well as our State Reps and Federal Reps for Texas.  I have personal relationships with some of these people so I thought maybe I would get some traction with getting the message out that the childcare industry was in crisis as a result of the pandemic and that the impact to the economy would be significant, if financial help wasn't made immediately available to all of the childcare providers.  They didn't understand that most of the relief funds were only going to providers that participate in the States Subsidy programs and even those providers were going under due to the decreases in enrollments.  Although they have a better understanding of the situation now, the new relief funds may still not get to the non-subsidy providers due to restrictions in our state on the CDBG funds and how they can be spent.

    In my assessment, a mandatory increase in the minimum wage of any type in the next 12-24 months would be the nail in the coffin for the remaining providers.  We just have to keep getting this story out there to who will ever listen and report on it.  However it may take the whole system shutting down, before any real action is taken.

    Thank you for reading and replying to my original post.

    Tim

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 43.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-20-2021 09:00 PM
    Hello everyone,

    I'm Lauren Hogan, managing director for policy and professional advancement at NAEYC. Thank you all for these robust conversations on minimum wage and advocacy efforts; I was also able to go back to some previous threads related to professional boundaries and compensation, and it's really wonderful to see all of the rich discussions here on Hello! I wanted to add just a few things as the conversation continues -

    First, I want to recognize and lift up the power of our collective advocacy. Your voices have actually made a tremendous difference in increasing bipartisan, federal support for child care. Every single federal relief proposal, from both Republicans and Democrats, in both the House and the Senate, since March 2020, included billions of dollars for child care. The last relief package, passed in December, included $10 billion. That is far short of what the field needs, and we have a long way to go in order for early childhood education to be funded as the priority and public good that it is. However, we have made progress; just last week, then-President-Elect Biden proposed a new relief package that would invest an additional $40 billion in child care (that's billion with a B), including $25 billion in a stabilization fund that would provide grants to programs, along with another $15 billion in the Child Care and Development Block Grant. As we work now towards making this relief package real, and then towards additional opportunities to make investments in child care recovery and sustainability, your voices are going to be critical in ensuring policymakers, the media, and the public understand what's happening on the ground for child care programs, educators, families, and children - and why, for example, major public investments are needed particularly for child care programs if and as the federal minimum wage is increased.

    For more on what 2020 looked like for our shared advocacy efforts, we encourage you to check out our advocacy summary. This document really highlights some of the work that you, NAEYC, the incredible Affiliate network, and many of our national and state partners have led to ensure that our nation's elected officials, as well as the staffers that make important decisions and recommendations, are familiar with the challenges; have connected with child care providers in centers, homes, and schools in their states and communities; and understand how they can help.

    It is important to remember that meeting with staffers - on Capitol Hill and in your own state legislatures - is very impactful. They're the ones doing the writing of legislation, deciding what their bosses see and don't see, and they're the ones who know the ins and outs of how to get things done. Meeting with them (including virtually!), getting to know them, and meeting their needs as well, really matters. It has a tangible impact on the need to keep child care at the forefront of our Congressional leaders' minds and priority lists.

    To that end, we hope those of you who are interested in engaging more with advocacy and advancing educator compensation will reach out to your state team leaders to join this year's Public Policy Forum, which will be happening virtually on February 28 and March 1. Registration is open and we would love to have you join us! You can learn more and get the information for your state team leader via www.naeyc.org/events/policy-forum. I promise we'll be discussing lots of pressing issues, including the challenges and opportunities around increasing minimum wage!

    I also encourage you to seek out existing avenues such as Interest Forums and Affiliates, which are great ways to channel your energy and passion. Finally, don't hesitate to reach out to us with questions (you can always email advocacy@naeyc.org) and make sure you are checking out resources and information at www.americaforearlyed.org.

    Please stay tuned for more information on what the last relief package means for educators, and many other resources coming your way. Please also know that we appreciate each and every one of you; we hope you are staying safe and well; and we thank you so much for all you're doing on behalf of children, families and your fellow educators -

    Lauren

    ------------------------------
    Lauren Hogan
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Cambridge MA
    ------------------------------



  • 44.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-21-2021 07:08 AM
    Thank you for the information.  From my understanding, not all early childhood centers are eligible for the CCDBG.  Am I correct?

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 45.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-22-2021 03:21 PM
    Being a preschool teacher for my whole life, I have a good perspective on the wage gap.  My issue is that $15 dollars an hour should really be $22 an hour to make a living wage.

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 46.  RE: The impact of a $15.00 per hour minimum wage on the cost of Childcare

    Posted 01-22-2021 04:24 PM
    I agree!

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------