Center for American Progress

When Preschool Teachers Can’t Afford Care for Their Own Children
In the News

When Preschool Teachers Can’t Afford Care for Their Own Children

Author Simon Workman explains how low salaries and poor working conditions are undermining the quality of early education.

We ask a lot of our preschool teachers: keep our children safe, help them learn how to socialize with others, ensure they are “kindergarten-ready.”

Unfortunately, while we ask a lot, we don’t treat them like the professionals they are. Preschool teachers earn an average of around $12 per hour, or less than $25,000 a year, and many do not receive benefits like health insurance.

This leaves many teachers struggling to get by. Take, for example, Monica, a preschool teacher in Seattle and a mother of two elementary school-aged children. Monica makes too much money to qualify for state child care subsidies, but she doesn’t make enough to afford the cost of care for her two children during the summer. Preschool teachers across the country find themselves in similar situations—unable to afford the care they are providing to other families.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Hechinger Report. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Simon Workman

Principal, Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies; former director, Early Childhood Policy, Center for American Progress