A study at Iowa State University shows publicly funded daycare programs provide the best pay and benefits for workers, and maybe better care. Kathlene Larson helped put together the information from a survey of daycare centers. Larson says better pay and more training help keep turnover lower at publicly funded centers, something that’s important for kids. She says research shows children flourish in a trusting relationship where they have a long-term relationship with a childcare worker. They don’t do as well when there’s a new worker every week or month. Larson says workers at private daycare centers don’t make as much as many other private sector jobs.She says fast food places pay around nine dollars-an-hour, while the daycare centers are only paying around six dollars. While it seems simple — raise salaries at daycare centers to reduce the turnover — Larson says it’s not that easy.Larson says you can’t say raising salaries would lead directly to better quality care, and there is the concern of parents about cost. Larson says the conundrum is that many parents believe they’re already paying too much for daycare.She says there are reports that some parents are already paying 20 to 30 percent of their income for child care, and raising salaries would make that worse. She says there needs to be a balance of the salaries and the cost, or maybe more outside support from the feds. Larson says this survey focused on daycare centers, and they’re now starting a survey of in-home providers.
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