Child to work


Dear Editor:

Take Your Child to Work Day is Wednesday, April 26th. While this annual event provides an opportunity for some participating business’ employees to bring their child to work, working parents must count on others to provide quality care for their children throughout the rest of the year.

In Indiana, more than 115,000 children are entrusted to child care workers in licensed child care centers, registered child care ministries, early education programs and licensed family child care homes. In 2004, 59 percent of the children in Indiana under the age of six lived in families in which all parents present were in the work force.

The Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children, Inc. has published a benchmark report, Working in Child Care in Indiana, based on a survey of Indiana child care workers representing licensed day care providers. The collected data yields several concerns with regards to compensation available to those caring for our state’s youngest citizens.

Key findings reflect markedly low wages for child care providers. Median hourly earnings for teachers were just $7.95 per hour in registered child care center/ministries. As health care costs climb, a full 60 percent of licensed child care center/registered child care ministry directors reported that their facilities do not help their employees with the costs of health insurance. Of licensed family child care providers responding to the survey, 24 percent reported having no health insurance. Full-time teacher turnover is 26 percent and just 18 percent of teacher respondents indicated a bachelor degree or higher.

Indiana’s young children deserve a well-educated, fairly compensated, and stable child care work force. While employees at many businesses will enjoy taking their child to work for a day on the 26th, we need to realize that Indiana children are enrolled in child care every day. They deserve to have teachers and caregivers that are educated in a manner to provide top quality care, and compensation that will allow them to earn a reasonable living caring for the State’s youngest citizens. A complete copy of the report can be requested

Dianna Wallace, Executive Director,

Indiana Association for the

Education of Young Children