A workforce close to retirement poses problems
Several demographic problems are revealed in a new study profiling the child care workforce in the U.S. State of Kansas.
Child Care Aware of Kansas has recently released the 2018 Kansas Child Care Workforce Study and State Child Care Profile noting that 45 percent of the licensed family child care or group day care homes are run by personnel over the age of 50.
“Just like many other occupations today, we have an aging workforce,” Leadell Ediger of Child Care Aware of Kansas says.
This alone would not be such a worrying fact; however, as many in the early child care workforce edge toward retirement there is grave concern about the lack of young people prepared to fill the gap.
“I am concerned about when they retire. What’s going to happen and who is going to step up and start caring for young kids,” Ediger explains.
A common challenge across the globe is raised by authors of the study. How do you attract and retain qualified individuals to the early childhood workforce? In many contexts, including Kansas, those with proper education are deterred by low pay. But, that is only part of the story. Those working in, and running, child care centers are often working long hours (50 hours or more each week in Kansas) and receive little recognition as well as few opportunities to grow their skills in the field.
Download the 2018 Kansas Child Care Workforce Study and State Child Care Profile and to listen to an interview with Child Care Aware of Kansas.