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‘Day Without Child Care’ to shine light on wages, affordable child care

Preschooler enjoying playing with his airplane toy

Parents may have had to scramble to find child care on Monday for their children.

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More than 1,000 child care providers in the U.S. planned on being closed for the day or having staff calling off sick as part of the third annual “Day Without Child Care,” USA Today reported.

The movement was created “to raise awareness about early learning professionals’ critical role in the nation’s economy and how little they earn in return for that labor.”

Parents and child care providers are pushing lawmakers for affordable child care, more tax credits and better pay for child care providers, the “Today” show reported.

The median hourly wage for child care workers is $14.60, USA Today reported.

California child care provider Yessika Magdaleno told USA Today in a statement, “We can’t make it work without more money, bottom line.” She added that she has been told to shut her business and try working a job that pays more but she said, “I don’t want to do that.”

In Washington, D.C., child care workers had $80 million in subsidies that paid 4,000 early childhood educators in the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years, with the money going to supplement pay and to give them access to health care. But the mayor slashed the funding from the city budget for the 2025 fiscal year, WUSA reported.

Child care is considered the second biggest expense for families, after paying either rent or mortgages, “Today” reported.

Care.com found that in 2023, 20% of parents polled paid $3,000 a month on child care, or $36,000 annually. A majority of those who responded, 47%, paid more than $1,500 a month last year, or $18,000 a year.

Events are being held throughout the day in 26 states as part of the “Day Without Child Care,” and to find one near you, visit the organization’s website.