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Today, May 1, is Worthy Wage Day. thread and SEED celebrate this national day of action to raise awareness of low compensation for early childhood educators, the lack of public funding for early childhood education, and the impact it has on our children and society.

thread and SEED work to advocate for living wages for early educators. According to the latest data, the hourly median wage for a child care worker in Alaska is only $11.99, and for a preschool teacher it’s just $14.82. When early educators earn such low wages, it affects the entire community. Child care makes it possible for thousands of businesses to operate, because many employees depend on child care in order to enter and remain in the workforce. Early educators not only help parents join the workforce today, but they help shape tomorrow’s workforce. In this way, early childhood education plays a critical role in Alaska’s economy.

However, low wages are driving early educators from the field. They cannot pass on the additional expenses of running a high-quality business to their customers, because families are already struggling to afford child care. At the same time, poverty-level wages mean early educators are struggling to provide for their own families, and many leave the field to find living wages.

Without community support, early childhood education cannot grow. The good news is that a national movement to reform early childhood education is gaining momentum. In September 2017, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA3) introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act—which, if passed, will make a significant, comprehensive, and long-term investment to expand access, address affordability, increase quality, and invest in early childhood educators.

Join us in advocating for these early educators who play such an important part in the well-being of our children and our society. Follow thread on Facebook or Twitter, and join thread's Action Center to stay up-to-date on legislation affecting early childhood education and receive periodic action alerts in your email.


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