Salary, Wages, Pay: Childcare Workers

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Pay depends on the educational attainment of the worker and the type of establishment. Although the pay generally is very low, more education usually means higher earnings. Median hourly earnings of wage and salary childcare workers were $7.86 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $6.66 and $9.65. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $5.91, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $11.46. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of childcare workers in 2002 were as follows:

Other residential care facilities $9.51
Elementary and secondary schools 9.04
Civic and social organizations 7.25
Child daycare services 7.18
Other amusement and recreation industries 7.09

Earnings of self-employed childcare workers vary depending on the hours worked, the number and ages of the children, and the location.

Benefits vary, but are minimal for most childcare workers. Many employers offer free or discounted childcare to employees. Some offer a full benefits package, including health insurance and paid vacations, but others offer no benefits at all. Some employers offer seminars and workshops to help workers learn new skills. A few are willing to cover the cost of courses taken at community colleges or technical schools. Live-in nannies get free room and board.

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