There’s a Rising Demand For Child Care Providers – And Salaries Are Spiking.
New statistics are showing salaries for after school caregivers are up 27%. Why the spike? The rising demand for child care providers is evident virtually everywhere. We asked Connie Fong, VP of Brand at Care.com to offer insight, including how this industry is ripe for career opportunity (moms looking to make extra money, college students, etc.) especially in today’s “gig economy.”
What is the current demand for child care providers?
We’ve found persistent demand, across the country, for quality in-home child care providers — it’s a rewarding career path, with rising wages, and can provide flexible hours for students or women looking to re-enter the workforce. These can be full-time jobs or part-time positions working for families who need after-school care. And, while researchers say automation will affect nearly 50 percent of American jobs in the next 20 years, child care jobs are not expected to be among them.
Why the spike in the industry and what does it mean for those looking to become a provider?
One reason there’s a growing demand is that, over the past 40 years, the number of families where both parents work has doubled—meaning the era when one parent stayed home with the kids is long gone. So the supply of child care just isn’t keeping up with demand. About half of all Americans live in what’s called a “child-care desert” — a place where the demand for child care exceeds the supply of in-center care spots by three to one. In some bigger states, like California and New York, more than 60 percent of residents live in child-care deserts.
While that can lead to frustrations for working parents — who need reliable care in order to go to work — it’s also an opportunity for in-home child-care workers, such as nannies and part-time caregivers like after-school sitters. In a recent study, we looked at these child-care deserts and found what we call a “job oasis”: 66 cities with a high demand and higher salaries for in-home child caregivers, such as nannies and babysitters.
What should potential providers know about salaries?
Nationwide, the weekly rate for nannies has risen over $100 over the past five years, and Care.com families offer pay of more than $15 per hour on average. What’s more, we’ve found families will pay more for caregivers who bring more to the table. For example, nearly three in four families will pay more for a nanny with additional education, such as an early childhood education degree, and 64 percent will pay more for nannies with relevant skills, such as the ability to teach children a second language.
Pay also varies by city and region. Many of the 66 “job oasis” cities identified by Care.com are large metropolitan areas: In New York City, for instance, caregivers make an average of $18.81 per hour. But the study also found that a child-care job oasis may sprout up where you least expect it. Some of the places with high demand for caregivers, high pay rates, and fastest-growing wages are in smaller cities and suburbs like Hartford, CT ($19.05/hr), Springfield, IL ($17.11/hr), and Sunnyvale, CA ($17.77/hr). In nine of the job-oasis cities Care.com studied—including Atlanta, GA, and Austin, TX—the average wage for child-care workers is double that city’s minimum wage.
What advice do you have for providers?
There are several steps we recommend to caregivers that can help them get the job. First, share information beyond ‘I like caring for kids’ to include more specific details such as their years of experience, the types of responsibilities they have had, and special skills or passions that may help with the job: Do you have skills in math? Do you play sports? Are you CPR certified? Families are looking for someone they can trust, and Care.com data shows that parents would pay more for a sitter with CPR & safety training, which is a basic skill that can make any caregiver stand out from other candidates.
Second, caregivers can build their reputation by encouraging families to leave reviews of their service. Profiles with reviews and connections to past families offer a level of confidence to a prospective employer, and Care.com data shows that reviews make candidates six times more likely to be contacted by families.
Also, having a background check on file is extremely helpful in landing a job through our site. Even though a family can purchase a background check, caregivers can run their own and our data shows that when they do, they significantly increase their chances of being hired. which Finally, be proactive and responsive. That means both applying to jobs as well as responding in a timely manner when families reach out. Both approaches let families know a caregiver is responsive and serious about the job opportunity.
Care.com is the world’s largest online marketplace for families to find care for their loved ones and for caregivers to find jobs. Since its founding in 2006, Care.com has been a mission-built organization advocating for accessibility to quality care for families and well-paying meaningful work for caregivers. Today, as a publicly traded company with more than 28 million members spanning 20 countries, Care.com has established itself as both an industry leader and a thought leader, taking significant steps forward in creating solutions to the massive care needs of families and professionalizing the care industry by ensuring that care workers are being paid fair and liveable wages as well as above board, giving them access to the critical benefits traditional employees take for granted, like Social Security, Medicare and Workers’ Compensation.