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Advisory panel recommends a pay bump for Connecticut child care workers

Some corporations are opening up their doors to providing more support for child care.
Evgeniia Siiankovskaia
Getty Images
Connecticut looks to increase wages for its child care workers.

A Connecticut Blue Ribbon Panel on child care has drafted a recommendation that seeks increased pay for child care workers.

Beth Bye is the commissioner for the Office of Early Childhood. She said a strong child care system benefits the state’s economy by helping attract and retain young families and increasing the workforce.

But child care workers’ salaries are so low some cannot afford daycare for their own children, she told a meeting of the child care panel on Thursday.

“How messed up is the system that the person working in the field has challenges accessing child care for their own children,” Bye said.

The burdens of child care fall disproportionately on families with young children but also on female workers, predominantly female workers of color, who've been subsidizing the system for decades,” she added.

The Blue Ribbon Panel’s draft recommendation calls for the state to sustain its currently budgeted 17% increase for state-funded programs, and 11% increase in subsidy for non-state-funded funded programs, over the next five years.

That would support higher wages for child care workers, Bye said.

The panel’s final recommendation is to be submitted to Gov. Ned Lamont in December.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.