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The average childcare worker makes about $12 an hour. This bill aims to change that

State lawmakers are close to passing two measures aimed to addressing the shortage of qualified childcare workers.
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 9:55 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 2:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State lawmakers are close to passing two measures aimed to addressing the shortage of qualified childcare workers.

The average childcare worker makes about $12 an hour.

Advocates believe the wage is too low for their skills and the reason why many are leaving the workforce for other jobs.

Kathleen Algire, director of early education and health policy for the Hawaii Children’s Action Network, said one of the bills would create a child care compensation pilot to increase wages.

“We’re using a model that some other states have done to increase compensation for initially a pilot program with the hope of scaling up and be able to expand to all,” she said.

“For too long, we’ve kind of assumed that people will do this out of the goodness of their hearts. Then it’s just too it’s too difficult to live in Hawaii with that mentality.”

The second measure proposes creating a child care registry of information about workers, including length of experience, wages and benefits.

The data would be used to develop better policy to meet the needs of families.

“One of the questions that we should be able to answer is how many people do we currently have working in childcare and how many do we do we need? We don’t we can’t actually answer that question right now. We don’t collect that data in a meaningful way,” Algire said.

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