Policy Brief

Increase Support for Child Care Providers

To establish wages and benefits for all early educators based on their education and level of experience, with parity between kindergarten teacher compensation and that of early educators with comparable backgrounds.


During this past year, several more child care businesses across Alaska closed their doors, leaving parents struggling to find child care in a market where the supply continually fails to meet the demand. The positive impact of federal relief funds on the child care sector demonstrates that public investment in child care can help safeguard this market. But the continued struggles of child care businesses indicate a need for a significant, sustainable investment in policies that directly support the workforce.

One of the specific challenges currently facing child care businesses is hiring and retaining early educators. Salaries in other industries, including retail stores and fast food restaurants, are increasing. Early educators are leaving the field for jobs with higher wages and better benefits, resulting in child businesses closing their doors due to a lack of educators. Child care businesses can’t afford to pay higher wages without raising costs for parents. And while child care providers are educated and well-trained, they aren’t paid based on their knowledge, experience, or the value of their service.