This brief shares findings from an analysis using U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey data to examine child care workers’ experience of economic hardship from 2021 to 2022 along different measures of economic hardship, across time, by race and ethnicity, and whether child care workers lived with young children. We find:
- Child care workers experienced high rates of hardship compared to other employed persons:
- Reports of housing insecurity ranged from a high of 25 percent to a low of 11 percent during the period April 2021 to May 2022
- Reports of energy insecurity ranged from a high of 59 percent to a low of 29 percent during the period August 2021 to August 2022
- Reports of difficulty with household expenses ranged from a high of 79 percent to a low of 49 percent during the period April 2021 to August 2022
- Reports of food insecurity ranged from a high of 63 percent to a low of 25 percent during the period April 2021 to August 2022
- Black and Latino child care workers experienced more hardship than White and Asian child care workers; differences in rates of hardship by race and ethnicity were observed for housing insecurity, food insecurity, and difficulty with household expenses.
- Child care workers living with young children experienced higher rates of energy insecurity than child care workers living without young children.
- Findings support policies to raise wages, improve workplace benefits, and raise the wage floor for child care workers.