After years of silent sacrifices and unseen struggles, Black women are still holding up the child care industry

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet focused on education.

The impact of Black people in early care and education cannot be overstated. Black women, in particular, have played a crucial role in American society, caring for multiple generations of children.

Recent reports indicate that 95 percent of child care workers are female. And although Black people make up only 13 percent of the total U.S. workforce, 18 percent of U.S. child care workers are Black.

Early education and child care represent the most racially diverse and lowest-paid sector of the teaching workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that child care workers make an average of $14.22 an hour. That’s just $29,570 a year. And Black child care educators earn an average of 78 cents less per hour than their white counterparts.

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