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Press Release

High turnover in childcare sector holds back broader workforce

Turnover among U.S. childcare workers was about 65% higher than turnover in the median occupation in 2022, which creates challenges for the broader workforce, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Roughly half of childcare workers leaving their jobs exit the labor force entirely, often citing obligations at home.

Turnover in the childcare sector is often linked to low wages. Childcare workers in 2022 had the 10th lowest annual median wage out of 825 occupations with publicly available wage data.

“The pay for a childcare worker does not provide a living wage for a single adult plus one child in any state,” writes Kyle Fee, Community Development Policy Advisor at the Cleveland Fed.

Many providers had relied on funding from the American Rescue Plan’s Child Care Stabilization Program, which recently expired.

Stability in the sector matters to the broader economy, helping promote full employment “while building the foundation for the workforce of the future,” Fee writes.

Read the report: Using Worker Flows to Assess the Stability of the Early Childcare and Education Workforce, 2010–2022

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Chuck Soder,, 216.672.2798