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Minimum wage boost could decrease affordable child care

LA School Report | May 22, 2015

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By Deepa Fernandes

The higher minimum wage in the city of Los Angeles may harm the very poor families it is intended to help, according to members of the child care planning committee that advises the county.

The L.A. City Council voted Tuesday to raise the minimum wage from the current $9 an hour to $10.50 on July 1, 2016 and then in annual steps up to $15 on July 1, 2020.

City leaders proposed the increase to address California’s income inequality and its high cost of living. But there may be unintended consequences for both child care providers and the low-income earners many of them serve.

Most people in the child care field agree that preschool teachers and child care workers, among the lowest paid professions, need the higher pay. However, administrators of child care centers say they don’t receive enough money per child to cover the scheduled wage increases.

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