Here is our headline on this test story
While Ms. Brydges, 27, said she appreciates that living in McKeesport is cheaper than other places — “I could never afford to live in Pittsburgh,” she says — much of her paycheck and some child support are still covering just the basics.
She would like to be able to take her kids to places such as the Carnegie Science Center.
“Things like that, we can’t do, because my paycheck’s food. So, if I could make more money, I could do more things.”
Ms. Brydges, who has worked at several child care centers and has been a nanny, also is working on a Child Development Associate Credential.
She is trying to work her way out of the paradox faced by countless child care workers and parents — although child care is typically very costly and difficult for working parents to afford, child care workers often earn low wages and are barely scraping by.
For child care workers in the Pittsburgh area, the average hourly wage is $11.50, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an average annual wage of $23,090.
“It’s a huge challenge for the child care sector that, really parents and families can’t pay any more for child care, and yet the providers can’t make any less than they currently do,” said Lissa Geiger Shulman, director of public policy at Pittsburgh-based advocacy group Trying Together.