Winnie launches new job marketplace for childcare workers

While staffing has long been a challenge in the childcare industry, the pandemic has left many childcare centers more financially battered than ever before, making it particularly difficult to attract talent and continue to serve families. Industry staff remain 12.4% below pre-pandemic levels, according to a recent report by Wells Fargo, and childcare centers are struggling to make ends meet and retain workers who can often find more lucrative opportunities amid a hot labor market find.

Another hurdle that many child care centers face is how to market their work as just word-of-mouth and informal networks. With the launch of a new childcare job market, novice Winnie is trying to bridge that gap by linking potential appointments with open positions at childcare centers.

“They are really facing an unprecedented staff crisis, which has led to many daycare and preschools we work with closing classrooms and the ability to take fewer children because there are really strict relationship requirements in childcare,” says Sara Mauskopf, co-founder and HUB. of Winnie. “We looked at, ‘Is this an area we are well positioned to help with?’ And it made a lot of sense, because we have this very large audience of both parents and child care providers — really the perfect audience to advertise these positions for. ”

For Winnie — who already boasts a directory of more than 250,000 licensed day care and nursery schools and has helped millions of parents obtain child care — it is also an opportunity to improve the quality of child care work by encouraging day care centers to raise wages and to take advantage. One way to ensure those higher wages is by ensuring that child care centers can fill vacancies immediately. “We help these childcare businesses to operate more profitably, so they have funds to pay their teachers,” says Mauskopf. “A great way they can pay better without necessarily raising prices on parents is just to run a more efficient program. We do not want them to have spaces imperfect for months when people age out of their program, because it eats up their profit margins. ”

In an industry with meager margins and limited federal funding, it is no small feat to raise salaries, especially when average hourly wages move around $ 13. However, Mauskopf hopes that a childcare council dedicated to childcare posts will help promote healthy competition and increase retention by providing more visibility into wages across different employers. Mauskopf also points out that many childcare employers already offer attractive benefits to their workers who are also seeking childcare, from subsidizing education to offering a guaranteed place in their center. “If there is not a good way to see that the child care center in the street might offer a better position, you can leave the field completely,” she says. “We would much rather have people stay in the field and work only for an employer who can provide them with higher wages and better benefits.”

For now, the new marketplace will only be open to a select group of child care centers that have signed up for Winnie Pro, a subscription service for providers who want help scaling up their business. “These are already businesses that are focused on growing and operating more efficiently,” says Mauskopf. “We want to make sure we also help providers highlight benefits and make these positions engaging and interesting – and also help them understand the other positions in their area so they can compete with other employers.” But in the end, she hopes to expand access to other child care providers on Winnie’s platform.

“Ultimately, we’re in this business to help more families access child care,” she says. “There is currently a great shortage of childcare that is fairly directly related to staff. We really want it to be a fundamental human right in this country, that you can have access to quality, early care and education. And that is still a long way off. ”

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