Wisconsin child care centers face worker shortage

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Child care directors across Wisconsin are struggling to find and retain workers, which advocates say further reduces the availability of care.

Research conducted by the liberal Center for American Progress found that over half of Wisconsin children live in a "child care desert," where there's only one slot of licensed child care for every three children.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that many child care providers blame the worker shortage on poor benefits and low wages. The average child care worker in Wisconsin earns $10.33 an hour, and most centers can't afford to pay their employees more.

Abbi Kruse runs The Playing Field in Madison. Kruse says 89 percent of the center's revenue goes to staff salaries and benefits.

Kruse says that they'd have to charge families higher tuition to raise teacher pay.