Rest assured, your daycare is no brain trust. Daycare workers are counted among the lowest-paid -- yet most crucial -- employees who are shaping the nation's future. Although pay varies by education and experience, many daycare workers earn only minimum wage. Odds are, the really likeable employee in her early 20s who is willing to read your child's favorite book (over and over again) is probably not a college graduate. If she were, she'd seek better-paying work. Or become the daycare center's director and get a steady salary.
The front-line workers who spend the most time with your child often have the lowest education levels. Each state has its own licensing requirements, but in some cases, workers don't even need a high school diploma. In other instances, they're required to have a national Child Development Associate credential or a college degree. Regardless, they're susceptible to high turnover rates. As much as they may like your child, if the daycare down the street pays 10 cents an hour more, they'll jump.