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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Washington: Seattle’s Minimum Wage Policy Affects Child Care Businesses

More than half of child care business in Seattle, Washington, saw their labor costs increase after the city raised its minimum wage to $13 per hour in April 2015, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health. The study was published in a special issue of the Social Work and Society International Online Journal.

The study also found that much of the city’s child care businesses will be impacted as the policy increases to $15 per hour between 2019 and 2021. The most common strategic response reported by the businesses has been to raise tuition while cutting staff hours or jobs.

“This study illustrates how singular policies can affect more than just payroll and can shape organizational structure and service delivery,” said lead author Dr. Jennifer Otten, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and core faculty in the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

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[Photo: Dr. Jennifer Otten]