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What is the Priority?
Improve the wages, benefits, on-the-job supports, and professional learning early educators need to help children learn.
Why is this Priority Important?
- Early educators are among the lowest-paid workers in every state (Whitebook, McLean, Austin, & Edwards, 2018).
- Even after controlling for educational attainment, African American educators still earn an average of $0.78 less per hour than white early educators, which means $1,622.40 less per year for a full-time, full-year worker. (https://cscce.berkeley.edu/racial-wage-gaps-in-early-education-employment/)
- At every level of educational attainment, there is a wage penalty for teachers working exclusively with infants and toddlers, compared to those working with preschool-age children (three- to five-year-olds). (https://cscce.berkeley.edu/racial-wage-gaps-in-early-education-employment/)
- Research has confirmed a link between less economic worry and better well-being of early educators and higher-quality interactions between teacher and child that are so crucial to facilitating young children’s learning and development (https://cscce.berkeley.edu/educator-work-environments-are-childrens-learning-environments-how-and-why-they-should-be-improved/)
- Current systems and policies don’t place enough value on the knowledge and competencies required of early educators (http://k12accountability.org/resources/Early-Intervention/NAS_Birth_to_Age-8_Unified_Framework.pdf)
- Many high qualified early educators could benefit from a career pathway that is reflective of increasing competency not just increasing education (http://k12accountability.org/resources/Early-Intervention/NAS_Birth_to_Age-8_Unified_Framework.pdf)
What are some Common Sense Solutions?
The Child Care Innovation Fund is seeking equitable strategies to Improve wages, benefits, on-the-job supports, and professional learning (career pathway) for the child care workforce. Below are some examples of solutions others have tried to make an impact on this Priority. These examples should not limit the innovation ideas proposed by grantseekers.