Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

About The Index

About The Index

The biennial Early Childhood Workforce Index represents the first effort to establish a baseline description of early childhood employment conditions and policies on a state-by-state basis in order to improve early childhood jobs.

The Index provides a current appraisal of workforce conditions and policies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Three topical sections form the bulk of the cross-state analysis: earnings and economic security; early childhood workforce policies; and family and income support policies across occupations. In the section on earnings and economic security, we provide data on early care and education (ECE) workforce pay, noting changes over time. For the remaining two sections, we have identified measurable indicators of state policy for each topic, grouped by categories within each section. These indicators represent opportunities for state policies that have the potential to enhance the lives of the many children and adults affected by ECE employment conditions.

Based on the indicators, we assign states to one of three groups for each category, as follows:

Red represents stalled:
the state has made limited or no progress;
Yellow represents edging forward:
the state has made partial progress;
Green represents making headway:
the state is taking action and advancing promising policies.

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Earnings Child Care Workers

Please Select a State
Please Select a Category
  • Child Care Workers
  • Preschool Teachers
  • Preschool / Child Care Center Directors
  • Kindergarten Teachers
Guide to Indicators
Click on a State to Learn More
AK
WA
OR
HI
ID
CA
MT
NV
WY
UT
ND
CO
AZ
SD
NM
MN
NE
OK
IA
KS
TX
WI
MO
LA
IL
AR
KY
MS
IN
TN
MI
WV
AL
OH
NC
FL
VA
GA
PA
SC
NY
MD
VT
NJ
DC
MA
DE
NH
CT
ME
RI
Percent changes in median wages 2015-2017
Increase ≥ 10%
Increase < 10%
No Change
Decrease < 10%
Decrease ≥ 10%
Unavailable
Percent changes in median wages 2015-2017
Increase ≥ 10%
Increase < 10%
No Change
Decrease < 10%
Decrease ≥ 10%
Unavailable
Percent changes in median wages 2015-2017
Increase ≥ 10%
Increase < 10%
No Change
Decrease < 10%
Decrease ≥ 10%
Unavailable
Percent changes in median wages 2015-2017
Increase ≥ 10%
Increase < 10%
No Change
Decrease < 10%
Decrease ≥ 10%
Unavailable

Early Childhood Workforce Qualifications

Please Select a State
Please Select a Category
  • Qualifications
  • QRIS & work environments
  • Compensation strategies
  • Workforce data
  • Financial Resources
Guide to indicators
Click on a State to Learn More
Minimum qualification requirements and financial supports to achieve higher educational attainment for early educators are crucial to avoid perpetuating the false notion that teaching in early education is low-skilled work.
State Quality Rating and Improvement Systems are an opportunity to signal that early educator work environments — including teaching supports, like paid non-child contact time to perform professional responsibilities, as well as adequate compensation and benefits — are important markers of program quality.
Poor compensation and associated working conditions undermine efforts to improve quality and attract and retain skilled educators. Wage and benefit standards and appropriate funding mechanisms to implement them are key to disrupting the status quo. Tax credits, stipends, and bonuses offer immediate but limited financial relief for early educators.
An enduring challenge for the development of effective workforce policy in the early childhood sector is the lack of comprehensive, quality data. Data collection mechanisms, such as workforce registries and/or workforce surveys, can be developed to provide state-level workforce data but, at a minimum, should be inclusive of the workforce across settings, collect core data elements, and make analyses accessible via public reports.
Progress on policies to prepare, support, and reward early educators requires both system reform and sufficient dedicated funding. States can take steps toward this vision by identifying opportunities to increase funds for early care and education services.
AK
WA
OR
HI
ID
CA
MT
NV
WY
UT
ND
CO
AZ
SD
NM
MN
NE
OK
IA
KS
TX
WI
MO
LA
IL
AR
KY
MS
IN
TN
MI
WV
AL
OH
NC
FL
VA
GA
PA
SC
NY
MD
VT
NJ
DC
MA
DE
NH
CT
ME
RI
Making Headway
Edging Forward
Stalled
N/A

Family & Income Support Policies Income supports

Please Select a State
Please Select a Category
  • Qualifications
  • QRIS & work environments
  • Compensation strategies
  • Workforce data
  • Financial Resources
Guide to indicators
Click on a State to Learn More
State income supports, like minimum wage legislation and refundable tax credits for low-income workers and parents, also can improve the earnings and economic security of early educators.
State supports for health and well-being, like paid sick day and family leave legislation for all those in the labor force, can help to improve working conditions for early educators. Healthier, less-stressed adults are more effective on the job, and for the ECE workforce, that means they are better able to engage in the high-quality interactions that support children’s development and learning.
AK
WA
OR
HI
ID
CA
MT
NV
WY
UT
ND
CO
AZ
SD
NM
MN
NE
OK
IA
KS
TX
WI
MO
LA
IL
AR
KY
MS
IN
TN
MI
WV
AL
OH
NC
FL
VA
GA
PA
SC
NY
MD
VT
NJ
DC
MA
DE
NH
CT
ME
RI
Making Headway
Edging Forward
Stalled
N/A