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. By providing states with periodic appraisals of their efforts, based on measurable status and policy indicators, the aim is to encourage states to step up their efforts to address these persistent workforce challenges and to inform related advocacy efforts. It is our hope that expanded and consistent focus on early childhood jobs will in turn generate refined strategies and stimulate the incubation and testing of sustainable policies to resolve compensation and other workforce issues that have gone largely unaddressed.

View the full Index

Back To Home

How the Index Works

How the Index Works

The Index provides a current appraisal of workforce conditions and policies across states. It is divided into three topical sections: 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 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.

Earnings Child care workers

Please Select a State
Please Select a Category
  • Child Care Workers
  • Preschool Teachers
Guide to indicators
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 2010-2015
Increase
No Change
Decrease <5%
Decrease 5 to <10%
Decrease ≥10%
Percent changes in median wages 2010-2015
Increase ≥20%
Increase 10 to <20%
Increase <10%
No Change
Decrease
Unavailable

Early Childhood Workforce Qualifications

Please Select a State
Please Select a Category
  • Qualifications
  • QRIS & work environments
  • Compensation strategies
  • Financial Resources
  • Workforce data
Guide to indicators
Show Hide Details
The 50 states and the District of Columbia set their own qualification standards for early educators, and those requirements vary widely. States making headway require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for pre-K teachers and at least a Child Development Associate® Credential (CDA), or vocational training, for licensed child care providers. States edging forward meet the criteria of at least one indicator, and states are stalled if they meet none of the indicators.
State Quality Rating and Improvement Systems are an opportunity to signal that early educator work environments are important markers of quality. States making headway include in their QRIS at least two of the following for both center- and home-based providers: a) paid time in professional development; b) paid planning and/or preparation time; and c) salary schedule/benefits. States edging forward include two or more of these provisions for center-based but not home-based providers or include only one for both center- and home-based providers. States are stalled if they include none of these markers of quality.
Poor compensation and associated working conditions undermine efforts to improve quality and attract and retain skilled educators. States making headway require salary parity for pre-K teachers and offer a wage supplement program. States edging forward meet the criteria of at least one indicator. States are stalled if they meet none of the indicators.
Progress on policies to prepare, support, and reward the workforce requires sufficient dedicated funding. States making headway: a) spent more than the minimum federal requirements for the Child Care and Development Block Grant; b) applied for at least one of two recent federal grants (Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge and Preschool Development or Expansion Grants); and c) spend on pre-K more than half of what they spend on K-12. States edging forward meet the criteria of two indicators. States are stalled if they meet one indicator at most.
Updated October 2016
An enduring challenge for the development of effective workforce policy in the early childhood sector is the lack of comprehensive, quality data. States making headway have at least one formal mechanism to track the ECE workforce across settings, and that mechanism: a) is reasonably comprehensive; b) includes compensation as a key data element; and c) is used to report data publicly. States edging forward meet the criteria of at least two indicators. States are stalled if they do not meet at least two indicators.

Correction: An earlier version of the Index incorrectly stated that North Carolina's workforce data did not meet our criteria for comprehensiveness.
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
  • Financial Resources
  • Workforce data
Guide to indicators
Show Hide Details
State income supports and child care assistance for low-income workers and parents also can improve the earnings and economic security of early educators. States making headway have three or more of the following: a) refundable earned income tax credit; b) minimum wage above the federal minimum, indexed to inflation; c) child care assistance set at the maximum federal income eligibility limit; d) refundable child and dependent care tax credit. States edging forward meet at least two indicators. States are stalled if they meet one indicator at most.
State supports for health and well-being for all those in the labor force can help to improve working conditions for early educators. States making headway have expanded Medicaid eligibility and also have paid family leave and/or paid sick day legislation. States edging forward have expanded Medicaid eligibility alone. States are stalled if they meet none of the indicators.
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