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Painting a detailed portrait of those who fulfill teaching and caregiving roles is exceedingly difficult. Depending on the data source used, estimates of the size and scope of the early childhood workforce vary widely. In part, these variations can be attributed to whether researchers gather information provided by parents, by members of the early childhood workforce, or by their employers.

The national snapshot of the early childhood workforce presented here draws on CSCCE’s analysis of the 2012 NSECE data, which permits the most detailed examination of the characteristics of those who care for and educate young children in different settings compared to other national-level data sources.

However, since state-level analysis is not possible for all states in the NSECE, we relied on data from the DoL and Census in the sections of the Index that report the size and earnings of the early childhood workforce by state.