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These reports were funded by the Early Educator Investment Collaborative and co-authored by staff at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, National Institute of Early Education Research, and Bellwether Education Partners.

CSCCE led the development of three research reports that provide a nationwide analysis of trends, gaps, and opportunities facing early educator preparation programs and state competency and compensation policies. 

While the research was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has only made the situation worse, with many states unsure about how to rebuild the early childhood workforce lost to the effects of the pandemic. COVID-19 has laid bare the consequences of a patchwork professional development and compensation system that isn’t meeting the needs of our country’s children, families, employers, or educators.

The collective findings of these three reports, summarized below, demonstrate that a comprehensive national strategy is critical to driving states’ policy efforts and investments.

  1. 50-State Early Educator Policy and Practice Research. A comprehensive exploration of multiple areas and challenges the field faces to determine why states struggle to make progress for the early educator workforce, where progress should be made, and what barriers need to be overcome.
  2. Early Educator Preparation Landscape. A deeper look at educator preparation systems—their role in the early care and education system and why states need to take this key component into consideration.
  3. Early Educator Preparation and Compensation Policies: Voices from 10 States. A detailed look at on-the-ground experiences on why reform is so difficult, providing insight into how the field makes change, particularly as circumstances become increasingly dire.