Caitlin has over a decade of research experience in early care and education systems and policy. As CSCCE’s Director of Multi-State and International Programs, she leads cross-state early care and education (ECE) workforce policy projects. These include the biennial Early Childhood Workforce Index and related research on ECE compensation initiatives and workforce data. Caitlin also provides and oversees technical assistance to state-level stakeholders looking to improve their policies to prepare, support, and compensate early educators. Prior to joining CSCCE in 2015, Caitlin’s research focused on comparative early care and education policy in the United States and Europe, with a special emphasis on the United Kingdom. Caitlin earned a Ph.D. in Social Policy from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys reading and talking to her four cats.
Publications by Caitlin McLean
The Early Educator Workforce Crisis: How Legislators Can Make a Difference for Kids, Families, and Educators
March 16, 2023 • Fact Sheet • By Annie Dade and Caitlin McLean
Early care and education (ECE) reform is a priority issue for the majority of voters across party lines. This fact sheet provides legislators with key issues facing the ECE workforce,…
Bold on Early Educator Compensation Learning Community 2022: Lessons from State Actions
February 15, 2023 • Brief • By Annie Dade and Caitlin McLean
This brief shares lessons learned from the Bold on Early Educator Compensation Learning Community 2022. Each lesson is explored through examples of state actions on compensation. The executive summary table…
Supporting Early Educator Compensation Through Strong Data Collection
November 7, 2022 • Blog • By Krista Olson, Annie Dade and Caitlin McLean
Early educators provide a crucial public good, yet are unacceptably underpaid. In light of poverty-level wages that fuel a workforce shortage, some states have used…
How Are States Tackling the Early Educator Compensation Crisis?
July 12, 2022 • Blog • By Annie Dade and Caitlin McLean
This blog post describes strategies that state leaders are taking to address the early educator compensation crisis. Drawing on CSCCE’s Compensation Database and Compensation Learning Community, we share common approaches…
Early Childhood Workforce Index 2020
February 23, 2021 • Report • By Caitlin McLean, Lea J.E. Austin, Marcy Whitebook and Krista Olson
The latest edition of our biennial report provides a data-rich look at state-based policies and conditions for the early care and education workforce.
Increased Compensation for Early Educators: It's Not Just "Nice to Have" — It's a Must-Have
February 11, 2020 • Blog • By Caitlin McLean
Imagine your niece or nephew is headed off to college next year. They tell you that they want to work with young children because they want to have an impact…