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The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment focuses on issues relating to the nearly half a million teachers currently employed in some 115,000 regulated child care centers and the estimated 1.8 million workers, including paid relatives, who care for children in home-based settings in the United States. Through its research, policy analysis and development, its aims to improve child care jobs and services.

Cover page of Early Care and Education Programs During COVID-19: Persistent Inequities and Emerging Challenges

Early Care and Education Programs During COVID-19: Persistent Inequities and Emerging Challenges

(2022)

This report takes a closer look at the impact of COVID-19 on early care and education (ECE) programs, staffing and disparities using data collected by the Center by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) through the 2020 California Early Care and Education Workforce Study.

The ECE system has been under-resourced and undervalued since well before the pandemic (McLean et al., 2021). Low pay and poor working environment have long plagued the ECE industry as key drivers of chronic high turnover rates and teacher staffing shortages in the field (U.S. Department of Treasury, 2021). Additional disparities within the system place providers on vastly different financial footing as a function of the type of program in which they operate, their access to public funding, and characteristics of the families they serve (Austin et al., 2018Whitebook et al., 2014). The pandemic has exacerbated these pre-existing issues.

Cover page of Double or Nothing? Potential TK Wages for California’s Early Educators

Double or Nothing? Potential TK Wages for California’s Early Educators

(2022)

California has proposed a broad expansion of transitional kindergarten (TK), a school-based early learning program serving four-year-olds. This improvement will make TK universally available to all four-year-olds by 2025, framed as a pillar of the state’s early care and education (ECE) system.

Cover page of “The Forgotten Ones”—The Economic Well-Being of Early Educators During COVID-19

“The Forgotten Ones”—The Economic Well-Being of Early Educators During COVID-19

(2022)

For decades, low levels of public investment in this sector have kept the ECE workforce—largely women of color and immigrant women—in a grim financial bind.

During the first year of the pandemic, the majority of early educators continued to work in person—risking their health and that of their families—while K-12 schools closed for distance learning. This report reveals new details on the economic realities of life as an early educator during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Cover page of Education and Experience of the California ECE Workforce

Education and Experience of the California ECE Workforce

(2022)

This data snapshot focuses on the education and experience of family child care providers, center directors, and center-based teaching staff in California.

From October through December 2020, we surveyed representative samples of approximately 2,000 center administrators and 3,000 home-based family child care (FCC) providers, as well as non-probability samples of about 2,500 center-based teaching staff members and 280 transitional kindergarten (TK) teachers. Estimated workforce sizes for each of the populations are 24,700 FCC providers, 9,500 center directors, 60,800 center-based teachers, and 23,000 center-based assistant teachers (data snapshot on workforce size). 

Cover page of Josephine S. Yates: Pedagogical Giant and Organizational Leader in Early Education and Beyond

Josephine S. Yates: Pedagogical Giant and Organizational Leader in Early Education and Beyond

(2022)

Josephine Silone Yates (1859-1912) was an educator, writer, and Black women’s club leader, whose career and community work was grounded in a commitment to “racial uplift,” emphasizing the improvement of newly freed Black communities post-emancipation. One of the first Black women professors in the United States, Yates taught at Lincoln Institute, now Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri (Dublin, 2020). Yates was integral to the establishment of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in 1896 (Dublin, 2020), and as the organization’s second president (1901-1904), she put her knowledge to work by establishing the NACW’s infrastructure to expand early care and education opportunities for Black children across the country (Robbins, 2011).

Early learning and child development theory shaped Yates’s pedagogical philosophy and grounded her advocacy for day nurseries and kindergartens, which remains a less-recognized aspect of her life’s work (Robbins, 2011). Her writings evidence her pedagogical fluency through the discussion of various educational theories and research and distinguish her as a great thought leader in education across the human lifespan. Nonetheless, Yates’s intellectual leadership and expertise in education is woefully understudied, buried like the efforts of many 20th-century Black women whose perspectives on the role of education in Black liberation surpassed the boundaries of the Black men who dominate historical memory (Robbins, 2011).

Cover page of Demographics of the California ECE Workforce

Demographics of the California ECE Workforce

(2022)

This data snapshot features demographics for center directors, family child care providers, and center teachers in California. It is one of a series of releases from CSCCE’s 2020 California Early Care & Education (ECE) Workforce Study, the first comprehensive study of early educators in the state in more than 15 years.

From October through December 2020, we surveyed representative samples of approximately 2,000 center administrators and 3,000 home-based family child care (FCC) providers, as well as non-probability samples of about 2,500 center-based teaching staff members and 280 transitional kindergarten teachers.

Cover page of New Data Shows Early Educators Equipped to Teach TK

New Data Shows Early Educators Equipped to Teach TK

(2021)

California is moving quickly to transform transitional kindergarten (TK) into a universal preschool program to be available to all four-year-olds in the state by 2025 (California Legislative Information, 2021b).

This will create the need for as many as 8,000 to 11,000 additional lead TK teachers.1 In child care centers and family child care homes across the state, a diverse cadre of early educators are experienced in teaching young children and well prepared to meet this demand. Yet this expansion of TK — currently planned to operate exclusively in public school settings — risks bypassing these trained professionals. Without careful attention to how TK is implemented, this model stands to bring greater instability to the early care and education (ECE) system and fuel existing racial pay gaps among the ECE workforce, ultimately undermining the state’s vision for an equitable system for children, families, and educators.

This snapshot highlights original key findings from a recent workforce survey of center-based and TK teachers and includes analysis of secondary data that are immediately relevant to the expansion of transitional kindergarten.2 Additional findings from the workforce study, including results from family child care (FCC) providers and center administrators, are forthcoming.

Cover page of At the Wage Floor: Covering Homecare and Early Care and Education Workers in the New Generation of Minimum Wage Laws, 2018

At the Wage Floor: Covering Homecare and Early Care and Education Workers in the New Generation of Minimum Wage Laws, 2018

(2021)

The dynamics of minimum wage increases vary across industries based on each industry’s specific structure. Nowhere are the distinct dynamics more pronounced and challenging than for those employed in human services industries. This paper focuses on an important subset of these workers: those who provide homecare and early care and education services to the very young, people with disabilities, and those who are frail due to age or illness. We explain the pressing need to raise these workers’ wages and the unique structure of their industries that results in a funding squeeze for wage increases—at the root of this is the fact that most families are unable to afford all of the homecare and child care they need, never mind pay enough to ensure that workers earn a living wage, and public human services are chronically underfunded.

These workers provide a critical (but too often unrecognized) public good; as such, we argue that a significant public investment is a necessary part of the solution, both to deliver minimum wage increases to these workers and to cover the significant unmet need for care. We provide background about the shared and divergent challenges in the homecare and early care and education industries, as well as review emerging policy initiatives to fund wage increases for homecare and early care and education workers and identify principles for public policy going forward.

Cover page of Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity: Lessons From Seven States and Cities, 2017

Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity: Lessons From Seven States and Cities, 2017

(2021)

This report is the third resource in a three-part series on pre-K teacher compensation parity, jointly undertaken by CSCCE and NIEER. The report examines parity policies in 5 states (Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon, and West Virginia) and 2 cities (New York City and San Antonio) in order to understand the policy rationale and process for moving toward compensation parity for pre-K teachers in different contexts.