The resources on this page include CSCCE announcements, media articles on the early care and education workforce, and links to speeches and lectures by CSCCE staff.

For universal Pre-K, the devil is in the details

In an interview with Don Fels, Director Marcy Whitebook describes her “strong and deeply informed belief that without decent pay for preschool teachers, high quality preschool for all children cannot be realized.”

Posted March 2015.

Yes They Can: Supporting Bachelor Degree Attainment for Early Childhood Practitioners

Yes They Can: Supporting Bachelor Degree Attainment for Early Childhood Practitioners by Laura Sakai, Fran Kipnis, Marcy Whitebook, and Diana Schaack.
This article, published in Early Childhood Research and Practice, examines the challenges experienced and supports received of early care and education practitioners who return to school to earn their bachelor’s degree. Students assessed the cohort structure of their B.A. program, financial assistance, the schedule and location of classes, as well as academic and technological challenges and supports over time. The study concludes with suggestions for those who design and implement programs on how to best allocate resources to support degree attainment for early care and education practitioners.

Posted February 2015.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages Webinar

“As the kick-off to the workforce webinar series, the Office of Child Care hosted the Worthy Work Webinar to discuss the status of the workforce from “Worthy Work, Still Unlivable Wages,” a new report released by the Center for the Study of Childcare Employment. This report brings forth data about the workforce and the progress made in 25 years. The panel included Marcy Whitebook, Director and Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of Childcare Employment at UC Berkeley, Deborah Phillips, Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, and Lea J.E. Austin of the Center for the Study of Childcare Employment at UC Berkeley.” Watch the webinar here.

Posted February 2015.

HuffPost Live: Can Obama Address The Mess Of American Child Care?

“What does the American child care system look like and what will it take to transform it?” posed HuffPost Live’s Nancy Redd in this 27 minute video featuring CSCCE Director Marcy Whitebook and three other panelists. Watch the chat and tweet us @CSCCEUCB or Facebook at to take part in the conversation.

Posted January 2015.

Teachstone Blog Features Director Whitebook

CSCCE Director Marcy Whitebook is interviewed by Teachstone’s Lisa Rogoff about Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages.

“I enrolled my son in daycare three months ago. He was five months old, and I couldn’t believe I was leaving him in the hands of complete strangers. Since then, I’ve come to adore his teachers for the love they show him and the support they provide to me. I have tremendous respect for their work ethic. I find it challenging to care for my own son, let alone four kids at different developmental stages, and I don’t have to worry about documenting every feeding, diaper change, and nap. One of his teachers goes to school on the weekends and has kids of her own.

So, you can imagine my shock and frustration when I read “Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages,” a new report from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment that highlights how few improvements there have been to the poverty-level earnings of the child-care workforce. I sat down with lead author and Teachstone guest blogger, Marcy Whitebook, to talk about her findings. If you haven’t read the report, I highly recommend it; and I hope this interview will provide further insight into the challenges the early childhood workforce faces.”

Read more here.

Posted January 2015.

Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Childhood Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study

Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Childhood Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study
by Marcy Whitebook, Deborah Phillips, and Carollee Howes

Full Report | Executive Summary | Event Webcast | Media | Report Order Form

“Good quality care requires an environment that values adults as well as children.”
– National Child Care Staffing Study, 1989

The National Child Care Staffing Study (NCCSS) released in 1989, brought national attention for the first time to poverty-level wages and high turnover among early childhood teaching staff, and to the adverse consequences for children. In the succeeding 25 years, combined developments in science, practice, and policy have dramatically shifted the context for discussions about the status of early childhood teaching jobs, and the importance of attracting and retaining a well-prepared workforce that is capable of promoting young children’s learning, health and development.

Today, the explosion of knowledge about what is at stake when early childhood development goes awry has coincided with powerful economic arguments for investments in high-quality early care and education. New evidence about the ways in which stress and economic insecurity challenge teachers’ capacity to provide developmentally supportive care and education is lending scientific support to the claim that child well-being depends on adult well-being not only at home but in out-of-home settings. And, serious debate at the federal level, echoed in virtually every state, is underway about the vital importance of improving the quality of early education, and the most productive strategies for ensuring that young children’s critical early experiences will promote, not undermine, their lifelong learning and healthy development.

Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages compiles evidence from multiple sources to provide a portrait of the early childhood teaching workforce today in comparison to 25 years ago. The need to rely on a variety of data sources to obtain this portrait reveals the absence of a comprehensive, regularly updated database on the status and characteristics of the early childhood workforce. In addition to examining trends in center-based teachers’ education, wages and turnover, the report includes new evidence examining economic insecurity and use of public benefits among this predominantly female, ethnically diverse workforce. The report also appraises state and national efforts to improve early childhood teaching jobs, and offers recommendations aimed at reinvigorating a national conversation about the status and working conditions of the more than two million teaching staff who work in our nation’s early care and education settings.

Special thank you to CentroVITA in Berkeley, CA for the cover picture.

Full ReportExecutive Summary

Selected Appendix Tables

Mean Hourly Wages by State for Childcare Workers, Preschool Teachers, and Kindergarten Teachers

Annual Program Participation Rates in Public Support Programs for Childcare Worker Families, by Selected States

Average Annual Public Support Program Costs for Childcare Worker Families, by Selected States

Previous NCCSS Reports

Who cares? Child care teachers and the quality of care in America. Final report, National Child Care Staffing Study

National Child Care Staffing Study revisited: Four years in the life of center-based child care

Worthy work, unlivable wages: The National Child Care Staffing Study, 1988-1997

Posted November 2014.

Media – Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages

On November 18, 2014, we released Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Childhood Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study by Marcy Whitebook, Deborah Phillips, and Carollee Howes. New America hosted a critical discussion on strategies to change how our nation supports and rewards the early childhood workforce.

Watch Opening RemarksWatch Panel 1Watch Panel 2

CSCCE in the Media

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Take part in the conversation online using #WorthyWages and following @NewAmericaEd and @CSCCEUCB.

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Posted October 2014.

Southern California Public Radio: Preschool teachers among lowest paid despite degrees

In this article, appearing in Southern California NPR, CSCCE Senior Specialist Fran Kipnis points out that preschool teachers with college degrees have abysmally low salaries in comparison to those in other fields: “We find that many folks who get a B.A. in early childhood or child development find that their wages are almost half of what women in the civilian labor force would be,” she said. Furthermore, it has become difficult for teachers to move from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree, especially those of color. Teachers believe that they may get paid more for having a B.A. degree, but Kipnis explains that the slight increase leads to disappointment and teachers may end up leaving the early care and education field.

Read and listen more here.

Posted October 2014.

Building a Skilled Teacher Workforce

Building a skilled teacher workforce: Shared and divergent challenges in early care and education and in grades K-12 prepared by Marcy Whitebook for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2014.

Across the K-12 and early care and education (ECE) communities, similar conversations are underway about how to recruit teachers and strengthen their preparation, how to provide ongoing learning experiences for new and veteran teachers, and how to organize school environments to ensure that all teachers can best address the needs of an increasingly diverse child population. But these conversations are also widely divergent, given that the histories of the two sectors have led to distinct personnel and service delivery systems.

In order to develop an early learning strategy for the U.S. that is capable of improving educational outcomes for young children, it is critical to understand the personnel-related opportunities and challenges the ECE sector faces, as well as how these differ from those encountered in the K-12 sector. This paper discusses the public perception of early childhood teaching, the history and purpose of education for children of different ages, and describes key features of the personnel systems that have emerged from these varied roots, comparing them along several dimensions, and offers several suggestions for promoting a skilled and stable early care and education workforce for the 21st century.

The Foundation commissioned a series of papers to understand the impact of high-quality early childhood programs that are effective in producing lasting gains for young children. Read Building a Skilled Teacher Workforce and Lessons from Research and the Classroom.

Posted September 2014.

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

On August 15th, CSCCE Specialist, Lea J.E. Austin, presented The State of California Early Childhood Higher Education: Informing a Coordinated and Comprehensive Professional Development System to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).  New legislation requires the CTC to undertake a review of the Child Development Permit Matrix and assess the appropriate preparation standards for early childhood educators, including Transitional Kindergarten teachers. The CTC approved the formation of a panel to undertake this review in the coming year. You can download the PowerPoint presentation here.

Posted August 2014.