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.

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

Articles/Editorials
NPR New York Times OpEdBoston GlobeCBS MoneyWatchWashington PostRaleigh News & Observer ArticleOpEdCT News JunkieThink ProgressHartford CourantNew Haven Register | News & Record | Arizona Daily Star | TakePart | Harold Net | Project Syndicate | Northwest Herald | RH Reality Check

Radio
88.5 WFDD | WICC 600AM

Blogs
Huffington Post EducationBellwether Education PartnersGeorgetown UniversityNew America Ed CentralNIEER | CTECA | Child Trends | Talk Poverty | Eye on Early Education

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

We have recently launched a Facebook page. Like us for updates.

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.


An Opportunity for Alignment: Rethinking QRIS as part of Education Accountability

On July 25, 2014 at the QRIS National Meeting, CSCCE Director, Dr. Marcy Whitebook, delivered remarks during the plenary session, An Opportunity for Alignment: Rethinking QRIS as part of Education Accountability. In her remarks, Dr. Whitebook draws attention to three areas that are too often left out of the discussion of quality improvement in the ECE community: compensation, workplace supports and teacher voice. Read her remarks here.

Posted August 2014.


Assessing What Teachers Need to Help Children Succeed

CSCCE Announces Commitment to Action at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) Meeting

On June 25th, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) announced our Commitment to Action, Assessing What Teachers Need to Help Children Succeed, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting. This represents a two-year commitment to expand the use of, and scale up our online tool, Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) and accompanying services and training resources.

SEQUAL plays a critical role in informing quality improvement strategies as it gathers teaching staff perspectives about quality improvement by addressing five critical areas of teachers’ learning environments: teaching supports, learning opportunities, policies and practices that support teaching staff initiative and teamwork, adult well-being, and how supervisors interact with staff to support their teaching practice. Just as children’s environments can support or impede their learning, work environments promote or hinder teachers’ practice and ongoing skill development.

CSCCE Specialist, Lea Austin, marks Committment to Action with Former President Bill Clinton (Photographer: Clinton Global Initiative)

Contact us to find out more about SEQUAL and how you can be a partner in this Commitment to Action, cscceinfo@berkeely.edu.


About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.


About CGI America

Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America)—an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation—addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since the first meeting in 2011, CGI America participants have made more than 300 commitments valued at more than $15.3 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.

Posted August 2014.


Mentors as Teachers, Learners, and Leaders

In this article, which appeared in the July/August 2014 edition of Exchange Magazine, Marcy Whitebook and co-author Dan Bellm, discuss three aspects of mentoring – mentors as teachers, mentors and learners, and mentors as leaders – that are essential for developing a skilled corps of mentors who are responsible for helping early childhood teachers improve their practice. The article includes a discussion of the supports that mentors need to help them develop and improve their effectiveness as mentors, as well as a discussion of the unique leadership role a mentor has in the field as someone is sits at the nexus of policy and practice.

Mentors as Teachers, Learners, and Leaders

Copyright © Exchange Press, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Exchange magazine. All rights reserved. Access Exchange Magazine at www.ChildCareExchange.com or call (800) 221-2864.

Posted July 2014.


Teachstone Blog: “Adult Learning Environments & Teacher Practice”

Marcy Whitebook was a featured writer for Interaction Matters: The Teachstone Blog. The piece, Adult Learning Environments & Teacher Practice, was posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014.

Click here to read her article.

Posted April 2014.


Science of Children: Perspectives on the Workforce for Birth through 8

The National Academy of Sciences: Institute of Medicine held a public session in Washington D.C. on February 28th, 2014 to get input from stakeholders in Early Childhood Education. Marcy Whitebook participated on the second panel to discuss issues related to the ECE workforce.

Click here to watch the panel discussion.

Click here to watch the Q&A with the audience.

Posted March 2014.