Why should you consider a statewide workforce study?
While overall program quality is important, a child’s teacher is the backbone of their experience in an early care and education program. Highly qualified teachers know how to use the resources available to them to enrich children’s lives. However, far fewer early care and education teachers have degrees than their K-12 counterparts and are compensated at a much lower rate. In North Carolina, for instance, the median salary for the birth to 5 education teaching staff in 2019 was $12.00 per hour and 62% had an associate degree or higher.
Why should Child Care Services Association do the study?
Founded in 1974, CCSA provides direct services in North Carolina and across the nation, in addition to its research services. Working directly in the field provides a broader, more concrete perspective than a strict research organization. As the creator of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program, CCSA understands states’ need to understand the education, compensation and experience of early care and education providers. Additionally, CCSA works directly with child care providers and families and witnesses their struggles first-hand. Our research is easily accessible and provides useful information to policymakers and program creators.
Child care workforce studies that focus on the education, experience, compensation, turnover and demographics of the workforce are the mainstay of CCSA’s research efforts. In fact, CCSA’s first workforce study conducted in the 1980s led to the creation of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program. Although primarily focused on North Carolina, CCSA has conducted more than 200 workforce studies and consulted on studies across the nation.
What type of data can I expect from an early care and education workforce study?
An early care and education workforce study focuses on the education, experience, pay, benefits, turnover and demographics of the workforce, including directors, teaching staff and family child care providers. Detailed questions are asked in a way that is sensitive to the literacy levels of the respondents, while also yielding a variety of analysis options to better understand the interplay between factors. Asking consistent questions over time allows comparisons as new strategies are introduced to determine whether the workforce is progressing as expected. These questions, especially when asked over time, can provide invaluable information about the need for expansion and impact of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program.
What are the different options?
There are many options available for workforce studies. Studies can focus only on your state’s early care and education centers or be broadened to include both centers and family child care homes. Depending on the richness of the data you seek, CCSA can survey the state’s entire workforce or a random sample of the population statewide, regionally or in counties that can be stratified to ensure population representation. Finally, if funding is low but in-kind resources are available, CCSA can guide you through the data collection process and analyze the data for you.
How much would a workforce study cost?
The cost depends on the size of your early care and education workforce, whether you include only centers or both centers and homes, the sampling method you choose and whether you need county-specific information or a statewide report. Though a high-quality workforce study can be costly, the information you receive about the early care and education professionals in your state will be invaluable.