Early childhood education in the USA has become popular over the years. There have been a lot of controversial questions on the topic but this article will focus on how much demand the industry has.
High-paying cities for early childhood education in the USA
The early childhood profession has low wages, particularly in the private sector. The workforce includes family childcare providers, Head Start and child care center teachers, and preschool teachers outside of the public school system. Median wages for this profession are below the state’s cost of living.
In the United States, the average salary for early childhood educators is $34,500 per year, with top earners making $41,000. The average salary range for this occupation varies by almost $9,500 and is based on the years of experience, location, and skill level.
Earning a doctorate degree in early childhood education can help you secure a higher salary. While most employers require a PhD, some community colleges will accept a master’s degree.
Impact of state adequacy cases on salaries
While the increase in public funding for early childhood education is a good thing, it may be counterproductive to raise teacher and administrator salaries. In addition, adequacy studies tend to produce static analyses, assuming that the cost structure of today will be the same tomorrow. As a result, teacher and administrator unions will likely not demand pay increases in exchange for the increased funding.
Low wages for early childhood educators translate into poverty. In fact, their poverty rates are seven times higher than those for teachers in the K-8 system. This means that early educators often have to choose between a paycheck and their health and safety. The state of their salaries can have a significant impact on their professional development and compensation.
Although the situation has been dire for some years now, it is likely that the situation will only worsen. Despite recent reforms, childcare programs have struggled financially for many years. Many have had to reduce class sizes in order to adhere to social distancing protocols and purchase additional sanitation and personal protective equipment. Moreover, the majority of childcare workers are women.
Impact of Teacher Recognition Program (TRP) on compensation for early educators
The Teacher Recognition Program (TRP) is a program that rewards teachers for their contributions to early education. It has a number of benefits, including lowering financial stress and turnover. It also helps create more stable early education settings for children. To qualify, teachers must spend 30 hours a week with young children. Participating sites include school-based pre-K programs and child-care centers.
The TRP has been in effect for several years. While the impact on compensation for early educators is still preliminary, it provides positive news for states that are currently using COVID-19 relief funds to support teachers and stabilize the child-care industry. However, a large majority of early educators are unsure of the future of their employment. In this case, the TRP could help.
In addition to providing benefits to teachers, the TRP can also help to increase the salaries of early educators. Some states have implemented stipend programs while others are in the process of implementing these programs. In addition to these states, Alaska has a child care grant program that is designated to boost early educator compensation.