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Benefits of the District of Columbia’s Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund for Workforce Well-Being and Retention

In 2021, the Council of the District of Columbia (DC) established the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund, a landmark initiative aimed at achieving pay parity between early educators in DC-licensed child care programs and teachers in DC public schools. Funded through a tax on DC’s highest earners, the Pay Equity Fund marks a first-in-the-nation revenue stream dedicated to boosting early educators’ compensation. In the first phase of implementation, annual payments of $14,000 for full-time lead teachers and $10,000 for full-time assistant teachers promoted the financial well-being of a historically low-paid workforce. In this virtual event, Urban Institute researchers will present evaluation findings documenting the benefits of pay equity for early educators, the programs where they work, and the children and families in their care. 



  • Justin B. Doromal, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Erica Greenberg, Senior Fellow and Co–Principal Investigator, District of Columbia Child Care Policy Research Partnership, Urban Institute
  • Laura Jimenez Parra, Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Sara Mead, Deputy Superintendent of Early Learning, District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Heather Sandstrom, Senior Fellow and Principal Investigator, District of Columbia Child Care Policy Research Partnership, Urban Institute


Support for this event is provided by the Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services, as part of financial assistance award Grant #90YE0284 totaling $1.6 million. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Wednesday, February 7, 2024

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