The ECE workforce experiences high levels of stress, partly because they have low incomes and limited access to professional and personal supports for their own well-being. In addition, the ECE workforce experiences sociopolitical stressors (i.e., stressors that arise from political legislation or from political leaders’ threatening rhetoric). This descriptive study examines one specific set of sociopolitical stressors—those arising from the restrictive, anti-immigrant climate aggravated by the 2016 presidential election.
Findings derive from a cross-sectional survey of 88 educators, paraprofessionals, social workers, administrators, therapists, and family coordinators (hereafter referred to as “educators”) working in schools and centers in New York City conducted from June 2019 through February 2020. Responding educators indicate that they experience stressors because of low incomes coupled with the restrictive, anti-immigrant climate. Educators reported significant stress because of low wages and the national anti-immigrant climate. To strengthen educators’ self-perceived efficacy in calming children’s distress in an anti-immigrant climate, multiple sources of school-based support are necessary: strong organizational communication, extensive informational support, and acknowledgment of immigration-related stressors among all workforce members.