This study examines the compensation of early childhood educators in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region. It documents the low hourly wages of early childhood educators in center-based, family child care, and school settings. It considers costs, benefits, and potential strategies associated with increasing educator compensation to achieve parity with public school kindergarten teachers. It speaks to the ongoing debate over addressing persistently low compensation in the field as part of a broader strategy of professionalizing the workforce and improving quality across diverse early learning settings.
This report was updated January 16, 2019. On pages 44 and 47, the descriptions of the WAGE$ program were changed to clarify that WAGE$ was developed by the Child Care Services Association, not T.E.A.C.H. On page 52, the following text was added to the first data row of table 20: “The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center, a division of the Child Care Services Association, licenses and supports states who want to operate either or both T.E.A.C.H. or WAGE$ programs.