Brief Early Educators’ Work Experiences and Job Satisfaction
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Findings from the District of Columbia Child Care Policy Research Partnership
Heather Sandstrom, Michelle Casas, Fernando Hernandez-Lepe, Erica Greenberg
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This brief describes DC early educators’ pay, employee benefits, and work experiences based on a 2021 survey of teaching staff (N = 417) in licensed child development centers and homes that participate in DC’s quality rating and improvement system, Capital Quality. Although most respondents reported being very satisfied (50 percent) or somewhat satisfied (38 percent) with their jobs, some would have second thoughts taking their job again and would not recommend it to a friend. Turnover intentions were high, with 26 percent being somewhat or very likely to leave their jobs in the next two years; 42 percent recently looked for a new job, with “to find a job that pays more” as the primary reason. Findings suggest many early educators enjoy their jobs, but they desire better compensation and more respect and recognition for the important work they do.

Related Work

For more information on survey findings and related research, see the DC Child Care Policy Research Partnership project page.

Research Areas Children and youth Workforce Education
Tags Child care and early childhood education Child care and workers COVID-19 Early childhood education
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population Center on Education Data and Policy
Research Methods Quantitative data analysis Qualitative data analysis
States District of Columbia
Cities Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
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