The key to quality early care and education (ECE) is linked to the education and stability of the early childhood workforce. ECE workforce studies assess the ECE workforce in a particular geographic area, such as a county, region, or state. A study usually includes questions about the wages, benefits, experience, education and training, job satisfaction and turnover of teachers, directors, and family child care providers. Questions about interest in further training and course work, reasons for entering and leaving the field, and programs available to improve and support the ECE workforce may also be included in these studies. CCSA plays a critical role in supplying states and local communities with information about the working conditions in child care centers and family child care homes, which often results in new initiatives to improve the quality of early care and education.
Leaving the Classroom: Addressing the Crisis of NC’s Early Childhood Turnover Study
In the spring of 2019, as part of the larger 2019 North Carolina Early Childhood Education Workforce study, Child Care Services Association had the rare opportunity to gather information from over 3,000 former birth to five classroom teachers. The former teachers were asked to fill out a brief survey about their current employment, their reasons for leaving and whether they would consider returning to the classroom. In conjunction with the existing literature about turnover in early childhood education, the results of this preliminary survey open the door for further research. Read on to learn more about North Carolina’s teacher turnover crisis, what contributed to driving these teachers out of the classroom and where researchers, advocates and policymakers can step up to the plate.
Working in Early Care and Education: State and County-Specific Studies
Child Care Services Association has conducted a number of statewide studies to help shed light on issues related to child care. These studies have provided important information to policymakers in our state. For example, needs revealed in a 1989 study led to the development of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project. A 1997 study of child care center director’s interest in administration coursework helped shape the curriculum for the new director’s administration credential program. A 1997 study of the fees charged by providers across the state provided the North Carolina Division of Child Development with accurate, comprehensive data with which to consider increasing reimbursement rates to providers accepting subsidized children. A 1997 study of the impact of waiting for child care subsidy on families further demonstrated the need for affordable, accessible, high-quality child care. The 2011 study found great gains in the education of the ECE workforce and data from this study were included in the NC application for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant.
Working in Child Care in Durham County Study
In 2009, through funding from Durham’s Partnership for Children, Child Care Services Association conducted a countywide survey of center directors, teachers and family child care providers to develop a comprehensive study of the Durham County child care workforce and the facilities in which they work. We found that the past several years have shown progress for the child care community in Durham County. The strategies employed by the county to strengthen the workforce have led providers to increase their education and stay in the field for longer. The report below includes a summary of the workforce survey results and a comparison to similar data collected in 2003.
Working in Child Care in North Carolina Study
As part of the North Carolina Needs and Resources Assessment, a statewide survey of the child care workforce was conducted in 2003. The workforce study provides comprehensive data on child care providers and on the facilities in which they work. This report includes a summary of the workforce survey results in North Carolina and a comparison of 2003 data to similar data collected in 2001. Survey response rates were 78% of center directors (n = 2,203 director surveys collected), 52% of teachers (n = 13,120 teacher surveys collected) and 78% of family child care providers (n = 2,337 family child care provider surveys collected).