New Information on the Early Care and Education Workforce

Categories:
Child Care, Early Childhood, Head Start

Naomi GoldsteinBy Naomi Goldstein, Director, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

Yesterday, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) released a new brief, titled “Number and Characteristics of Early Care and Education (ECE) Teachers and Caregivers: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE).” The first of a series, the brief presents data from the first nationally representative survey of the early care and education workforce in both center- and home-based settings.  Produced by NORC at the University of Chicago, the brief is a part of the National Survey of Early Care and Education project.

The brief reports that the early care and education workforce directly responsible for children age birth through five years (not yet in kindergarten) in 2012 was large, comprised of about one million teachers and caregivers in center-based programs, 830,000 paid home-based teachers and caregivers and about 2,300,000 unpaid home-based teachers and caregivers.  The educational attainment, experience, and wages of center-based teachers and caregivers varied considerably by the sponsorship and funding of center-based programs and by the ages of children served.  A majority (53%) of center-based teachers and caregivers reported having college degrees – an AA or BA – and almost a third reported BA or graduate/professional degrees, higher than found in prior studies.  A greater share of home-based teachers and caregivers – about 30 percent – reported college degrees than estimated in prior studies.

The brief includes estimated counts of teachers and caregivers in all types of settings and their education, experience, wages, health insurance and other characteristics.  Future briefs will use the NSECE to present data on predictors of ECE quality, to describe children’s time in nonparental care and parental employment schedules, and to provide a profile of center-based early care and education.


Naomi Goldstein is Director of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services. She is responsible for advising the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of ACF programs.

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