T.E.A.C.H. Early. Childhood

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1 T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood

2 Letter from the president The focus of this year s annual program report, Making the Case for Compensation, is a logical follow up to last year s report, Making the Case for Education. In working to support and improve the early childhood workforce, education and compensation are critically linked. In fact, the marriage of access to higher education and fair compensation is necessary to move the entire early childhood workforce forward as a profession. While some considerable strides are being made on the education side, fully addressing the compensation piece is more difficult to understand and more complex to resolve. If compensation is an indicator of the value we place on work in this country, then the early childhood field, comprised of 97% women, is one of the most undervalued in our society. In this country, a woman who is 18 years or older with a high school diploma and who is working full time earns an average salary of $28,657. Yet, with an average salary of $18,820, an early childhood teacher earns only 65% of that. To further complicate the situation, as a result of disparate funding sources, How do we institutionalize the kind of financial support necessary for such a basic and essential societal need as early childhood education? it is not uncommon for early childhood teachers with the same credentials, teaching children of the same age within the same community to earn vastly different salaries. Clearly the early childhood workforce deserves compensation that is commensurate with the work they do. Study after study indicates that our society benefits greatly from improved and expanded early childhood education programs. In their report, The Economic Promise of Investing in High-Quality Preschool: Using Early Education to Improve Economic Growth and the Fiscal Sustainability of States and the Nation (2006), the Committee for Economic Development found that investments in highquality prekindergarten programs result in measurable public and private benefits to the U.S. economy and society, including: an educated workforce, economic competitiveness, and improved economic conditions due to reduced education and criminal justice costs as well as increasing income-tax revenues. By investing in early childhood, we can eliminate the gaps in student achievement that exist when children enter kindergarten, and ensure a well-educated and more demographically diverse workforce for years to come. When we couple the societal benefits of early childhood education with what we know about how closely classroom quality is associated with teacher wages and education, we must ask, how do we decouple what this workforce should earn from what the market will bear? How do we institutionalize the kind of financial support necessary for such a basic and essential societal need as early childhood education? One strategy our country uses when we value a commodity beyond what the market is willing to pay is to provide financial incentives and price supports to prop up industries where, similar to early childhood, there is market failure. Compensation supports for the early childhood workforce are infrastructure investments for our future. s Child Care WAGE$ and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood projects are right in line with this type of support. Through scholarships, compensation incentives and salary supplements, these programs encourage progress toward higher education degrees. These programs not only improve the care our children are receiving, they allow the early childhood workforce to earn a living wage while staying in a field where wages are severely suppressed by the market. Our early childhood workforce deserves nothing less. Sincerely, Sue Russell President This report was funded in part by the Ford Foundation, the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. We thank them for their support but acknowledge that the findings and conclusions presented in this report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of these organizations.

3 Compensation matters for an undervalued workforce Child Care WAGE$ and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood work hand in hand to help early childhood educators get the education they need and want, improve their skills and knowledge, get the compensation they deserve, and stay in the classrooms and field to which they are committed. T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood connects education, compensation and retention for the early childhood workforce by providing comprehensive scholarships for coursework leading to degrees and credentials in early childhood education. T.E.A.C.H. provides the opportunity for a diverse population of adult learners already working in the early childhood field to access college coursework to increase their knowledge and skills and work toward a college degree. It has emerged as an effective national strategy to help address the need for a well-qualified, fairly compensated and stable workforce. Child Care WAGE$ provides salary supplements to low-paid teachers, directors and family child care providers working with children birth to five years of age. Eligibility is based on their continuing education and the continuity of care they provide. Supplements are awarded every six months as long as the participant continues to work in her current early childhood setting. Participants in the Child Care WAGE$ Project can increase their supplement amounts by gaining more education, and T.E.A.C.H. scholarships provide the mechanism to access that education. Child care center teacher, NC Karen Grogan came to her job at Central United Methodist Preschool as a favor to a friend who was the program s director. I was between jobs and came to fill in at the school. It never occurred to me that 18 years later I would have earned my North Carolina Credential and my associate degree in early childhood education. Both Karen s ability to access higher education degrees and to earn more money are direct results of the T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs. If it hadn t been for T.E.A.C.H. I could not have pursued this career or gotten my education, she said recently. And with the supplements coming at the beginning of summer and just before Christmas, they really do help out. Karen is now only five classes shy of her bachelor s degree in birth-kindergarten with a concentration in early childhood. And she has remained in the same early childhood program all these years, which means the children in her care and their families have had reliable and dependable care. Family child care provider, KS Family child care provider Roberta Neuburger heard about T.E.A.C.H. in 2001 and she s never looked back. Completing her associate degree in early childhood education this year, Roberta says that her foray into higher education has not been lost on the parents in her program. The parents have been very supportive. In fact, parents calling for openings in my program often mention that they heard I was involved in T.E.A.C.H. Roberta has moved up the salary supplement scale in the WAGE$ program as well. Starting with seven hours toward an associate degree, she earned a $300 supplement annually. Now, having completed her degree in early childhood education, Roberta earns an annual supplement of $2,000. When I started in child care, I thought it would only be for a little while, but now with my degree in hand and salary supplements coming twice a year, I can really see that this is my career. On the cover: Recent graduate Teresa Cole says, T.E.A.C.H. inspires me to keep going. Teresa Cole, family child care provider, WI Teresa Cole s dedication to the field starts but doesn t end in her family child care home. She started as an uneducated provider and is now accredited with the National Association for Family Child Care. My progression depended on T.E.A.C.H. The scholarship took away the worry about how I could afford to do this. She used her first scholarship in 2000 to complete her Infant/Toddler Credential. Over the next six years she completed her associate degree and has just completed her Professional Administrator s Credential, all while maintaining a GPA between 3.0 and 4.0. By increasing her education, Teresa has worked her way up Wisconsin s R.E.W.A.R.D. program salary scale, starting in 2002 at a level one and now at level ten! Teresa also loves to mentor other providers, and she always talks about T.E.A.C.H. I let them know that the counselors are truly there to help and make a huge difference. I tell them you can immediately apply what you learn in your program. And the great thing is that parents see it, children see it and others coming to your program see it. T.E.A.C.H. inspires me to keep going. I m always figuring out what I can do next. The more I m offered in my education, the more I want to move forward. Teresa plans to start an online BA program in Spring 2009.

4 National T.E.A.C.H. Early Data Childhood & Program and Child Outcomes Care WAGE$ Stepping Up The workforce wants more education 21, 272 teachers, directors and family child care providers received T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood scholarships. While some of these scholars worked on state and national credentials, almost 75% received scholarships to earn two- or four-year degrees. These scholars completed 129,938 credit hours, 14% more than in FY 07 and the highest completion rate since this project began. T.E.A.C.H. recipients working on their associate degrees are demonstrating mastery of coursework, with a grade point average of 3.25 nationally. Raising the Bar Compensation is increasing 10,746 early childhood teachers were awarded Child Care WAGE$ supplements with average state six month supplement amounts ranging from $364 to $723. Annual earnings for T.E.A.C.H. program associate degree scholarship recipients increased by 3% to 16%. - 10% or more in 4 states - 7% to 9% in 7 states - 5% to 7% in 8 states - <5% in 2 states T.E.A.C.H. participants represent the diversity of the workforce 10% worked in Head Start programs 62% worked with the prekindergarten population of 3- and 4-year-olds 46% were people of color 9% were Hispanic Colleges and universities are benefiting from increased enrollments in early childhood degree programs 393 participating community colleges 178 participating universities Even in lean years, funders step up to the plate to support education and compensation $28.3 million funded T.E.A.C.H. Projects in 21 states $14.6 million funded WAGE$ Projects in 3 states Education is continuing WAGE$ participants submitted documentation that they had completed additional coursework. - 32% of NC s WAGE$ participants - 11% of FL s WAGE$ participants - 19% of KS s WAGE$ participants WAGE$ participants submitted enough documentation of completed coursework to move up a level on the WAGE$ supplement scale. - 20% of NC s WAGE$ participants - 7% of FL s WAGE$ participants - 9% of KS s WAGE$ participants T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipients taking courses leading to an associate degree averaged between 10 and 15 credit hours annually to 15 credit hours in 12 states - 11 to 13 credit hours in 8 states - <11 credit hours in 1 state Retention is improving Turnover rates for WAGE$ participants are far lower than typical rates for the early childhood workforce, ranging from 11% to 16% in participating states. Turnover rates for T.E.A.C.H. associate degree scholarship recipients are very low. - <5% in 14 states - 5% to 9% in 6 states - 10% in 1 state

5 T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Technical Assistance & Quality Assurance C E N T E R Through a well-defined program of training, technical assistance and quality assurance, staff of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Technical Assistance and Quality Assurance Center (the Center) provide thousands of hours of support to T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs to ensure they are high performing, effective and accountable. Staff members work to make sure that the essential tenets of the T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ models are consistently implemented across all states while at the same time customizing support, services and products to meet each state s unique needs. I see the many benefits to having staff enrolled in T.E.A.C.H., everything from employee retention to increased professionalism. The teachers not only feel a sense of confidence as they complete classes and bring the knowledge back to the Center, but they also become professionals in their careers. One teacher, Jorena Perry, began as an assistant teacher, became a head teacher and now, with her degree in hand, has moved up to a lead teacher. Kristin Troop, Director of Wee Care Day School, Pennsylvania and a sponsor of 12 T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipients (including herself) Center staff also conduct outreach to states interested in T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ through presentations and individual state contacts. This year, presentations were conducted at national conferences including the National Black Child Development Institute; Smart Start; and the National Association for the Education of Young Children s Professional Development Institute, Policy Institute, and Annual Conference and Expo. Individual state and multistate presentations and technical assistance were provided to organizations interested in learning more about T.E.A.C.H. and/or WAGE$ projects in Arizona, New York, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, California, Vermont and Texas. Now beginning its ninth year of operation, the Center is expanding its work in some new directions. With funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts, a new initiative is underway in Alabama and West Virginia to provide access to higher education for the prekindergarten workforce while promoting state-funded prekindergarten programs with bachelor degreed teachers in every classroom. Funding from the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation is providing resources necessary for the Center to partner with T.E.A.C.H. states to develop online college directories as well as a series of interactive training modules that compliment the T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ Self-Study Tool s 16 competency areas. With funding from the Ford Foundation, a T.E.A.C.H. Policy and Leadership Committee has been established and will provide leadership and direction to help T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs secure policies and funding to improve the education, compensation and retention of the early childhood workforce. Funded by Cornerstones for Kids, a new partnership with the National Institute on Out of School Time at Wellesley College in partnership with the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition will support an expansion of the T.E.A.C.H. model to serve the school-age and youth workforce in Missouri, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

6 The T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ projects are housed in a remarkable group of organizations in 21 states. Advisory Committee Members T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood North Carolina, Founding State Alabama Alabama Partnership for Children Colorado Qualistar Early Learning Florida The Children s Forum Delaware Children & Families First Idaho Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children Illinois Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies Indiana Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children Iowa Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children Kansas Kansas Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies Michigan Michigan 4C Association Minnesota Minnesota Child Care Resource & Referral Network Missouri Missouri Child Care Resource & Referral Network Nebraska Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children Nevada Nevada Association for the Education of Young Children New Mexico New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children Ohio Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Child Care Association South Carolina South Carolina First Steps - Center for Child Care Career Development Virginia Virginia Child Care Resource & Referral Network Wisconsin Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Child Care WAGE$ North Carolina, Founding State Florida The Children s Forum Kansas Kansas Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies As a natural extension of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Technical Assistance and Quality Assurance Center, a ten-member T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Advisory Committee is in place to advise the Center on broad issues affecting the Center s work and all T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs. Sue Russell, ex officio Helen Blank National Women s Law Center Carol Brunson Day National Black Child Development Institute Terry Casey Pennsylvania Child Care Association Dick Clifford Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Autumn Gehri Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Phyllis Kalifeh The Children s Forum Edith Locke Peg Sprague United Way of Massachusetts Bay Dianna Wallace Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children Marci Young Center for the Child Care Workforce American Federation of Teachers T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood and Child Care WAGE$ projects are programs of Child Care Services Association. For more information contact: PO Box 901 Chapel Hill, NC telephone facsimile October 2008

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