For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2012
For more information, contact:
NAEYC Calls for Fair Compensation for the Early Childhood Workforce on Worthy Wage Day
WASHINGTON—To early childhood professionals, May 1 is known as Worthy Wage Day, a day to celebrate the early childhood education profession and raise awareness about the compensation of professionals working in child care, Head Start, and other settings who are preparing young children for success in school and beyond.
“For too long, the woefully low compensation of early childhood education professionals has been demeaning to those who work in this field, and has inhibited recruitment, ongoing training and education, and retention of high quality professionals. Worthy Wage Day is a time to draw attention to the importance of the work of early childhood professionals,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, PhD, Executive Director of NAEYC. “We cannot expect high-quality early development and learning experiences for our young children unless we tackle the issue of fair compensation.”
- The median salary of child care staff is less than $20,000 a year and many lack health or retirement benefits.
- Financing of early childhood education often does not recognize the cost of providing high-quality programs, including the cost of fair compensation.
- Turnover among early childhood education is high—roughly one third a year—and many leave the field because of low compensation.
Today groups of early childhood educators and advocates across the country are working to draw public attention to the need for high-quality care for children and a well-compensated child care workforce. Research shows that caregiver quality and consistency is an important factor in early care and education quality.
For more information about how NAEYC is working to build a well-financed, high-quality system of early childhood education for all young children, visit the NAEYC website.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.