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Inside the pre-k classroom: A study of staffing and stability in state-funded prekindergarten programs

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Bellm, Dan; Burton, Alice; Whitebook, Marcy; Broatch, Linda & Young, Marci
Publication Date: 
1 Oct 2002

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpts from highlights:

The present study aims to document the current state of staff qualifications, stability, turnover and compensation in state-funded prekindergarten programs, and to identify the conditions under which Pre-K initiatives promote a more skilled and stable, and better compensated, early care and education workforce. [The authors] selected a sample of programs in five states: California, Georgia, Illinois (Chicago only), New York and Texas. In addition to profiling Pre-K staffing in each state, [they] also explored variations in staffing among Pre-K programs housed in different auspices, including publicly-operated programs (based in public school districts or community colleges) and privately-operated programs (based in community-based nonprofit agencies or for-profit organizations).

Results include:

Finding 1: Teaching staff in publicly-operated prekindergarten programs had higher educational qualifications than staff in privately-operated programs.

Finding 2: Teaching staff in publicly-operated prekindergarten programs received higher pay and benefits than teaching staff in privately operated programs.

Finding 3: There was greater teaching staff stability in publicly-operated prekindergarten programs than in privately-operated programs.

Finding 4: Publicly-operated and privately operated programs appeared to be evolving into separate segments of a two-tier prekindergarten system.

Finding 5: Prekindergarten programs, both publicly- and privately-operated, have had mixed success in integrating their teaching staff into existing service delivery systems.