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Building a stronger child care workforce: A review of studies of the effectiveness of public compensation initiatives

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Park-Jadotte, Jennifer; Golin, Stacie and Gault, Barbara
Publication Date: 
1 Nov 2002

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

Excerpt from executive summary:

Child care providers are among the lowest paid workers in the United States. Inadequate compensation has led many qualified practitioners to leave the field for higher paying jobs, decreasing the quality of available care. In this report, we review preliminary findings on the implementation and early effects of publicly supported compensation initiatives on the child care workforce.

Researchers have found a critical link between the quality of children's early care and education and their development and educational growth. Mounting evidence strongly suggests that the quality of child care is tied to the wages, education, and retention of teachers.

To gauge the effects of one type of compensation program - rewarding further education and training - the Institute for Women's Policy Research reviewed evaluations of federal, state, and local efforts using this approach. We examined efforts to monitor the programs and looked at whether such programs reached their target populations (child care workers) as intended. We reviewed documented effects on the following indicators: staff turnover, income, and education. We also reported on worker morale and feelings of professionalism when such information was available. We focused on two general types of monitoring-process or implementation evaluations (which track how a program is implemented and funded and describe early stages of program development) and outcome evaluations (which examine whether a program's intended effects are realized). We assessed the effects of the compensation programs as well as the robustness of the evaluations that tracked their progress.