Excerpted from the introduction
Early childhood teachers demonstrate lower professional commitment and higher attrition, compared to kindergarten, and other elementary and secondary level teachers (Whitebook, Phillips, & Howes, 2014). The National Association for the Education of Young Children (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2004) estimated that 30% of early childhood teachers leave their position every year, compared to 17% of elementary and secondary teachers and 11% in other occupations (Ingersoll, Merrill, & Stuckey, 2014). Teacher attrition, particularly at such high levels, leads to inexperienced staff and adversely affects the quality of child care provided for young children (Whitebook & Sakai, 2004). High teacher turnover interferes with the development of young children who require stable caregivers and caregiving environments at school (Hamre & Pianta, 2005) in order to develop secure attachment and relationships (Morrissey, 2009). Turnover also destabilizes the operation of child-care centers, demanding expenditures for recruitment and retraining, and overburdening the teachers who remain (Totenhagen et al., 2016; Whitebook & Sakai, 2004).