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Washington State Early Learning Hiring and Retention Survey: Statewide survey shows low pay, high turnover cause education quality deficits


Ensuring that every child in Washington State has access to in high-quality early childhood education is critical to providing educational opportunity for all children, building family economic security, and promoting a vibrant economy. But early-education professionals in Washington State are earning barely more than minimum wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual income of a childcare worker in 2017 was $27,800, less than a pet sitter’s $30,120. This year, EOI sent out a survey on compensation, health care and turnover to directors of 3,456 of the 5,488 licensed child care centers in Washington. The survey contained 40 questions and 529 respondents – 15.3 percent – filled out a significant portion. The results have a margin of error of 4 to 5 percent, depending on the question, with a confidence level of 95 percent. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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