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Within-year teacher turnover in Head Start and children’s school readiness

Teachers in early childhood education (ECE) settings are central to providing children with high-quality experiences that promote both school readiness and long-term wellbeing; unfortunately, rates of teacher turnover are high in ECE settings. There are strong theoretical reasons to assume turnover has negative implications for development, but very few empirical studies test this hypothesis. Using two waves of data from the nationally-representative Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, this study provides the first national estimate of the relationship between within-year ECE teacher turnover and children’s development in Head Start. We find an annual within-year turnover rate of 10%, more than twice that of K-12, and that turnover is meaningfully and negatively associated with children’s language, literacy, and socioemotional development. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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