Childcare and Early Learning

High-quality childcare provides a healthy foundation for social well-being, intellectual development and economic wellbeing . However, the increasingly high cost of quality childcare pushes it out of reach of many working families, and many childcare centers fail to recruit and retain qualified staff due to poverty-level wages in the field. Early childhood education degrees have the lowest projected earnings of all college graduates, despite providing an invaluable service to children and families. In order to ensure high-quality childcare that is accessible to all families, EOI is working with community allies and stakeholders to expand state investment into early childhood education centers to alleviate cost burdens for families and to secure fair compensation and society respect for early childhood educators.

FEATURED PROFILE

Dawn loved her job – but she couldn’t afford to keep it

Dawn Cofone was only 16 years old when she began working with children at Spokane-area childcare facilities. So in the early 90’s, she began attending classes and training sessions to learn more about how to foster the education and development of the children in her care.

She worked hard and went to school, often full-time. But between school tuition and her meager salary, Dawn and her husband were struggling to pay the bills. “At the time I was making roughly seven dollars an hour and barely surviving, with my husband also working full time with any overtime he could get his hands on,” she said. “And this is when my husband came to me and pointed out the obvious. I could make more money and have less stress doing anything else.”

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Research Feed

Early Learning
Washington State Early Learning Hiring and Retention Survey

Statewide Survey Shows Low Pay, High Turnover Cause Education Quality Deficits

Early Learning
Dynamics in Early Childhood Education in Washington State

A Case Study on the Impacts of Low Wages and Inadequate Public Support

Educational Opportunity
Improving Early Childhood Education Through Workforce Compensation

Integrating the Child Care Career and Wage Ladder with Early Achievers

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