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.


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.”

Read more…

Research Feed

Early Learning
Saving Child Care and Protecting Children in this Pandemic-Depression

Essential Workers on the Front Line of the COVID-19 Outbreak

Early Learning
Good Teacher Compensation Is the Anchor for High-Quality Early Learning

Pilot funding for salary recommendations of the 2019 Compensation Technical Workgroup

Early Learning
Testimony by John Burbank in favor of HB 1344

Child care providers deserve to be fairly compensated

Educational Opportunity
Washington State Early Learning Hiring and Retention Survey

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

Blog Feed

Equal Pay

March 8, 2019

Five Statewide Bills to Make Women’s Lives Easier

The Legislature is making women's issues a priority this session

Early Learning

February 15, 2019

Low Pay for Early Childhood Educators Hits Hispanics Harder

Early childhood educators make much less than K-12 teachers, and are twice as likely to be Hispanic

An Inclusive Economy

October 24, 2018

11 public policies that will help Washington’s economy work — for everyone

What we can do to improve Washington's economy