Childcare and Early Learning

High-quality childcare provides a healthy foundation for social well-being, intellectual development, physical health, and economic success. But the poverty-level wages paid in the profession mean teachers aren’t rewarded for their important role, leaving childcare centers unable to recruit and retain qualified staff – and the high cost and limited availability often puts childcare out of reach for working and middle-class families. EOI is working with community allies and stakeholders to expand state investment into early childhood education centers to secure fair compensation and respect for child care workers and to lower the cost of child care for families in our state.

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
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

Early Learning
The Early Childhood Education Career and Wage Ladder

The unfunded link essential for high quality early learning

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