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Center- and Program-Level Factors Associated with Early Childhood Workforce Turnover

Region:
Northeast & Islands
Abstract:

Description: High-quality early education is positively associated with children's academic and social skills. A critical component to ensuring high-quality early childhood education is the retention of a qualified and competent workforce. Nonetheless, early childhood educators are often paid low wages and experience challenging workplace conditions resulting in high turnover rates. In response, many states have sought to foster and maintain their early childhood workforces by providing additional professional, program, classroom, and workforce supports. However, outside of wages, there is little empirical evidence on which supports may reduce turnover rates for early childhood educators.

REL Northeast & Islands is collaborating with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood to identify promising policies and practices that can reduce turnover among early childhood educators, beyond raising wages. To do so, REL Northeast & Islands researchers will analyze secondary data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education, a nationally representative survey of workforce members in center-based early childhood programs.

Research Questions:

  1. What center-based program characteristics are associated with the turnover rates of early childhood workforce members in center-based programs?
  2. What personal, professional, program and classroom, and workforce support characteristics are associated with the likelihood of early childhood educators' reporting plans to leave their current position or the profession?

Study Design: REL Northeast & Islands researchers will conduct a series of descriptive analyses to examine turnover rates for early childhood professionals by their role in the workforce, followed by two correlational analyses. The first will examine associations between center-based program characteristics and turnover rates at the center-level. The second will examine associations between personal, professional, program, classroom, and workforce support characteristics and the likelihood that early child educators plan to leave their current position or the profession.

Projected Release Date: Summer 2020

Partnership or Research Alliance: Early Childhood Workforce Development Research Alliance

Related Products: Making Connections report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Brandon Foster, Education Development Center
Kyle DeMeo Cook, Education Development Center