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Equitable Compensation for the Early Childhood Workforce

To address the workforce shortage in early childhood, Start Early shares compensation strategies from states that are leading efforts in the pursuit of building competitive and more equitable compensation systems.

The workforce shortage gripping the nation is acutely felt in the early childhood field and must be addressed to realize bold, equitable, comprehensive systems reform. One essential strategy to address this workforce crisis is building competitive and more equitable compensation systems.

To support states, Start Early researched equitable compensation strategies in Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State and the District of Columbia, with a focus on the development and implementation of wage scales. The resulting publication offers lessons and key insights from these systems leading innovative and effective policy and advocacy efforts in pursuit of equitable compensation for the early childhood workforce.

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Key Findings

Five key lessons emerged from Start Early’s policy analysis and interviews with state leaders and advocates. These lessons, though not exhaustive, can inform both the “what” and “how” of states’ pursuit of more equitable compensation for the cross-sector workforce.

  1. Ensure transparency at every major decision-point
  2. Identify a comprehensive framework that supports the current workforce
  3. Consider multiple mechanisms for implementation
  4. Use short-term solutions while building long-term approaches and infrastructure
  5. Employ an inside-outside approach

Start Early Consulting

Start Early Consulting is a deeply experienced, mission-driven team with a long history of driving change within the early childhood field. We help systems evolve with highly customizable support, inviting leaders to leverage our consultants as strategic advisors or to develop and execute implementation plans.

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