TABLE 8-1 Early Childhood Educators by Race/Ethnicity (percentage)

Program Type

Race/Ethnicity

White

Black

Latino

Asian

Other

Prekindergarten

64

13

15

2

8

Head Start

36

28

24

2

Family child care

20

27

26

23

NOTE: Family child care from Layzer and Goodson (2006); Head Start from Hart and Schumacher (2005); prekindergarten by Early et al. (2005). Prekindergarten refers to school or center-based programs that serve 4-year-olds, have an explicit purpose of improving school readiness, and are funded fully or partially by the state.

SOURCE: Kagan et al. (2008).

a more linguistically and ethnically/racially diverse ECE workforce (Howes, James, and Ritchie, 2003).

Educational Experience and Background

ECE teachers are a diverse group of individuals, with some having formal education and holding degrees from institutions of higher education or community colleges and others receiving credentials of competence offered by the profession. Some have only very limited training that is delivered on the job. Not surprisingly, the amount of formal education and credentials varies by program type; prekindergarten programs generally have the highest percentage of teachers with degrees, while home-based or FCC providers have the lowest levels of formal education (Kagan et al., 2008). Table 8-2 shows the breakdown of percentages by program type. The specific nature of these variations and their relationship to teaching quality and effectiveness are elaborated in the section on the professional development of the workforce.

Compensation

Compensation, defined as a combination of annual salary or hourly wages and benefits (e.g., health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, retirement plan), is quite low for some segments of the early childhood workforce. In the United States, the average annual salary for preschool teachers, one group of early childhood educators, is $25,800; for child care workers including FCC providers, it is $19,670 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007); and for Head Start teachers, it is $24,608 (Hamm, 2006). Distinctions exist in the salaries of individuals according to the settings in which they work.

A national survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)



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