workers who are not within the relevant standard federal occupational definitions and excluding others who are paid for similar work. This paper takes the approach first developed by Brandon and Whitebook for estimating the number of ECCE workers,1 which treats any individual who is paid for the care and education of children age birth through five and not in kindergarten as a member of the ECCE workforce. The definition of ECCE workforce used is derived from focusing on the function of being paid to provide care or instruction for young children, regardless of the setting or program in which it occurs. This definition is consistent with the federal concept of what constitutes an occupation, which is independent of the location in which the occupation is carried out.

It is common to divide ECCE into three broad categories reflecting the type of setting in which care and instruction occur: center-based (including community-based centers, preschools, and Head Start programs); formal home-based or Family Child Care (FCC), in which “formal” refers to being available in the open market and often licensed or registered; and informal home-based or Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) care, where there is a relationship between the child and caregiver and access is not broadly available in the community. However, there are not clear demarcations among these types of settings. Family Child Care homes are often expanded to include many children and several staff, and are not distinguishable from small centers; some FFN caregivers function as small businesses not clearly separable from FCC.

In all three settings, some care or instruction is provided by unpaid individuals, who are not normally considered part of a workforce. An appropriate estimate of the size of the workforce therefore requires the ability to distinguish between paid and unpaid care and instruction. Because of the overlap and presence of unpaid caregivers, these three categories therefore serve as useful descriptors, but do not clearly define who is or is not included in the ECCE workforce.

We were able to identify 50 relevant studies providing information regarding the size and characteristics of the ECCE workforce. This summary presents broad findings regarding the numbers and characteristics of the ECCE workforce as suggested by these 50 studies, plus additional characteristics derived from several federal data sources provided by Dixie Sommers and Theresa Cosca at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A description of these studies and their citations may be found at the end of this summary report. Detailed matrices summarizing the find-


1 A. Burton, R. N. Brandon, E. Maher, M. Whitebook, M. Young, D. Bellm, and C. Wayne, Estimating the Size and Components of the U.S. Child Care Workforce and Caregiving Population (Center for the Child Care Workforce [CCW] and Human Services Policy Center [HSPC], May 2002).

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