In collaboration with Early Milestones Colorado, Early Childhood Councils and ECCLA supported eight community meetings across the state to discuss the early childhood workforce in Colorado. Councils worked with their local early childhood partners to ensure multiple perspectives and voices were represented, secured local facilities to host the meetings, and many traveled long distances to participate.
Local child care providers and representatives from higher education, workforce development, business, nonprofits, and philanthropy learned about state and regional findings from Colorado’s Early Childhood Workforce Survey.
With over 4,700 early childhood professionals surveyed, key finding show educators are dedicated to serving children and families and feel a strong sense of personal accomplishment. However, with average staff turnover rates from 16-40%, depending on the position, 70% of directors reported difficulty in filling vacancies. The single predictor of staff turn over in early childhood programs was wages. In Colorado, early care and education professionals earn just 51% of the average kindergarten teacher’s salary. This leaves many early childhood professionals struggling to provide for their own families.
Together, leaders at community meetings discussed possible local and state solutions to recruit, retain, compensate, and support a qualified early childhood workforce across Colorado. Councils and ECCLA are proud to support these efforts and work with partners to determine solutions to advance the early childhood workforce and provide high-quality, affordable early care and education opportunities for all families.
To learn more about these efforts visit www.earlymilestones.org/transforming-ec-workforce/.