Promote Competitive Compensation and Benefits
Recommendation: Promote competitive compensation linked to education and experience, as well as health care benefits, to attract and retain highly skilled infant and toddler providers.
What policies can states use to move toward this recommendation?
To move toward this recommendation, states may use multiple policy levers, starting from different points. Potential state policies include the following:
- Require provision of basic benefits such as sick days, family and medical leave in licensed centers.
- Require licensed programs to award compensation according to infant/toddler providers according to a career ladder/lattice developed by the state or the program that links pay to education and experience levels.
- Contract directly with infant and toddler providers to provide competitive compensation and benefits.
- Pay differential child care subsidy payment rates to centers and family child care homes that pay infant and toddler providers competitively or provide benefits.
- Fund a program to award compensation to individual infant and toddler providers that is directly linked to their education and experience levels.
- Fund an initiative to award compensation to child care provider directors who implement continuity of care strategies in their infant and toddler classrooms.
- Support initiatives to underwrite the cost of health insurance for infant and toddler providers.
- Support and provide resources, such as substitute teachers, for the provision of sick leave benefits for child care workers to allow them to stay home and not care for infants and toddlers when sick.
Related Project Recommendations
- Sep 18, 2012 | Child Care and Early Education Minnesota: R.E.E.T.A.I.N. Bonus Program Minnesota’s Retaining Early Educators Through Attaining Incentives Now (R.E.E.T.A.I.N.) bonus program encourages and rewards well-trained child care professionals who stay in the field by awarding them with a monetary bonus. The R.E.E.T.A.I.N. program recognizes the importance of offering incentives to child care providers as encouragement to stay and advance in the profession.
- Aug 19, 2010 | Child Care and Early Education Indiana: Paths to QUALITY Infant/Toddler Specific Standards The Indiana quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), Paths to QUALITY, is a statewide voluntary system that includes infant and toddler standards and is designed for licensed child care centers, licensed family child care homes, and unlicensed registered faith-based organizations. Statewide rollout of Paths to QUALITY began in January 2008 and was completed in January 2009. A study conducted by Purdue University is currently underway to assess the impact of the QRIS. This state example is part of CLASP's Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project.
- Jan 11, 2010 | Child Care and Early Education California: The Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) Program and CARES Plus The First 5 California Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) program is a professional development and retention program that aims to build a highly-qualified and culturally and linguistically diverse early childhood workforce. Open to all ends of the spectrum of those caring for children from 0 to 5—from family, friend and neighbor (FFN) caregivers to licensed family child care providers and center-based teachers and directors, the program offers financial incentives and other supports and services to increase the pursuit of training and education and reduce turnover in the early learning field. This state example is part of CLASP's Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project.
- Dec 22, 2009 | Child Care & Early Education State CCDBG Plans to Promote Competitive Compensation and Benefits The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the largest source of federal funding for child care available to states. Every two years, states must lay out their plans for using all CCDBG funds to help low-income families access child care and to improve the quality of child care for all children, including infants and toddlers. The following lists examples of promising child care licensing, subsidy, and quality enhancement policies and initiatives related to promoting competitive compensation and benefits as reported by states in their FFY 2008-2009 CCDBG plans.
- May 22, 2009 | Child Care and Early Education Montana: Infant/Toddler Merit Pay and Certified Infant/Toddler Caregiver Stipend The Infant/Toddler Merit Pay Program and Certified Infant/Toddler Caregiver Stipend encourage providers and caregivers to participate in additional training and remain in the child care field in Montana. This state example is part of CLASP's Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project.
- Mar 08, 2007 | Child Care and Early Education North Carolina: T.E.A.C.H. & WAGE$ The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Project and the Child Care WAGE$ Project use scholarship, bonus, and wage enhancement strategies to promote compensation and benefits, including for infant/toddler teachers. This state example was originally written as part of Starting Off Right: Promoting Child Development from Birth in State Early Care and Education Initiatives and updated for the Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project.