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.


Quality Enhancement

  • 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

State Examples