Early Childhood Education:
Strengthening the Workforce
Research shows that experienced, well-educated early childhood educators are the key to quality early care and learning programs. Unfortunately, Vermont does not have enough qualified early educators to fill the need. A significant factor in this shortage is low wages. The median hourly wage for child care workers in Vermont is $13.27 an hour, often without benefits. The Alliance supports its members’ advocacy to expand scholarship opportunities for current early childhood educators, including to obtain bachelor’s degrees; establish a student loan repayment support program for new early childhood educators; and create a wage supplement program for the field in order to recruit, retain, and support those who care for and educate our youngest children.
Data and Talking Points
- More than 70% of Vermont children under age 6 have all of their parents in the labor force, meaning they are likely to need some form of child care.
- In Vermont, the median annual wage for a child care worker is $29,430. Comparatively, the median annual wage for a kindergarten teacher in Vermont is $59,560.
- The Vermont Department of Labor has projected that between 2012 and 2022, almost 70% of child care worker positions that become available in Vermont will be due to turnover.
- Sign Let’s Grow Kids’ petition to indicate your support of prioritizing children and increasing public investments in high-quality, affordable child care to ensure every Vermont child has a strong start.