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A director like me: Teacher-leader racial/ethnic match and job outcomes in child care centers


The leaders of child care centers shape the everyday experiences of child care teachers, who play a critical role in supporting young children. While research has linked leadership to policy-relevant outcomes such as teacher job satisfaction and turnover, little is known about specific leader characteristics linked to teacher job outcomes. In K-12, one key factor associated with increased job satisfaction and lower turnover is teacher-principal racial/ethnic match, however there is no evidence to date on how teacher-leader racial/ethnic match relates to teacher job outcomes in child care settings. Using data from a sample of 1,011 teachers at child care centers in Virginia, this study documents the prevalence of teacher-leader racial/ethnic match. We estimate associations between racial/ethnic match and teachers’ views of leadership, job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and turnover after six months. Although two-thirds of child care teachers experienced racial/ethnic match with their child care center leader, Black and Hispanic teachers were far less likely to experience racial/ethnic match than White teachers. We did not find significant associations between racial/ethnic match and teacher job outcomes after adjusting for covariates. We discuss potential explanations, directions for future research, and implications for policy. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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