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Teachers of preschool-age children in California: A comparison of lead teachers in transitional kindergarten, child care centers, and family child care homes


 In this brief, we explore the experiences of ECE lead teachers across settings: TK classrooms, child care centers, and family child care programs. We examine their demographics, classroom context, working conditions, compensation, and economic well-being. We identify threads of continuity among lead teachers regardless of setting: for instance, virtually all these early educators are women, and many are age 40 or older. They teach similar numbers of dual-language learner students, and they face similar classroom challenges. By contrast, educators in centers and FCC providers are much more likely to be women of color and/or immigrant women. Teacher pay and benefits also diverge sharply, with TK educators earning at least twice the salary of other lead teachers with a bachelor’s degree along with corresponding metrics of economic well-being. By exploring the experiences of teachers by setting, we aim to understand the state of equity in ECE employment. For the purposes of this analysis, we focus on educators who lead their respective classrooms in order to compare similar job roles and level of teaching responsibilities. We then explore the implications for sustaining an effective and equitable ECE system in California. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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