Early Childhood Workforce: Supporting the Professionals Who Support Our Families

Publication Summary:

In this publication, ICS examines the current and future state of the early childhood workforce by looking at challenges that persist at systemic, organizational and individual levels across sectors serving children–medical, education, social work, mental health, and child care.

The brief focuses on core issues that are pervasive across these professions and quick to undermine the stability of the workforce and quality of care for families: compensation, burnout, retention, and safety. We look at solutions available at the policy- and program-levels to support this workforce and, by extension, improve outcomes for young children and families.

Many of the concerns presented throughout this brief have existed for decades. This research considers the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the state of early childhood professions while maintaining focus on the deep-rooted nature of the challenges born out of an imperfect system. The publication expresses a call-for-action on all levels, with emphasis on organizational shifts and bold leadership which can address the issues in a more substantive manner, while also relieving the burden of the individual professional to reform their industry.

Author(s): Megan Carolan, ICS Vice President of Research and Amber Posey, ICS Policy Research Associate
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