Staff wages and benefits are important factors in a program’s ability to attract and retain a qualified workforce. Research shows that higher staff turnover is associated with lower wages in child care programs, so learning how your program’s compensation compares to others is an important strategy for fostering a stable workforce. And with widespread staffing shortages in the child care industry, compensation is more important than ever.
Child care providers play a critical role in supporting other essential industries, as was seen during the COVID-19 crisis. The child care system remains increasingly fragile due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Many programs are faced with closure and are unable to sustain operations with diminishing enrollment and staffing shortages. Yet, many child care providers have remained open to support the needs of working families in their community.
Tackling the predicament of high turnover and low teacher retention in Head Start/Early Head Start programs is not always easy. Tying retention to a carefully determined compensation plan can also be a challenge. Yet, asking this question is important – how does your fiscal strategy support teacher retention?