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For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2006
Increased Quality of Care and Education Tied to Worthy Wages for Early Childhood Educators
(Washington, D.C.) – Each year, NAEYC recognizes May 1st as Worthy Wage Day, a day dedicated to the importance of the teachers and staff who provide care and early learning to young children. Events held across the country highlight the value of worthy wages for child care teachers and staff, who nurture and support young children’s learning and positive development.
“The important role that these teachers and other staff have in the lives of young children and their families is not fairly reflected in their compensation,” said Mark R. Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of NAEYC. “The early childhood workforce deserves fair compensation that values their importance and that allow programs to attract and keep well-educated and trained individuals in the field of early childhood education. We know, and parents agree, that the teacher is a critical factor in the experience that their children have early childhood programs. It is critical that teachers be well compensated.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 18 occupations out of 770 surveyed reported having lower average wages than child care workers. For example, child care teachers earn an average hourly wage of less than $9, which is less than gas station attendants and locker room attendants. Roughly one third of child care staff leave the field each year, primarily due to low wages. Such high turnover creates lack of continuity for children, and makes it more difficult for programs to continually ensure high quality.
Worthy Wage Day events are being held across the country to bring awareness to the need for equitable compensation for early childhood professionals. Events sponsored by NAEYC affiliates include:
- A training and advocacy event, "Caring for Ourselves: Re-energizing in the Early Childhood Profession," including legislative updates, advocacy activities, and legislative visits to the state Capitol. – Madison, Wisconsin
- An “Early Childhood Action Day” for early childhood educators to meet with state legislators to discuss how programs, such as child care subsidies, affect teachers and the children and families in their communities. – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.