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									Orange County Early Care and Education Salary and Working Conditions Survey

2002

CONTRIBUTORS
Success By 6® Committee Members
Paula Mathis, Chair Community Volunteer Anne Broussard Orange County Child Care Coordinator Jean Barbre Saddleback Unified School District Jennifer Burrell Children and Families Commission of Orange County Dr. Tom Chiaromonte Fullerton College Karen B. Cooper Community Volunteer Stephan Erkelens THINK Together Dr. Sid Gardner Center for Collaboration for Children Pat Halberstadt Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove Kelly Hogrefe Orange County Department of Education Annette Jewell Orange County Department of Education Elda Lavinbuk Community Care Licensing Nicole Savio Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council Nancy Shively Emmanuel Episcopal Preschool

Success By 6® Staff
Mary Ellington Castorena Director Laura Long Cunningham Program Manager, Child Care Strategy Dorothy Bregozzo Consultant

Survey Research Team
Dr. Sharon Seidman Milburn California State University - Fullerton Dr. Gregory Robinson Social Science Research Center California State University – Fullerton

This work is based upon support from the Bank of America Foundation/UWA Enhancement Success By 6® Enhancement Initiative.

The information in this report does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bank of America Foundation.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
........................................................................................................................... ...........................................................................................2 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................... 2 ........................................................................................................................................5 ........................................................................................................ METHOD ........................................................................................................................................ 5 ..............................................................................................5 .............................................................. SURVEY DESIGN AND DISTRIBUTION .............................................................................................. 5 .............................................................................................................. ..............................................................................6 PARTICIPATING CENTERS .............................................................................................................. 6 .........................................................................................................................................7 ......................................................................................................... RESULTS .........................................................................................................................................7 .................................................................................................. ..................................................................7 GENERAL SALARY INFORMATION ..................................................................................................7 Teachers .................................................................................................................................. 7 Aides ........................................................................................................................................ 8 Directors .................................................................................................................................. 8 .........................................................................9 ......................................... RELATIONS BETWEEN SALARY AND CENTER TYPE .........................................................................9 ................................................................ ..................................................... HEALTH INSURANCE AND CENTER TYPE ..................................................................................... 13 ......................................................... SALARY DETERMINATION AND BARGAINING PROCEDURES ......................................................... 14 THE EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION WORKFORCE ........................................................................ 16 ........................................ ORKFORCE ................................................................ Staff Demographics .............................................................................................................. 16 Staff Educational Achievement ........................................................................................... 17 Teachers ....................................................................................................................................... 18 Directors ....................................................................................................................................... 19 Staff Credentials and Certificates ....................................................................................... 19 Continuing Education...........................................................................................................21 Unpaid Volunteers Among the Workforce ......................................................................... 22 .............................................................................................................. ................................................................ HIRING AND RETENTION .............................................................................................................. 22 Staff Turnover ....................................................................................................................... 22 Longevity of Staff.................................................................................................................. 24 Directors ....................................................................................................................................... 24 Teachers ....................................................................................................................................... 25 Reasons for Leaving............................................................................................................. 26 Difficulties in Filling Staff Vacancies .................................................................................. 26 ................................................................ ............................................................... CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SERVED ............................................................................................... 27 Ages of Children Served ...................................................................................................... 27 Characteristics of Children in Child Care........................................................................... 29 CONCLUSIONS IONS........................................................................ CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................................ 30 RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................ ENDNOTES .................................................................................................................................. 33 ................................................................................................................................ ..................................................................................................

Success By 6® Orange County’s United Way

Orange County Early Care and Education Salary and Working Conditions Survey

INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION
Since the creation of the National Education Goals in 1990, much social and educational reform has focused on children’s readiness to start school at age 5.1 These goals identified five areas of child development that comprise school readiness: 1. Physical well-being and motor development, 2. Social and emotional development, 3. Approaches toward learning, 4. Language development, and 5. Cognition and general knowledge.2 Many state and national initiatives have adopted this definition, which emphasizes the importance of all aspects of the child’s experience in determining elementary school performance.3 Orange County, too, is currently reviewing research, such as the National Education Goals, to define school readiness measures for local programs. Early care and education settings play an important role in children’s experience and in promoting this school readiness. Research on children’s development has shown that the development of thought is highly affected by experiences and environments, and that the effect of “early environment on development is long lasting.”4 early brain early brain

Clearly, the quality of children’s experiences both in their homes and in child care settings influences early development. In fact, high quality early care and education (ECE)5 programs “have been shown to improve children’s cognitive and social development, and gains appear to be the greatest among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”6 The role of early education is so crucial that the National Goals Panel prioritized reforming ECE quality over elementary education in promoting school success.7 In determining ECE quality, research has documented that high quality social interaction, including conversation between children and adults as well as children and their peers, is critically important.8 Programs with highly educated teachers holding college degrees are more likely to promote these kinds of interactions than programs with less educated staff.9 While many different measures have been developed to assess ECE quality, research has suggested that staff salaries and retention are
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excellent predictors of staff education, which in turn predicts the quality of classroom interactions.10 Young children also need consistent care so that they can establish secure relationships with their teachers. Such a secure attachment is important to the child’s sense of well-being while in group care and also has been found to be crucial to the child’s ability to play and interact with others.11 Thus, the high levels of turnover among teachers in early care and education programs has a direct bearing on children’s development. In fact, some research has found that stable early child care settings predicted children’s academic progress in first grade.12 In addition, child care is an economic issue for both single parents and dualcareer families. The 2000 United States Census reports that 70.9% of California’s children under 6 years of age live in intact, two-parent families.13 This number is slightly higher (77.9%) for Orange County.14 According to the Orange County Early Care and Education Needs Assessment (ECENA), parents work in almost half (41.3%) of twoparent families with children under 6. In single parent families with children under 6, 80.0% of the parents are working.15 With these findings in mind, Success By 6®, an initiative of Orange County's United Way (OCUW), has selected quality improvement of early care and education for children birth to 6 as one of its key strategies. Success By 6 is not a program but a nationwide model initiative with the purpose of promoting healthy development and school readiness among young children by making the policies and practices of a community’s major child-serving systems more responsive to the needs of young children. Based on data from the 2000 Health and Human Services in Orange County Community Assessment16, OCUW launched Success By 6 in 1999, beginning with the Child Care Strategy. This strategy seeks to raise the quality and accessibility of child care for low-income children in five targeted areas of Orange County. Among the barriers to achieving this goal are: • Lack of centers serving primarily working low-income families that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Although Community Care Licensing, California Department of Social Services, regulates group care for children through maintaining certain health and safety standards, NAEYC Accreditation provides a higher-level of program excellence based on a wider spectrum of criteria than licensing standards alone; Low wages and lack of employee benefits for ECE teachers and directors; Misperceptions among parents and community members that teachers of young children are “babysitters,” and a failure among ECE staff to view themselves as professionals; and High turnover rates in the early care and education field.

• •

•

Investigating solutions to these barriers, Success By 6 identified the following issues: • Accreditation support: Achieving and sustaining NAEYC Accreditation is costly, usually requiring acquisition of new resources and staff while the overall number
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of children in each classroom is reduced. These burdens are especially problematic for centers serving working low-income families, who cannot easily pay higher rates for higher quality care. In addition, pursuing accreditation takes considerable commitment and staff time, especially from the center director. Interventions to address these barriers, such as assistance with accreditation costs and personalized support and direction, allow ECE programs to be successful, ensuring that higher-quality care is available to low-income families. • Staff compensation: A great deal of national and statewide research has documented the relatively low salaries in the ECE field, particularly in comparison to fields staffed primarily by men.17 Low salaries discourage staff from remaining in the field, and provide little incentive to continue professional development and education. This problem may be particularly important in communities like Orange County, in which similar professions such as elementary education offer higher salaries and provide incremental pay increases linked to further education, causing attrition among ECE teachers to Kindergarten and elementary school programs. In addition, the steady growth of the service industry in Orange County has created attractive job opportunities that also compete with ECE for employees. Lack of information: Although research both in California and the nation has examined the ECE workforce, the economic impact of the child care industry and the links between quality and compensation, studies specific to Orange County are not available. Orange County – the state’s third largest county and the nation’s sixth largest – houses many more children under the age of 5 and represents much greater ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity than is the norm in the United States. Information about the specific needs of child care settings serving these diverse populations is needed.

•

With support and funding from the Bank of America Foundation/United Way of America, Success By 6 crafted its Child Care Strategy to address these three areas of intervention in the following ways: 1.. The Accreditation Support Project assists early care and education programs 1 serving working low-income families to achieve NAEYC Accreditation and to be more accessible to low-income children; 2.. The CARES (Compensation and Retention Encourage Stability) Program 2 provides stipends for participating child care center staff who remain in their centers and continue their education and professional development. Through this current salary survey similar CARES efforts can be effectively targeted and measured for their effectiveness; 3.. The Local Investment in Child Care (LINCC) Project seeks to increase the 3 capacity of Orange County child care to address economic development issues, identify gaps in facilities and business development in child care and build partnerships with community economic development bodies and financial institutions to address these needs. This report, based on a thorough survey,

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helps to support the LINCC Project by providing local data on the staffing, salary, and retention issues. All three components: • • • assistance in improving center quality; compensation for teachers dedicate to improving their skills; and a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current child care system

are necessary in order to affect long-lasting systemic change within the early care and education community.

METHOD
Survey Design and Distribution Since 1978, the Center for the Child Care Workforce (CCW) has been the leading advocacy organization conducting research on the ECE staff in the United States. Success By 6 purchased the CCW survey instrument, which has been used in most national and regional investigations of child care staffing.18
Dr. Sharon Seidman Milburn, California State University – Fullerton, assisted the Success By 6 staff and the Child Care Subcommittee to identify key aspects of ECE training and delivery that might be unique to Orange County and California. For example, many eastern states (and the original CCW survey) emphasize the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification as the primary measure of teacher training. However, Orange County relies on the Child Development Permit awarded by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. With the permission of CCW, Success By 6 modified the questions and format of the survey to better assess these regional issues and created the Early Care and Education Salary and Working Conditions Survey. Success By 6 contracted with the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at California State University, Fullerton, under the direction of Dr. Gregory Robinson, to distribute the anonymous survey and to collect and analyze the data. The SSRC mailed questionnaires on June 22, 2001 to all 651licensed child care centers in Orange County identified by Community Care Licensing. Each center received a package containing a cover letter, an instruction sheet, an incentive form,19 a self-addressed stamped envelope, and the survey questionnaire. The instrument was comprised of 11 singlesided pages, printed back-to-back resulting in a six-page document. Centers that did not return the survey from the initial packet were contacted by telephone. The telephone contacts resulted in 29 refusals to complete the survey, news that 58 facilities were not in operation due to a summer break, and 140 requests to remail the survey questionnaire. Second mailings were made July 30, 2001, and if necessary, third mailings were completed August 22, 2001. Almost a quarter of the center phone numbers listed in the Community Care Licensing database were inaccurate. Most of these incorrect phone numbers resulted
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because the Community Care Licensing database had not been updated for changes in Orange County’s telephone area codes in the past five years. In these cases, the SSRC was able to update the information and contact the center. An additional group of centers had changed phone numbers, and a new contact number was available from directory assistance. However, the SSRC was unable to contact 60 facilities because the listed telephone numbers were incorrect and updated numbers were not available through directory assistance or the Internet. It is likely that these centers were no longer in business.

Participating Centers As a result of the SSRC’s procedures, 236 questionnaires were completed representing a 36% return rate. This calculation is conservative, as it is based on the total 651 centers listed on the Community Care Licensing database, and the SSRC’s work suggests that some of these centers may no longer exist.
The resulting sample is quite representative of the county, although some data suggest that high-quality centers may have been more likely to participate than lowquality centers. Based upon their zip codes, centers were identified as located in the north, central or south region of Orange County. Ninety of the centers that responded to the survey (38.6%) are located in the North region, 62 (26.6%) in the Central region, and 81 (34.8%) in South Orange County. These percentages correspond both to the population density of these different regions and to the regional distribution of centers in the Community Care Licensing database. As a result, these data suggest that this survey is very representative of the geographic diversity of the county. There were no statistically significant differences in the types of centers that responded from each region. Success By 6 was particularly interested in assessing centers’ accreditation status, as NAEYC accreditation is a widely used quality indicator and Success By 6 operates an NAEYC Accreditation Support Project. In the survey sample, 69 (29.2%) centers report that they have achieved accreditation by a professional group. Of these 69, only 54 (22.9% of the total sample) are currently accredited. Most centers (65.2%) that have ever been accredited refer to NAEYC as their accrediting organization. Current accreditation is not significantly associated with center type, but there is a significant relationship to region. Just 14.4% of the child care centers in North Orange County are currently accredited, compared with 22.6% in Central County, and with one third (33.3%) of the South County child care centers. This regional distribution mirrors data from the NAEYC website. Most NAEYC accredited centers are located in Irvine, which is included in the South County region. The number of accredited centers in the survey sample compares very closely with the number of NAEYC accredited centers (56) in Orange County at the time of the survey. Accreditation is difficult to achieve, requiring excellent resources, a great deal of staff time, and significant expense. Only highly motivated, high quality programs achieve accreditation. Thus, the relatively large number of respondents reporting accreditation may suggest that the sample over-represents high-quality centers.
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RESULTS
General Salary Information Teachers Survey respondents were asked whether starting salaries differed, based on teachers’ education and experience, or whether all new employees received the same starting salary. Teachers receive the same starting salary at only 11.3% of the centers. This finding has positive implications because a universal starting salary provides little incentive for educational attainment. Starting salaries at centers with a universal entry wage tend to be lower than those at other centers, although the range is very large.
Centers with different starting rates for teachers with different qualifications were asked to report the highest possible starting salary. As shown in Figure 1, the average “highest starting salary” among the centers participating in the survey is $12.49 per hour; the median is $12.00; and the mode is $10.00.20 (The discrepancy between these measures indicates that although the mathematical average is $12.49, more teachers started at $10.00/hour than any other salary). Figure 1: Highest Starting Salary for ECE Teachers in Orange County
20.00% 18.00%

% of Centers

16.00% 14.00% 12.00% 10.00% 8.00% 6.00% 4.00% 2.00% 0.00% $7.00 to $8.99 $9.00 to $9.99 $10.00 to $10.99 $11.00 to $11.99 $12.00 to $12.99 $13.00 to $14.99 $15.00 to $16.99 $17.00 to $18.99 $19.00 and Above

Overall, salaries for the Orange County early care and education workforce are low, especially when compared with other occupations that may require similar formal education but have fewer responsibilities.21 A sizeable number of centers (8%) report that their teachers start at salaries similar to the average “fast food” preparation position ($8.49/hour). Two-thirds of the centers report that their starting salary is less than that of the average typist ($14.01/hour). Virtually all centers report that their teachers earn less than the average carpet installer ($18.36/hour).22

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Figure 2: Comparison of Normative Hourly Wages Across Professions
Carpet Installer Meter Reader Parking Enforcement Worker Refuse Collector Child Care Director Customer Service Rep Typist Telemarketer Child Care Teacher Child Care Aide
$0.00 $2.00 $4.00 $6.00 $8.00 $10.00 $12.00 $14.00 $16.00 $18.00 $20.00

Compounding the problem of low starting salaries is the small differences between centers’ starting salaries and the salary accorded to the “highest paid teacher.” The average highest hourly salary for child care teachers in Orange County is $13.97 and the mode is $12.00. Assuming that these teachers are working a full-time, 40-hour week, the highest paid teachers are earning an annual gross salary of approximately $25,000. Throughout a career, the average ECE teacher can earn only one to two dollars per hour more than when entering the profession. Aides This pattern also holds for ECE staff in other positions. Almost one-third of the centers (71) report paying all aides the same starting salary, regardless of training and experience. The “highest starting salary” at these centers ranges from $6.00 to $12.50 per hour, with an average of $8.43 and a median hourly starting salary of $7.50. At centers with variable starting salaries, the “highest starting salary” for aides ranges from $6.75 and increases to $15.00. The average “highest starting” salary across all centers is $9.14 per hour, the median is $9.00, and the modal “highest starting” wage is $10.00 per hour. The highest salary currently paid to aides is similarly variable, ranging from $6.00 to $18.52 per hour. Some centers are paying aides three times the salary that aides receive at other centers. At some centers, the highest salary paid and the starting salary are identical. Across all centers, the average highest hourly salary currently paid for aides is $9.45, with the most common being $8.00 per hour. Again, little difference is seen in the wage paid to the most well compensated staff and the starting wage. Directors As with other positions, salaries for center directors are lower at centers that report all directors start at the same salary than those that indicated starting salaries depend on the individual’s characteristics. At centers with a set starting salary, directors’ initial compensation ranges from $10.00 to $20.83 per hour. At centers with variable
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starting salaries, initial compensation ranges from $12.50 to a high of $49.00 per hour. The average “highest starting” salary across all centers is $19.97 per hour, the median is $18.50, and the mode is $16.00 per hour. As discussed above regarding teachers, there is little difference between directors’ starting and current salaries. The highest hourly wage currently paid ranges broadly across all centers from $7.50 to $36.00 per hour. The average wage overall is $18.66, the median is $18.00, and the modal “highest wage currently paid” is $15.00 per hour, a rate just $3 per hour more than the modal highest current wage for teachers. These numbers show a tremendous flattening of wages in the ECE field. There is little difference between entry level and highest wages for any position, and little difference between entry level and managerial salaries. This flattening creates a serious disincentive for members of the ECE workforce either to stay in the field or to gain additional education and training because, unlike in other careers, neither longevity nor education make much difference in compensation. Some of the reasons for low wages in the early care and education field may be because the field is dominated by women, who overall continue to earn less than men. In this survey sample, 185 centers (78.4%) report that their entire staff is female. More than 90% of centers report that males comprise 10% or less of their staff. In the report “Then & Now,” CCW compared the wages of child care teachers in their study (2000) with those of women and men in the overall civilian labor force (1998). Among workers with “some college” credits but not an Associate degree, the child care teachers’ annual wages were $19,637, in comparison with women in the labor force at $24,159, and men in the labor force at $34,842. Even with a Bachelor’s degree, child care teachers make more than $8,000 less than other women in the civilian labor force and nearly $22,000 less than men with a Bachelor’s degree.23 Given Orange County’s high cost of living, a typical early childhood educator earning an annual wage of $25,000 would find it difficult to afford basic necessities. The median home price in the county is approximately $315,730, and the average monthly rent is $1,086.24 The survey results suggest that the average ECE teacher earns only one-third of the county’s median income ($73,732). This may be adequate for a contribution to a household with two or more working adults, but is not adequate as even a single person’s sole support. According to the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Orange County, a household consisting of an adult, an infant, and a preschooler needs an hourly wage of $22.37 to survive.25 In fact, at just $12.00 per hour, an ECE teacher with one child would qualify for state child care subsidies and other programs for low-income families.

Relations between Salary and Center Type Orange County child care centers vary in funding structure, as well as a host of other factors. Child care centers may be broadly classified as for-profit or non-profit. Further, non-profit centers may receive public funds or not. Classifying the survey sample in this way results in 67 (28.9%) for-profit centers; 125 (53.9%) non-profit, not publicly funded centers; and 40 (17.2%) non-profit publicly funded centers.
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Among the total 651 Orange County centers in the Community Care Licensing database, 46.44% are for-profit, 42.04% are non-profit not publicly funded, and 11.38% are non-profit publicly funded. Thus, the survey sample has almost a 12% greater number of non-profit, non-publicly funded centers than the overall population of centers and 17.5% fewer for-profit centers. The publicly funded non-profit centers are more likely to have mandated compensation ranges tied to staff education than privately operated, for-profit centers. In addition, a center’s non-profit status allows a greater percentage of their revenue to be allocated to staff compensation. Consequently, the slight over-representation of non-profit centers may indicate that this survey has slightly inflated normative salaries. Table 1: Types of For-Profit Centers Included in the Survey

For-Profit Centers
Center Type National Chain State or Local Chain Independently Operated Single Site On-site Employer-based26 Part of For-Profit Private Elementary School “Other” Total N 11 11 28 7 4 6 67 % 16.4% 16.4% 41.8% 10.4% 6.0% 9.0% 100%

Table 1A: Types of Non-Profit Centers Included in the Survey

Non-Profit Centers Publicly Funded
Center Type Government organizations 9 N % 22.5% 37.5% 12.5% 27.5%

Privately Funded
Center Type Non-government community organizations Private non-profit elementary school University or college Church or religious organization Parent Cooperative “Other” Total N 8 6 5 % 6.5% 4.8% 4.0%

Public non-profit elementary 15 school University or college 5 Head Start 11

89 71.8% 7 10 125 5.6% 8.1% 100%

Total

40

100%

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Differences in the hourly starting wage for teachers between center types are dramatic. Some centers in every type start all teachers at the same wage. Among these, for-profits report an average of $8.50 per hour. Non-profits that do not receive public funds start at an average salary of $10.80, and publicly funded non-profits that start all teachers at the same rate pay an average of $14.75 per hour. This suggests that for-profit centers use mandatory starting wages to reduce costs (and salaries), while publicly funded non-profits use mandatory starting wages to ensure all staff are compensated for their required certification and education prior to being hired. At centers that vary starting wages according to factors such as teacher experience and preparation, starting salaries also show significant differences. For lowest starting salary, highest starting salary, and highest salary overall, the same pattern emerges: publicly funded non-profit centers offer higher salaries than privately funded non-profit centers, and non-profit centers offer higher salaries than for-profit centers. The average highest starting salary among for-profits is $11.18, among nonprofits that do not receive public funds it is $12.27, and among publicly funded nonprofits, the average “highest starting salary” is $15.40 per hour. Figure 3 illustrates these differences by showing the normative highest starting salary at centers with similar funding. Among publicly funded non-profit centers, those associated with public elementary schools offer the best teacher compensation, followed by Head Start centers. Among non-profits not receiving public funds, centers sponsored by faith-based organizations offer starting salaries in the mid-range. Lastly, among for-profits child care centers, independently operated single-site centers offer compensation to teachers lower than either national or state-local chains.

Figure 3: Association between Highest Starting Salary and Center Funding Type
$ 1 8 .0 0 $ 1 6 .0 0 $ 1 4 .0 0 $ 1 2 .0 0 $ 1 0 .0 0 $ 8 .0 0 $ 6 .0 0 $ 4 .0 0 $ 2 .0 0 $ 0 .0 0 N a tio n a l C h a in S ta te -L o c a l C h a in I n d e p e n d e n t ly O p e r a te d C h u rc h , R e l ig i o u s P u b li c E le m e n t a r y S chool H e a d S ta rt

For Profit Privately-Funded Nonprofit Publicly Funded Nonprofit

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The differences in teacher compensation associated with center funding become even more dramatic when the salary of the highest-paid teacher is considered, as shown in Figure 4. The average hourly wage for the highest paid teacher at a for-profit center is $11.59, compared with $13.96 at non-profits that are not publicly funded, and with an average of $17.41 at non-profits that do get public money. The graph below utilizes the same categories as the graph above to illustrate these differences.

Figure 4: Association between Highest Teacher Salary and Center Funding Type
$19.00 and Above $17.00 to $18.99 $15.00 to $16.99 $13.00 to $14.99 $12.00 to $12.99 $11.00 to $11.99 $10.00 to $10.99 $9.00 to $9.99 $7.00 to $8.99 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%
Publically Funded Non-Profit Non-Profit, Not Publically Funded For-Profit

Percent of Centers Reporting Teachers in Each Salary Range

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As shown in Table 2, the same pattern of higher wages at non-profit centers, particularly publicly-funded non-profit centers, was repeated for aides and directors. Table 2: Association between Highest Hourly Wage and Center Funding Type27
Center SubCategory National Chains For-Profit State-Local Chains Independently Operated Single Sites Non-Profit, No Public Funds Non-Profit, Publicly Funded Church or Religious Organization Public Elementary Head Start Aides Range $6.75 to $9.00 $6.25 to $12.00 $6.25 to $13.00 $7.00 to $14.00 Mode $8.25 $6.75 $7.50 Average $7.79 $8.25 $8.47 Range $13.75 to $22.50 $12.26 to $28.00 $7.50 to $24.23 $8.85 to $30.00 $24.00 to $25.00 $16.75 to $21.00 Directors Mode None None $12.50 Average $17.40 $18.68 $13.35

$8.00

$9.04

$20.00 None $20.00 & $20.33

$17.94 $24.50 $19.80

No responses in this category $9.66 to $10.65 None $10.15

Health Insurance and Center Type Participating ECE programs responded to 30 different questions about specific employee benefits and related working conditions. Of these, insurance benefits are the most essential. Most centers provide some contribution to full-time staff insurance benefits. Staff status is associated with health benefits, so that directors are more likely to receive insurance benefits than teachers, who in turn are more likely to be insured than aides. However, one in four (25.6%) centers provides no assistance to any teachers to pay for medical insurance and one in five (20.4%) provides no assistance to the director.28
As was found with salary, the type of center is associated with insurance benefits provided, so that non-profit centers are more likely to provide health insurance, and publicly funded non-profits are more generous than privately funded non-profit centers. For example, 72.2% of the privately funded non-profit centers contributed to medical insurance for full-time teachers, while only 64.1% of forprofit centers make a contribution to medical insurance. More centers contribute to insurance for directors, but the pattern remains the same: 77.3% of the privately funded non-profit centers contribute to directors’ medical insurance while only 70.2% of the forprofits contribute. All (100%) of the publicly funded centers contribute to medical insurance for both full-time teachers and directors. Centers of all types are less likely to contribute to benefits for dependents than to benefits for employees. To the extent that health insurance for dependents is available,
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it is most likely to be available at publicly funded non-profit centers and for higher-level staff. Table 3 and 3A show health insurance data in more detail. Table 3: Employer Contribution to Medical Benefits at Different Center Types Medical Benefits for Staff Full-Time Teachers 64.1% 72.2% 100.0% PartTime Teachers 35.2% 25.2% 73.3% Medical Benefits for Dependents Full-Time Teachers 23.8% 31.7% 70.6% PartTime Teachers 16.7% 13.0% 55.2%

Center Type For-Profit Privately Funded Non-Profit Publicly Funded Non-Profit

Directors 70.2% 77.3% 100.0%

Directors 27.3% 36.2% 74.4%

Table 3A: Employer Contribution to Dental Benefits at Different Center Types Dental Benefits for Staff Full-Time Teachers 40.0% 48.2% 94.1% PartTime Teachers 19.3% 21.6% 70.0% Dental Benefits for Dependents Full-Time Teachers 20.3% 20.8% 75.0% PartTime Teachers 14.0% 11.5% 65.5%

Center Type For-Profit Privately Funded Non-Profit Publicly Funded Non-Profit

Directors 44.8% 49.1% 94.7%

Directors 22.4% 25.2% 76.5%

Salary Determination and Bargaining Procedures Early care and education programs, like other employers, use a variety of factors to determine the salaries and benefits they offer to staff. Strategies for determining salary include union negotiations, market comparisons, criteria based on the education and experience of individual staff members, and the nature of the job responsibilities. The Success By 6 survey investigated the degree to which centers utilized these disparate strategies in determining staff compensation.
One way for employers within an industry to compete for the best employees is to compare salaries at similar companies and to offer the highest salaries possible. More than three-quarters (78.8%) of early care and education centers investigate
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normative salaries at comparable centers. Such comparisons are more common among non-profit centers (83.6% of the privately funded and 82.1% of the publicly funded non-profits) than among the for-profit centers. Slightly more than two-thirds of the for-profit centers (68.2%) make salary comparisons for the purpose of setting wages. These centers may find that they have so little flexibility in their budgets that salary comparisons are irrelevant. For ECE centers that are part of national chains, an alternative strategy for determining salaries is to rely on mandated pay ranges set by a central policy. However, just 26.2% of the for-profit centers that are part of chains and only 13.4% of the privately funded non-profit centers report this practice. Mandated salary ranges are much more common (80%) at publicly funded non-profit centers. The large number of publicly funded non-profits using mandated pay scales may reflect the high degree of unionization in these settings. In addition to market pressures and mandated compensation, most centers report that employee training and experience influence individuals’ salaries. The staff members’ training and education is used to determine salary at 92.6% of the centers. The length of time the staff has been employed at the center was a determinant at 83.9% of the centers. Interestingly, although the age of the children taught determines the specific training required of a teacher, the teacher-child ratio in the classroom, and a variety of other factors, it has little influence on wages. Only 6.1% of the centers report compensating teachers differently according to this factor. Compensation that increases with education and training is an essential incentive in the creation of a better-educated ECE workforce that can provide higher quality care to children. Most centers seem to understand this, and report offering higher salaries to more highly trained and more experienced staff. However, as was discussed above, the generally low salaries throughout the field and the lack of significant differences between “starting” and “highest” wages may mitigate the effect of these strategies. Only among the publicly funded centers do wages reach a level comparable to other fields with similar education requirements. Overall, collective bargaining has little influence on salaries and working conditions in the ECE field, perhaps because most ECE staff are not organized into unions or collectives. Only 19% of the responding centers report that staff work under a collective bargaining agreement. Collective bargaining is most common at publicly funded centers attached to public schools, in which teachers’ unions are present. In these cases, ECE teachers benefit from the bargaining efforts of unions primarily designed to promote the needs of elementary-level teachers. The majority (57.9%) of these publicly funded centers report that ECE teachers are represented in collective bargaining units, while very few staff at for-profit centers (11.5%) or privately funded non-profit centers (9.7%) are represented in this way. Although they may not have group representation, most ECE staff benefit from formal grievance procedures. All staff at publicly funded non-profits, and most of those at privately funded non-profits (79.2%) and for-profit centers (78.5%) have these procedures in place.
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The Early Care and Education Workforce Staff Demographics According to the survey sample, most members of the Orange County early care and education workforce are female, White and relatively young. More than threequarters (78.4%) of the centers in the survey sample report not a single male staff member. Less than 10% of the centers report that males comprise more than half of the staff.
Across Orange County, the ethnic profile among all employees at all centers is as follows: approximately 63% White, 20% Hispanic/ Latino, 8.3% Asian, 2.7% Black, 1% Native American staff, and 3% staff of “other” race/ethnicity. Virtually all centers (96.4%) report having at least some White staff and most (71.0%) report some Hispanic/Latino staff. Fewer centers have Asian (46.0%) or Black (19%) staff. Most centers report ethnic diversity in their staff, and just 33 centers (14.7%) are staffed exclusively by Whites. In contrast, almost half (48.1%) of Orange County’s young children are Hispanic, with Non-Hispanic Caucasians comprising another large segment at 38.1%. Asian/Pacific Islanders comprise 11.52% of the county’s young children and African American 1.91%.29 However, the ECENA reports that 48.7% of White parents surveyed said their children were enrolled in center-based early care and education programs, in contrast to 17.9% of the Hispanic, 28.3% of the Asian, and 60% of the African American parents.30 What isn’t clear is whether non-White segments of the population would choose center-based care more often if the teaching staff were more ethnically diverse and the programs were more accessible. Just under a third (31.9%) of the workforce is between the ages of 20 and 29. No other age group dominates child care staff. The proportions are 30 to 39 years of age at 24.4%, 40 to 49 at 22%, 50 to 59 at 13.7% and those 60 or older making up 3.9% of the workforce. In general, it appears that the younger staff are employed by for-profit child care centers where wages and benefits are less generous. Significantly more staff in the 25 to 29 age group (20.4%) work in for-profit centers than at non-profits that don’t receive public funding (8.9%) or at publicly funded centers (7.9%). Conversely, fewer staff from 40 to 49 years of age (10.2%) work in for-profits than in non-profits that do not receive public funds (20.9%) or in publicly funded centers (18.3%). Given that for-profit centers pay the lowest salaries, the fact that these centers have a larger number of younger employees who may not yet need higher wages to support a family or who are just entering the workforce is a logical finding. Survey respondents were asked whether classes are conducted in languages other than English and whether staff speak to children in their native languages. Also, the survey asked if the center has a need for bilingual staff members. Few centers have a bilingual curriculum and less than half have bilingual capability among their staff members. In 199 out of 233 centers (85.4%), all classes are taught in English. In 16 centers (6.9%), some bilingual instruction is provided, and in 17 centers (7.3%) all instruction is bilingual. At one center, all instruction is provided in a language other than English. Among 214 centers responding, 97 (45.3%) have some teachers or staff who
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can speak the child’s language if called upon. An almost equal number (43.5%), however, report that teachers converse only in English. Just 24 centers (11.2%) say children are placed in classrooms with teachers who speak their native language. These results can be compared with the centers’ need for bilingual staff. Among all centers in the sample, more than a quarter (27.6%) report such a need. The greatest need is among the publicly funded centers (60% of the centers), which is a reasonable finding given that these centers serve low-income families, many of which speak languages other than English. Staff Educational Achievement Staff educational achievement is important because it has a direct impact on the quality of children’s experiences in child care and ultimately their healthy growth and development. In addition, staff education level is a significant factor in staff retention, which is also important to quality programs for young children.31 Child development or related post-secondary education would obviously make the most critical difference in the quality of a staff member’s contribution to the early care and education classroom. Licensing requirements as well as contract conditions for state-funded programs mandate certain minimum levels of education for child care center staff members. For programs funded by the California Department of Education, Child Development Permits are required for all staff. “The permits provide a career ladder of six levels, emphasizing continuing education and encouraging increased skills and responsibilities. There is no permit for aides, but they must meet minimum requirements and the Assistant Permit is optional.”32 The levels and corresponding early childhood education or child development units are as follows: • • • • • • Assistant (optional) – 6 units Associate Teacher – 12 units Teacher – 24 units Master Teacher – 24 units plus 6 specialization units and 2 units adult supervision Site Supervisor – AA degree (with the same ECE units as the Master Teacher) Program Director – BA degree (with the same ECE units as the Master Teacher)

All other licensed child care centers must meet the educational requirements that Community Care Licensing mandates. No ECE units are required for aides. Teachers must have 12 ECE units, and directors 15 units.33 Because all teachers in licensed centers must have some ECE units, for reporting purposes, this low level of educational attainment is omitted here. Among teaching staff, 35.1% of the centers have not one teacher on staff who has completed an AA degree. A similar proportion (38.6%) have up to one-half of their teachers with an AA, and just 25.3% have one-half to all of their teachers with an AA. Figure 5 below illustrates that as education levels increase, a smaller number of centers and a smaller proportion of the staff at those centers have attained those educational
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levels. At the Master’s degree level, 83.7% of the centers have no one with that degree on staff. Figure 5: Proportion of Centers Reporting At Least One Teacher with Each Educational Achievement
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
Any AA Degree Any BA or BS Degree Any MA or MS Degree

None 1% to 49% 50% to 100%

Teachers Another way to show the educational preparation of the Orange County child care center teaching staff is to sort the centers by highest level of educational attainment achieved by any teacher on staff. At about one of every five (21.2%) child care centers in Orange County, the best educated teacher on staff has no more than the minimum educational requirements needed to work, or an AA degree in a field unrelated to child development. Conversely, at about one-half of the responding child care centers (50.4%), the best-educated teacher has a Bachelor’s Degree, or graduate coursework or a Master’s Degree in child development or a related field. Interestingly, neither the proportions of staff with Bachelor’s nor Master’s degrees are significantly different by center type, suggesting again that the generally low wages throughout the industry are not an incentive for teachers to pursue education beyond the minimum requirements.
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More teachers than directors have a Bachelor’s degree, adding further credence to the conclusion that, unlike other occupations, education and wages are not a significant factor in career advancement within the early care and education field. Educational requirements for directors in non-publicly funded centers are minimal, making it more likely that longevity plays a larger role in who is selected as director than education. Directors Although not dramatic, the difference in educational levels for directors across center types is significant. Approximately equal proportions of center directors have child development Master’s degrees (13.4% at for-profits, 12.3% at non-profits not publicly funded, and 15% at publicly funded non-profits). The distribution of center directors at the Bachelor’s and AA degree levels also are not remarkably different, but for-profit center directors are less likely to have degrees in child development or a related field than those among the non-profit sector. Among the non-profit centers, more directors have Bachelor’s degrees in child development or a related topic (25.4% of privately funded non-profits and 22.5% of publicly funded) than do directors at for-profit centers (14.9%). However, a larger proportion of for-profit center directors have a Bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field (13.4%) than those working at the non-profits (less than 8% for each type). Similarly, the proportion of for-profit center directors with an unrelated AA degree (14.9%) is larger than at either privately funded non-profits (9.8%) or at publicly funded non-profits (2.5%). Conversely, the number of center directors at publicly funded centers with an AA degree in child development or related field is much higher (35%) than at either for-profits (16.4%) or privately funded non-profits (11.5%). Within subcategories of center types, differences in directors’ education occur. Among for-profits, 33.3% of directors at national chains and 36.4% at state or local chains have child development-related AA degrees in contrast to only 6.3% at independently operated single sites. Among publicly funded non-profits, a much higher proportion of directors at centers associated with public elementary schools (64.3%) have child development-related AA degrees than at Head Start centers (33.3%). Again, many of these differences between publicly funded and other non-profits are probably a result of the Child Development Permit required in state-funded programs.

Staff Credentials and Certificates Credentials and certificates earned by child care center staff are another way to measure a child development program’s quality. Among the credentials/certificates listed on the survey are the California Child Development Permit, the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), and the ECE Certificate. Since 1997, the California Child Development Permit has been required of staff at all child development programs funded by the California Department of Education. The permit has six levels based on specific education and experience requirements and
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emphasizes continuing education. Holding a Child Development Permit, although not a requirement of employment in most ECE centers, would tend to indicate that the staff member values professionalism and has a commitment to the field. In addition, the permit levels have been used as a basis for making stipend awards aimed at encouraging continued education and staff retention, such as in the Success By 6 CARES program. Among all centers, 55.3% report that none of their staff have a Child Development Permit. For publicly funded non-profit centers, 65% report that 50% to
Figure 6: Proportion of Total Staff Holding California Child Development Permits by Center Type
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

5.00% 30.00% 60.60% 69.60%

24.20% 21.60% 15.20% 8.80%

65.00%

For Profit

Non-profit, Not Publicly Funded

Publicly Funded Non-profit

100% of their staff have a permit, a finding that can be expected because of the requirement that staff at state-funded centers have permits. Differences among the other centers are small, but the proportion of staff in the for-profit centers with permits is larger than in the non-profit not publicly funded sector. Among for-profit centers, 60.6% report no staff having permits and among non-profit not publicly funded centers, 69.60% have no staff with permits. However, the proportion of for-profit centers reporting that 50% to 100% of their staff have permits is 15.2% compared with just 8.8% among the non-profit not publicly funded centers. The CDA is a nationwide credential administered by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition that requires both formal training and experience. Because California administers its own Child Development Permit, the CDA is not widely used in this state. This fact probably accounts for the large number of centers in the survey that report no one having the CDA. Ten out of 12 Head Start centers (83.3%) report staff having the CDA, which is a logical finding given that the CDA credential was originally developed to meet the staffing needs of Head Start. In addition, among the national for-profit chains, 33.3% reported staff with the CDA, which may be a reflection of the nationwide nature of that credential.
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The ECE Certificate may be earned in a post-secondary educational institution, such as a community college, which offers classes in early childhood education. The certificate requirements may vary slightly based on the particular college’s requirements, but generally would include at least 24 units of ECE coursework. About two out of five (37.5%) independently owned for-profit single sites report that between 50% and 100% of their staff have the ECE Certificate, compared with 18.2% of state-local chains, and none of the national chains. Again, almost two out of five church-sponsored child care centers (39.6%) report that 50% to 100% of their staff have the ECE Certificate. Among publicly funded non-profits, this proportion is 71.4% among centers at public elementary schools and 33.3% among Head Starts. (Staff members qualifying for the Teacher level on the Child Development Permit would also have completed the 24 units necessary for the ECE Certificate.) Continuing Education In addition to formal post-secondary education, a variety of training opportunities are available to ECE staff. Staying current with new developments in early childhood education and continuing to pursue additional education is another way for the ECE workforce to ensure quality programs for children. Under the Child Development Permit, required at state-funded centers, professionals must obtain 105 hours of professional growth activities over five years in order to renew their permits. Head Start programs also provide extensive training opportunities for their teachers and directors. However, finding time and funds to attend training or to enroll in classes is a significant barrier for early care and education staff members. Training during business hours is almost impossible for most teachers to attend because of the lack of substitute teachers to take their place in the classroom. The Success By 6 survey asked responding centers whether ongoing staff development or in-service training was required of their staff, whether training opportunities were provided at the center, and whether staff were compensated in some way for attending training. Among the survey sample, 211 responses were received and, 84.4% of all centers responding say that on-going training is required for teachers, an encouraging number. Among the publicly funded programs, 94.7% responded “yes” to this question, which clearly shows the effect of the Child Development Permit requirements. Among the non-profit, not publicly funded centers, 86.8% require ongoing training and among the for-profits, 72.9% have that requirement. Further, among the 232 centers providing a valid response, 209 (90.1%) answered “yes,” they do provide ongoing staff development or in-service training for their staff. There are no significant differences by center type. Of course, staff development and in-service training, while important, may be quite low-level. The survey does not gauge the quality or frequency of that training. Also encouraging, 80.1% of the 226 centers responding say they pay staff for attending workshops or training. Among the center types, 92.3% of the publicly funded centers pay staff, 80.5% of the non-profit, not publicly funded and 71.9% of the forprofits pay staff. Most centers that do pay staff, pay the staff members’ regular hourly salary, not an overtime rate. Less than half (48.5%) have stipends available to pay for
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staff members’ professional development activities, and these stipends vary widely from just $25 to $5,400. The most common amount allocated for training stipends in a center’s total annual budget is only $100 for all staff. Unpaid Volunteers Among the Workforce Two-thirds of the centers in the sample report using volunteers, and parents are the most frequently used, followed by teacher trainees. Volunteers are used in the classroom with children in 139 centers (58.9%). Another 17 centers (7.2%) use unpaid volunteers for special events only. Among centers using classroom volunteers, most are in the non-profit sector – 85% of the publicly funded and 68.8% of the non-profits not publicly funded. Less than one half (47.8%) of the for-profit centers report using volunteers in the classroom. The amount of time unpaid volunteers assist teachers ranges widely, but the average amount is 10% of the time. Directly assisting teachers as a classroom aide is the most frequent activity assigned to volunteers (62.2%), followed by preparing food or activities (60.9%), cleaning up (56.4%) and assisting children individually (51.9%). Few centers ask volunteers to have any kind of training (20.3%), and for-profit centers are significantly more likely to require training. Some (8) require 3 to 12 college units or enrollment in an ROP class (15), yet at that level of training, a volunteer would be fully qualified for a paid position. Using parents and community members as unpaid volunteers can be an enriching and positive addition to children’s early education. But a heavy reliance on volunteers in the classroom can be an indication of the crisis in early care and education funding and staffing. Because early care and education lacks a sufficient number of qualified substitute teachers to draw upon, centers often are challenged to comply with the required adult-to-child ratios when staff members are sick, on vacation, or resign. In addition, when volunteers are used in the classroom in lieu of qualified, trained staff members, quality can diminish. More information is needed before drawing conclusions about how centers’ use of volunteers in Orange County affects quality.

Hiring and Retention Staff Turnover Turnover, particularly among teachers, is the bane of quality child care. The survey shows that staff turnover in all positions is not significantly different across the three types of centers, for-profit, non-profit not publicly funded, and non-profit publicly funded. Of the 195 centers that provided valid responses, 108 (55.4%) report that no full-time teachers left their center in the past 12 months. This finding, of course, means that approximately 45% of the centers experienced some turnover among their full-time teachers. Among those remaining 87 child care centers, turnover ranges from 7% to 100% of full-time teachers. Given that the average number of

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staff at Orange County’s child care centers is 12.75 members, even a 7% turnover rate could be problematic. The average rate of turnover among full-time teachers in the last year at for-profit centers is slightly higher (25.11%) than at publicly funded non-profits (21.86%) or at Figure 7: Proportion of Each Type of Center Reporting Change in Teaching Staff During One Year
For-Profit Non-Profit; Privately Funded 70.0% Non-Profit; Publicly Funded

Proportion of Centers

60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Zero Turnover Up to 33% Turnover Over 33% to 67% Turnover 100% Turnover

Amount of Change in Teaching Staff non-profits not publicly funded (19.49%); however, these differences are not statistically significant. Figure 7 illustrates the proportion of turnover in the teaching staff during the past 12 months at each type of child care center. Less change occurred among directors. Most centers (93.33%) report no turnover in the past 12 months.

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Longevity of Staff Another way to examine staff retention is to look at how long current staff members have been at their jobs. Table 4 below focus on full-time teachers, full-time aides, and center directors in seven “length of time categories.” Table 4: Proportion of Staff in Three Full-time Positions in Seven “Length of Time” Categories Average percentage of Full-time Aides 24.24% 14.06% 16.14% 13.08% 14.32% 11.92% 6.25% N=77 (100%) Average percentage of Full-time Teachers 10.34% 10.49% 14.83% 15.8% 16.99% 17.57% 13.98% N=187 (100%) Average percentage of Center Directors 3.67% 5.65% 5.65% 5.93% 17.8% 19.87% 41.43% N=177 (100%)

Length of Time at Center Less than 6 months At least 6 months, but less than 1 year At least 1, but less than 2 years At least 2, but less than 3 years At least 3, but less than 5 years At least 5, but less than 10 years More than 10 years Total

The largest proportion of employees on the job for less than a year consists of aides (38.3%), followed by teachers (20.83%) and center directors (9.32%). Clearly, center directors in general show much longer retention than full-time teachers or fulltime aides. About three in five (61.3%) center directors have been on the job for five years or more, and of those, 41.43% have been in place more than 10 years. This is compared with 31.55% of full-time teachers who have been on the job for five years or more, and with 18.17% of full-time aides. Directors Across center types, a variety of statistically significant differences are apparent. For example, longevity for directors is more of a problem for for-profit centers than for the other center types. Among all centers, 41.43% of the directors have been at their centers for “More than 10 Years.” But for-profit centers, 29.63% of the directors have been working more than 10 years in comparison with 41.05% at the non-profits not publicly funded and 56.76% at non-profits publicly funded. Some interesting differences occur among center type subcategories also. Among center directors who have been on the job more than 10 years, none are from
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national chains, although one third (33.3%) of the directors of state or local chains have this longevity, as do 35% of the directors of independently operated single sites. Such differences are also present in subcategories of non-profit centers. Among publicly funded non-profits, 100% (14 of 14) of the directors of child care centers associated with public elementary schools have been in their positions for more than 10 years, compared with just 18.18% (2 of 11) Head Start directors. Teachers Significant differences occur among center types in five of the seven “length of time” categories for full-time teachers. Demonstrating the familiar stepladder pattern, a much larger proportion of teachers at for-profit centers (15.78%) are found in the “Less than Six Months” category than teachers at non-profits not publicly funded (7.79%) or at publicly funded non-profits (7.03%). Figure 8 below shows this trend among for-profits continuing through the “1 to 2 year” category. But by the “2 to 3 year” mark, the differences between center types are not statistically significant. Figure 8: Proportions of Teachers in “Length of Time” Categories by Center Type
30.00% 25.00% 20.00% 15.00% 10.00% 5.00% 0.00% Less 6 mos to At least At least At least At least More than 6 1 year 1 less 2, less 3, less 5, less than 10 mos than 2 than 3 than 5 than 10 years years years years years For-profit Non-profit, not Publicly Funded Non-profit, Publicly Funded

Significant differences then resume from the “3 to 5 year” category on, but now teachers at for-profits show much less longevity compared with their colleagues at other center types. For all center types, there is a point at which longevity levels start to decline, which may relate to the salary level. For instance, the point at which longevity declines is latest for the higher-paying publicly funded centers. Next are the nonprofits not publicly funded which pay mid-range wages and the earliest declines
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are seen in the for-profit centers which pay the lowest wages. In addition to the effect of wages, the education requirements present among the publicly funded programs may also be serving to draw staff away from early education. Staff members with the Child Development Permit may find it easier to meet the qualifications of a K-12 classroom teacher, and because many of these programs are connected with public schools, staff may be easily attracted to the even higher wages and benefits public school teachers command. Reasons for Leaving As with any field of employment, staff members have many reasons why they leave their positions. Success By 6 was interested in those reasons related to salary and benefit level. The survey posed the question: “Thinking about the last time your center had a teacher vacancy, why did that teacher leave your center?” and provided a variety of reasons for the respondent to select. The first among the top five reasons provided is “Personal/family reasons” (30.6%), followed by “Relocated to a different area” (24.1%), and a three-way tie between “Took better paying early childhood position,” “Took elementary teaching position,” and “Poor job performance,” each at 21.6%.34 Class size reduction in the primary grades, combined with rapid growth in the overall population and, disproportionately, in the number of children, has created a shortage of elementary school teachers in California. As a response, districts in Orange County have raised teacher salaries and offered a variety of staff incentives, such as low-cost home loans. This has increased the salary and benefit disparity between elementary school teaching, in which salary is relatively high, collective bargaining is in place, and many benefits are available, and ECE teaching positions, in which none of those descriptions are true. A reasonable assumption can be made that many staff who left ECE centers for elementary teaching positions were, like those who “took better paying early childhood positions,” seeking higher salaries. Almost half of the centers (43.2%) reported that staff left for one or both of these. Difficulties in Filling Staff Vacancies When staff vacancies occur in early care and education programs, children are put at risk. Proper adult-child ratios are difficult to maintain, which is not only a violation of Licensing requirements but also a safety risk to children. Center directors may have to assume classroom positions, leaving little time for program operations, or, unqualified substitutes may be used for classroom assignments. Ideally, positions would be filled quickly and efficiently with qualified staff within two to three weeks’ time. The survey asked respondents: “Thinking about the last time your center tried to fill a teacher vacancy, how long did it take after the position was approved and advertised for a permanent replacement to be hired?” For all center types, 57% report they were able to fill the last teacher vacancy in four weeks or less. The differences among center types are significant and interesting. Among the for-profit centers, 78.5% were able to fill the last teacher vacancy in four weeks or less; 53.7% of the non-profit
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not publicly funded centers and 30.7% of the publicly funded centers were able to meet that deadline. Interestingly, 22.7% of the non-profit not publicly funded centers took two months or more to fill the position and 53.8% of the publicly funded centers took that long. Clearly, the varying salary levels by center type do not correspond to the length of time necessary to fill positions. That is, the lower paying for-profit centers are able to fill positions more quickly than both the higher paying non-profits and the publicly funded centers. One can speculate about these differences, but further investigation would be needed to discover the barriers the types of centers encounter. Some possibilities might be that publicly funded centers require a higher level of staff qualifications, which limits their labor pool. State-funded centers also have to comply with certain procedures to advertise and fill positions, which may lengthen the process. In addition, some of the non-profit not publicly funded centers are faith-based and may prefer to screen candidates based on their affiliation with a particular religious group, thereby also limiting their labor pool. And finally, for-profit national chains may have the advantage of richer advertising budgets and resources for publicizing job openings, although few of those centers were included in the survey sample.

Children and Families Served Ages of Children Served To a large degree, the Success By 6 survey sample confirms what is known from other sources about the children currently attending child care centers. Most of the centers in the sample serve 3- to 5-year-olds, the ages of children commonly identified as “preschoolers.” As Figure 9 below shows, almost all (97%) of the responding centers serve pre-Kindergarten 4- and 5-year-olds, and most (90.7%) care for 3-year-olds.
Significantly fewer centers(17.8%) provide care for infants from 0 to 12 months, and for toddlers from 12 to 24 months (22%).Only 5% of all the slots in Orange County’s

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licensed children care centers are available for children 0 to 24 months old. 35 Yet, according to Children’s Home Society of California, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, requests for referrals for infant/toddler care increased from 38% to 42% in the period 1998 to 2000. 36

Figure 9: Proportion of Centers Serving Different Age Groups
100% 90% 80% 70%

% of Centers

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
0 to 1 2 m o n th s 1 2 to 2 4 m o n th s 2 y e a r o ld s 3 y e a r o ld s P r e - K 4 & 5 K in d e r g a r t e n y e a r o ld s 5 & 6 year o ld s

About a third (33.9%) of the centers serve children in just one or two age categories. These centers report serving either preschool or remedial Kindergarten children. Similarly, centers serving two age groups generally serve 3-year-olds and preKindergarten children. Most of the centers serving for the youngest children are among the for-profit sector. For example, 40.3% of for-profit centers report active infant/toddler programs, compared with just 13.6% of non-profit, not publicly funded centers and with 20% of publicly funded centers. Similarly, 88.1% of for-profits currently care for 2-year-olds, compared with 59.2% of non-profit, not publicly funded centers and with 25% of publicly funded centers. Programs for Kindergarteners are also more common among the for-profit centers with 76.1% serving this age group in comparison with 30.4% of the non-profits not publicly funded and 20% of the publicly funded centers.

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Characteristics of Children in Child Care Increasingly, children bring with them a host of challenging behaviors and special needs that tax the abilities of child care teachers to serve them. Young children with behavioral problems, learning difficulties, health needs or stress in their families, need the care of a consistent, well-trained ECE workforce. Without intervention, children are not prepared to enter school and their problems are simply compounded and passed along to public school systems. The survey sample reveals a variety of needs among the child care center population, none of which are concentrated in any particular region of the county. Psychological and learning difficulties are among the most common special needs. One hundred three centers out of 236 (43.6%) report some proportion of children with psychological difficulties. Most of these centers say that 1% to 2% of their enrollment demonstrate psychological needs. Similarly, 62.7% say the children they serve have special cognitive or learning needs. In most of these centers, 2% of the children have learning needs, but 10 centers report that 10% of the children have these special needs. Children with psychological needs or learning difficulties are reported in all types of centers regardless of funding source. Although centers identify a relatively small percentage of children among their total enrollments with psychological or learning difficulties, these special needs may be particularly challenging to teachers. Children with emotional problems or who are having trouble learning may present behaviors that can disrupt lesson plans and daily routines. In 10 focus groups across California held in the fall of 2001, child care providers reported “significantly more children in their care with challenging and aggressive behaviors than in previous years.”37 The focus group participants attributed these behaviors to overly stressed home environments, exhausted children and multiple and inconsistent care providers. The most disruptive children were those whose parents were unaware of or “in denial” about the challenging behavior. Recommendations included long-term solutions to the child care retention and staffing crisis as well as training, better access to community interventions and resources, and more cooperation between parents and providers.38 More than a third of the centers (35.6%) in the sample report children with special physical needs in their enrollment. In most centers, again the proportion of these children is small – either 1% or 2%. Publicly funded non-profit centers report a significantly higher average proportion of children with special physical needs (5.6%) than do for-profit (an average of 3.8%) and non-profit, not publicly funded centers (an average of 2%). Children who have limited use of English also present challenges to child care teachers, especially when most centers have few bilingual staff members. Among the 236 centers in the sample, 180 (76.3%) have some proportion of their children with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Yet, in only 97 among 214 of the centers (45.3%) is there a teacher or staff member who speaks the child’s language. The need is greatest among the publicly funded centers, which serve the largest number of LEP children, an average of 45.6% of their enrollments. In contrast, the proportion of LEP children in for-profits is 14.4% and among non-profits without public funds, 11%.
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Although Orange County is perceived as an affluent community, 17% of the county’s children 0 to 17 years old live in poverty, a rate that is the 38th highest among California’s 58 counties.39 Evidence of child poverty is significant among children in child care centers. Nearly a third of the centers (32.2%) estimate that they have some proportion of children that receive inadequate health care and almost a fourth (24.6%) have some children with inadequate housing. As can be expected, most of these children attend the publicly funded child care centers, which serve the neediest population. However, the number of children among the other types of centers is troubling. For-profit centers report an average of 13% of their children with inadequate housing and 18.8% with inadequate health care. Non-profits, not publicly funded report 14.4% with inadequate housing and 14.3% with inadequate health care.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Early care and education (ECE) is part of Orange County’s economic infrastructure enabling parents with young children to be self-sufficient and contribute to the county’s economy. Equally important, however, is the critical role ECE plays in children’s healthy development and school readiness, particularly among low-income children. Quality child care programs also strengthen family stability, serving to support and enhance parents’ child-rearing efforts and often providing early detection of potential developmental delays and intervention or referral for specialized services. The need for early care and education programs is growing as the county’s population increases and schools and society increasingly demand that all children begin Kindergarten ready to learn. Research confirms that these centers are likely our best strategy for promoting optimal development and school readiness for all children. Yet ECE programs vary in their quality, and therefore in their ability to meet these societal goals. Quality improvements and the maintenance of those improvements are impossible without a stable and well-trained ECE workforce. This survey identifies many current barriers to reaching the goals of staff retention and education: • Salaries for ECE professionals at all levels, from teacher to director, are low when compared with other occupations requiring similar education and training, which encourages staff to seek employment in other fields; These salaries do not represent “living wages,” especially in a high-cost region like Orange County; Salaries offer little room for growth, even after years of experience and achievement of additional academic degrees, providing no incentive to pursue education above minimum job requirements; Staff and administrative positions show small differences in salary, providing little incentive to advance in job responsibilities; For-profit centers – especially those that are independent, single site small businesses – are ineligible for many grants or other sources of financial
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assistance, and may suffer from the most restrictive salary budgets. This may, in in turn, affect the quality and retention of their teaching staff; • Quality standards are uneven both within and across center types, with the highest standards for education and retention met only in the limited number of publicly funded non-profit centers; High staff turnover rates (comprising the entire staff of some centers within one year’s time) prevent consistent quality care for the children served.

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In addition to these general quality issues, the survey identified several other possible barriers to providing quality service to particular groups of Orange County’s children: • Most ECE centers represent traditional preschools serving 3- to 5-year-olds, rather than infants and toddlers. The small number of centers providing services for the youngest children is unlikely to meet the needs of working families; Staff at ECE centers are not representative of the cultural and linguistic diversity in the county, so that children and parents may have difficulty communicating with early education teachers; Centers report that children demonstrate significant special needs and stressors which make increasing demands on the ability of the ECE workforce to teach effectively, but centers do not necessarily have staff with the special training to meet these demands.

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Success By 6, through the Accreditation Support Project and the CARES program, has begun to address these barriers to quality early care and education in five targeted areas of the county. In addition, the Success By 6 has identified a number of activities needed to sustain both these quality improvements and those of others. Success By 6 has organized working groups to strategize solutions and to identify resources to address some of these needs. The Early Care and Education Salary and Working Conditions Survey affirms this approach, as staff retention and training influence program quality, and both are clearly at risk in the county. The survey also clarifies that the staffing crisis and its effect on quality care are systemic and countywide, calling for larger interventions for very high-need areas. With a clear understanding that early care and education is essential to our community’s economic and social health, Success By 6 offers these recommendations: • Collaborative resources should be focused to increase public understanding about the value of high quality early care and education and to create a public will to invest in ECE at a sufficient level so that all children can benefit; Government investments and incentives should be more widespread and available to all programs, serving all populations. Current government subsidies make significant differences in quality for some centers and promote education and retention among some staff, but these investments are so limited that they may actually make the child care system more uneven by increasing
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quality differences between centers. Quality standards need to be improved and financial support needs to be more equitable so that all children have access to high-quality programs; • Neither government, nor consumers alone can provide all of the resources needed to solve the problems in the ECE system. However, in order for Orange County parents to contribute effectively to the economy, and in order to produce an effective workforce in the new generation, quality ECE is imperative. Involvement among the corporate community and other nontraditional stakeholders in a variety of ways can help infuse capital and human resources into early care and education so that this shared goal can be achieved; Improvements in salaries and benefits for the early care and education workforce in order to create incentives for retention and higher education, should be included in any comprehensive quality improvement initiative; Early care and education is an essential component of children’s services, and should be tightly linked to the K through 12 educational system, the health and mental health care systems, and family resource services. ECE staff should be viewed as professionals who, along with professionals from these other systems, have a significant and vital role in children’s healthy development; Greater efforts and resources are needed to build a more culturally and linguistically representative ECE workforce and to reach out to the various ethnic communities to meet the needs of these children and families.

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Success By 6 is a partnership of civic and business leaders, early care and education professionals, children’s advocates, and other community volunteers. With this rich collaboration, Success By 6 seeks to affect systemic change to improve the quality and accessibility of early care and education in our county. Success By 6 invites and encourages participation among diverse sectors of our community to continue to address the challenges that this survey has identified. Together, Orange County can find sound, long-lasting solutions that will ensure the success of our youngest children.

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Endnotes Endnotes
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National Educational Goals Panel. (1992). The national education goals report: Building a nation of learners. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. National Educational Goals Panel. (1996). Reconsidering children’s early development and learning: Toward common views and vocabulary. Available from the Internet at http://www.negp.gov/Reports/child-ea.htm. See, for example, Children and Families Commission, School Readiness page at the Commission’s website, www.ccfc.ca.gov. Carnegie Corporation. (1994). Starting points: meeting the needs of young children. Report of the Carnegie Task Force on Meeting the Needs of Young Children. Although the acronym “ECE” is commonly used to refer to “early childhood education” as a field of study, in this document for the sake of brevity, ECE is used to refer to “early care and education” programs for children. Steven W. Barnett, “Long-Term Effects of Early Childhood Programs on Cognitive and School Outcomes,” The Future of Children, 5(3), (Palo Alto, CA: Packard Foundation, 1995). National Education Goals Panel. (1998). Ready schools. Available on the Internet at http://www.negp.gov/Reports/readysch.pdf. Peisner-Feinberg, E., Burchinal, M., Clifford, R., Culkin, M., Howes, C., Kagan, S. & Yazejian, N. (2001). The relation of preschool child-care quality to children’s cognitive and social developmental trajectories through second grade. Child Development, 72(5), 1534-1553. NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1999). Child outcomes when child care center classes meet recommended standards for quality. American Journal of Public Health, 89(7), 1072-1077. Vandell, L. & Wolfe, B. (2000). Child care quality: Does it matter and does it need to be improved? Institute for Research on Poverty. Retrieved January 26, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/ccquality00/ccqual.htm#econ Phillips, D.A. & Howes, C. (1987). Indicators of Quality in Child Care: Review of Research. Quality in Child Care: What Does Research Tell Us? Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Howes, C. (1988). Relations between early child care and schooling. Developmental Psychology, 24, 53-57. Census 2000 Supplementary Survey Summary Table P063, http://factfinder.census.gov/. Milburn, S., Gardner, S., Glaesser, B. & Dreyer, N. (2002). The Orange County early care and education needs assessment. Santa Ana, California: Children and Families Commission of Orange County. Milburn, S., Gardner, S., Glaesser, B. & Dreyer, N. (2002). The Orange County early care and education needs assessment. Santa Ana, California: Children and Families Commission of Orange County. The Community Assessment report was the work of the Orange County Community Assessment Collaborative, which included California State University-Fullerton, Chapman University, University of California-Irvine, Saddleback College, Orange County's United Way, and InfoLink Orange County. The report is available from Orange County's United Way. Whitebook, M., Sakai, L., Gerber, E. & Howes, C. (2001). Then & now: Changes in child care staffing, 1994-2000. Washington, D.C.: Center for the Child Care Workforce. Success By 6, Orange County's United Way Orange County Early Care and Education Salary and Working Conditions Survey, 2002

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For more information about CCW and the salary survey, see the Center for Child Care Workforce website at http://www.ccw.org. As an incentive to complete the survey, each respondent received a $50 gift certificate to Lakeshore Learning Materials or a check for $50. Because this survey was voluntary and required significant time commitment on the part of the director and/or center staff, it is likely that the respondents represent the most well-staffed and wellcompensated centers in Orange County. Therefore, these salary numbers may slightly overestimate normative salaries. Fully qualified teachers in ECE programs must have at least 12 units of child development or early childhood education course work from a post-secondary educational institution and 6 months of experience. Provisional teachers may have 6 units, but must be completing classes each semester until the 12 units are achieved. Comparative salary information was derived from Occupational Employment Statistics, OES, 2000. Whitebook, M., Sakai, L., Gerber, E. & Howes, C. (2001). Then & now: Changes in child care staffing, 1994-2000. Washington, D.C.: Center for the Child Care Workforce. County of Orange, Orange County Community Indicators Project (2001) “Orange County 2001 Community Indicators,” Santa Ana, California. The self-sufficiency standard (SSS) is an alternative measure used to document the costs of living which families of different sizes must meet to move out of poverty. Developed by Dr. Diana Pearce, former Director of the Women and Poverty Project of Wider Opportunities for Women, the SSS calculates the mount of money working adults need to meet their basic needs without subsidies of any kind. For more information, see the Internet at http://www.equalrights.org/welfare/ssavg.htm Community Care Licensing is aware of only two such centers sponsored by employers with the primary mission of serving children of their employees. Some respondents may have misunderstood the category. Not all centers reported information for all salary levels. Only 125 centers (less than half of the sample) reported employing Assistant Directors, and this number was not adequate to analyze differences in Assistant Director compensation among center types. Because the distinction between fully paid and partially paid insurance premiums was frequently misunderstood, these categories were combined when tabulating results. County of Orange, Children’s Services Coordination Committee (2001) “Seventh Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County,” Santa Ana, California Milburn, S., Gardner, S., Glaesser, B. & Dreyer, N. (2002). The Orange County early care and education needs assessment. Santa Ana, California: Children and Families Commission of Orange County Whitebook, M., Sakai, L., Gerber, E. & Howes, C. (2001). Then & now: Changes in child care staffing, 1994-2000. Washington, D.C.: Center for the Child Care Workforce. On the Capitol Doorstep (2001), “Child Care Staffing Ratios and Qualifications,” Sacramento, CA On the Capitol Doorstep (2001), “Child Care Staffing Ratios and Qualifications,” Sacramento, CA Because multiple responses could be checked, the proportions reported do not sum to 100%. California Child Care Resource & Referral Network (2002) “The 2001 California Child Care Portfolio,” San Francisco, California. California Child Care Resource & Referral Network (2002) “The 2001 California Child Care Portfolio,” San Francisco, California. Success By 6, Orange County's United Way Orange County Early Care and Education Salary and Working Conditions Survey, 2002

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Mark-Wilson, P., Hopewell, A. & Gallagher, J. (2002) “Perceptions of Child Care Professionals in California Regarding Challenging Behaviors Exhibited by Young Children in Care: Findings and Recommendations of Focus Group Study,” Health Systems Research, Inc., Washington, D.C. Available on the Internet at www.childcarehealth.org Mark-Wilson, P., Hopewell, A. & Gallagher, J. (2002) “Perceptions of Child Care Professionals in California Regarding Challenging Behaviors Exhibited by Young Children in Care: Findings and Recommendations of Focus Group Study,” Health Systems Research, Inc., Washington, D.C. California Child Care Resource & Referral Network (2002) “The 2001 California Child Care Portfolio,” San Francisco, California.

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