ECE Workforce Compensation
What They’re Earning
The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, with partners, began surveying childcare providers in 2020 to understand the state of the early care and education sector in Louisiana, including the current issues facing providers. After these surveys and subsequent work specifically focused on the early childhood industry and workforce, LPIC administered a survey in Spring 2023 for childcare staff, focusing on the compensation and experiences of childcare employees in Louisiana.
The majority of people who work in early care and education settings are experienced and credentialed, with over 80% of early care and education teachers having at least an early childhood credential, including one-third with a bachelor’s or graduate degree. The majority also indicate they enjoy their work and feel committed to their program. At the same time, however, wages in early care and education are typically low in comparison to similar professions. At any given time, one-third of these educated, experienced staff members are considering leaving a job they enjoy – and the majority indicate higher wages would make the difference. The lack of competitive compensation results in high turnover rates for child care employees, who tend to leave the profession early making it difficult for Louisiana child care businesses to find and retain talent.
These survey results provide current wage and benefit information for all types of childcare staff, not just teachers and directors. These staff include janitorial and food workers, as well as office managers and assistant teachers.
- In Louisiana, the current family-sustaining wage for a family with two working parents and two children is $23 per hour per adult.
- Almost 80% of the childcare workforce earns less than $20 per hour, and most earn less than $15 per hour. This means that if a working parent wanted to enter the early care and education field, that parent would either need independent wealth to support their family or a partner who earns enough to make up the difference between the rate of pay in early care and education and a family-sustaining wage.
- Wages can differ by region, education credential, role, and provider program or type.