View our Early Care & Education Workforce findings.

The Early Care & Education Workforce

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, with partners, began surveying child care providers in 2020 to understand the state of the early care and education sector in Louisiana, including the current issues facing providers. In Spring 2023 we expanded our research with a survey for child care staff, focusing on the compensation and experiences of child care employees in Louisiana. These survey results provide a comprehensive view of the early care and education workforce.

These survey results highlight who makes up our child care workforce, as well as the real conditions and feelings they experience. These findings highlight a stark reality about the early care and education sector:

While the individuals who care for and educate young children in Louisiana are overwhelmingly educated and credentialed, the average rate of pay in the sector is insufficient to support them, especially if they choose to have children of their own. As a result, one-third of early care and education staff are thinking of quitting their jobs, despite caring deeply about their work.

Louisiana cannot continue to rely only on child care workers’ affinity for their work to sustain them in their jobs, especially if they have a family of their own to support. The early care and education sector has risen to meet the state’s quality expectations; it is time Louisiana recognized these professionals as the highly skilled and educated workforce that they are and compensated them accordingly.

Options for increased funding include:

  • Utilizing the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund to continue leveraging state and local dollars together. The Fund has several sources of revenue, but some do not generate money. State lawmakers should evaluate these funding sources and maximize their value;
  • Diversifying federal investments to support increased funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant, the Preschool Development Grant, Head Start and Early Head Start, and the Child Care Means Parents In School programs; and
  • Exploring options for regional taxation bodies to allow cities, parishes, and school districts to collaborate on local solutions for increased early care and education funding.