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Power to the Profession

The collaborative effort to define and unify the early childhood field.

  • 50% of early childhood educators are worried about their own economic well-being

  • They earn 40% less than workers with similar qualifications

  • Early learning caregivers and educators with a Bachelor's degree earn nearly half the average earnings of individuals with a Bachelor's degree overall

Because positive relationships are at the core of quality, investing specifically in early childhood educators is the best thing we can do to improve early childhood education. That is why Power to the Profession is focused on equitably advancing an effective, diverse, and well-compensated early childhood education profession across states and settings.


  • Economic Policy Institute

  • U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Fact Sheet: Troubling Pay Gap for Early Childhood Teachers.

  • Whitebook, M., Phillips, D., & Howes, C. (2014). Worthy work, STILL unlivable wages: The early childhood workforce 25 years after the National Child Care Staffing Study. Berkeley, CA: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley.

Learn More:

Power to the Profession is a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards and compensation. 

Who is involved?

  1. Early childhood professionals contribute to this effort by participating in events, focus groups, interviews, webinars, and more.

  2. A National Task Force of 15 organizations who represent and engage with large groups of early childhood professionals meet regularly to deliberate and come to consensus on shared recommendations for advancing the early childhood education profession. The National Head Start Association, ZERO TO THREE, the Council for Professional Recognition, and the American Federation of Teachers are some of the organizations at the table. Click here for a full list.

  3. Over 35 national organizations with systems-level influence on the early childhood profession help inform and guide the work of the Task Force as Power to the Profession Stakeholders. Click here for a full list of stakeholders.

How can I get involved?

  1. Sign up to receive updates from Power to the Profession by clicking here or sending an email to

  2. Spread the word and share drafts, surveys, and resources to your network. Click here for more ideas on how to involve your colleagues and community.

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