Early Educators’ Work Experiences and Job Satisfaction

Findings from the District of Columbia Child Care Policy Research Partnership

This brief describes DC early educators’ pay, employee benefits, and work experiences based on a 2021 survey of teaching staff (N = 417) in licensed child development centers and homes that participate in DC’s quality rating and improvement system, Capital Quality. Although most respondents reported being very satisfied (50 percent) or somewhat satisfied (38 percent) with their jobs, some would have second thoughts taking their job again and would not recommend it to a friend. Turnover intentions were high, with 26 percent being somewhat or very likely to leave their jobs in the next two years; 42 percent recently looked for a new job, with “to find a job that pays more” as the primary reason. Findings suggest many early educators enjoy their jobs, but they desire better compensation and more respect and recognition for the important work they do.


For more information on survey findings and related research, see the DC Child Care Policy Research Partnership project page.