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ERIC Number: ED511845
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 66
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
Beyond Homes and Centers: The Workforce in Three California Early Childhood Infrastructure Organizations. Research Report
Whitebook, Marcy; Sakai, Laura; Kipnis, Fran
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley
In 2009, the authors surveyed a population of 1,588 persons who work in three types of early childhood infrastructure organizations in California--child care resource and referral programs, local First 5 commissions and as child care coordinators. All of these infrastructure organizations receive public dollars and at least one of each type is found in every county of the state. In reflecting upon their findings, the authors noted how this sector of the early care and education workforce is both similar and different from those working directly with young children each day. While predominately female and ethnically and linguistically diverse like those working in center- and home-based programs, staff in infrastructure organizations as a group have achieved higher levels of education and earn considerably higher salaries, even when taking level of education into account. One-half of infrastructure staff reported previous experience working directly with young children. Among those, the need for earning a higher salary was the most common reason reported for no longer working in the child care center classroom or a family child care homes. Similar to their counterparts who work in center- and home-based early care and education programs who are seeking educational degrees while working full-time, staff in infrastructure organizations report that financial support and more flexible work schedules would be helpful to their pursuit of education (Whitebook et. al., 2008). Staff working in these infrastructure organizations, in contrast to their counterparts who work in center- and home-based programs, did not report academic challenges as barriers to pursuing or completing higher degrees (Whitebook et al., 2008). Finally, while there is education and role stratification by ethnicity within the three types of infrastructure organizations in this study, it is less pronounced than in early care and education centers. Indeed, infrastructure organizations appear to be a leadership pipeline for the early care and education workforce, a place where those from diverse ethnic background and/or those who have worked in center- and home-based programs can find a wage commensurate with their education and assume new job roles in the early childhood field. The authors recommend the following: (1) Include early childhood infrastructure staff in early childhood workforce data systems; (2) Develop competencies for roles in infrastructure organizations and other early childhood leadership positions; (3) Commit public resources to the expansion of higher education programs focused on building a linguistically and ethnically diverse workforce; and (4) Improve compensation for those working with young children in centers and homes. Description of infrastructure agencies is appended. (Contains 10 tables, 47 figures, and 5 footnotes.)
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California at Berkeley, 2521 Channing Way #5555, Berkeley, CA 94720. Tel: 510-643-7091; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Identifiers - Location: California