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School Teacher



Early Childhood Education
Workforce and Industry Key Facts

  • Early educators are trained in brain development and structure the day specifically for the children in their care based on age.

  • The activities they plan help children reach developmental milestones, such as literacy, gross and fine motor skills, problem-solving, socializing, and so much more!

  • Early educators provide a foundation for developmental success in all of the children they teach.

  • State and federal funding for the Purchase of Care program is based on an out-of-date system that does not cover the full cost of care, which results in

    • Low hourly rates for educators.

      • As of 2019, the average hourly rate for an early educator in Delaware was $10.60, down from $10.68 in 2017.

      • Many centers also cannot afford health care or paid time off for their staff.

    • Parent fees are high and can equal as much as a mortgage payment.

  • Pre-COVID, the turnover rate of early educators in Delaware was between 30% - 40%.

    • During COVID, the turnover rate rose to over 50%, and some centers experienced 100% turnover between September 2020 and September 2021.

  • Capacity guidelines during COVID forced providers to close classrooms and to not serve as many children, turning away families.

  • Now, in 2022, capacity restraints have been lifted, and providers are now unable to find staff to reopen those once-closed rooms.

    • There are children in Delaware who are not benefiting from an early learning program.

    • There are families in need of care that cannot find a local provider.

    • The staff who remain in early learning centers are overworked and underpaid.

Preschool Class

The Importance
of Advocacy

Early Education Advocacy for Delaware’s young children is essential because a high percentage (approximately 40%) of the state’s children, birth-to-five years old, live below the poverty line, which has a direct impact on academic success. To that end, seven (7) out of ten (10) children in Delaware are not kindergarten ready, and those statistics have increased since COVID, especially in the areas of language and literacy. Deaeyc wants to ensure that early childhood programs servicing all young children are of the highest quality, including having educated and well-compensated teaching staff.

How to Get Involved / How to Advocate

There are many ways to advocate!

  • send emails or make calls to legislators

  • share social media posts raising awareness to the causes

  • start discussions with friends and community members who may not know about the issues

Boy Playing with Abacus


Stay up-to-date with the latest happenings.

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