News From the Executive Office

Voters Support Early Care and Education

As we get closer to the primaries, it’s important to know where your candidates stand on issues of importance. For Maryland Family Network supporters, that includes early childhood matters. Apparently, lots of other voters care about these issues. See the December 24 issue of Exchange Everyday for a quick synopsis of data related to early care and education professionals. It’s reprinted here for convenience.

Voters Support Early Childhood Education
December 24, 2015

“New research finds strong bipartisan support among American voters for investing in the early childhood profession,” proclaimed the headline on a recent press release from NAEYC.  The release shared the results of a national survey of 950 voters, as well as focus groups of early childhood educators, conducted on behalf of NAEYC.  Key findings:

  • Six in 10 voters recognize that a child’s earliest years are crucial for learning and development, and nearly 9 in 10 voters believe that early childhood educators are an integral part of our society, valued at levels similar to firefighters and nurses.
  • Seventy-two percent of early childhood educators believe that the community doesn’t respect the importance and difficulty of their work.
  • Eighty-four percent of early childhood educators identify low pay as a significant challenge.
  • Sixty-one percent of voters believe that early childhood educators are paid too little and a majority of voters support raising their wages across all settings.
  • Eighty-five percent of voters believe that having well-compensated teachers is a ‘very important’ indicator of quality early education programs.
  • Voters’ support of public investments in early childhood education increased from 80 percent to 83 percent when told the investment would specifically focus on increasing the profession’s wages.
  • Fifty-one percent of educators of color cited college affordability as a barrier to staying in the profession compared to 37 percent of white educators.
  • Eighty-three percent of educators believe it is fair to require current and future early childhood educators to meet a baseline set of qualifications in order to receive a higher salary and benefits.