Who Are WAGE$ Participants?

Because Child Care WAGE$® provides compensation gains based on increased levels of education, WAGE$ participants are typically more educated than the early childhood workforce at large. They are, however, similar to the workforce in that they are mostly women, most often with children of their own, and they are teaching children from birth to five years of age in a variety of settings, often for 8-10 hours a day.

“WAGE$ has benefited the children in my care by allowing me to be able to purchase more materials for my classroom. I have also been able to pay some bills and buy food for my family.”  Center Teacher



Demographics of the Workforce Receiving WAGE$ Supplements Nationally FY19/20

Diversity of the Workforce

  • 63% of WAGE$ participants were people of color.
  • 99% were women.

The Critical Role of Early Educators for Our Children

At left you will find a PDF statement about what we believe about the critical role of the early childhood workforce in the preparation of our young children, what they need to know and be able to do and how we as a nation can support their efforts. This statement has served as a framework for the “I Make a Difference for Young Children” campaign. This campaign grew out of conversations during the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America convening. Co-chairs of a workgroup on professional development were Jana Fleming, Erikson Institute and Sue Russell, Child Care Services Association (CCSA).

Who are WAGE$ Participants?

  • Teachers
  • Directors
  • Family child care home providers

Where WAGE$ Participants Work

  • For-profit, not-for-profit and public centers
  • Family child care homes
  • Head Start
  • Prekindergarten

“It is difficult to stay in child care when you are underpaid. When you are paid competitively, it makes you feel successful and the enthusiasm then is transferred to the children. My life and the lives of my children have been forever changed with my educational level and the money.” – Center Teacher