Compensation matters for an undervalued early childhood workforce

To help stem the tide of turnover and increase teacher continuity, Child Care WAGE$® awards education-based salary supplements to early childhood professionals to address the key issues of under-education, poor compensation and high turnover in the early childhood workforce. Supplement awards are based on education and the continuity of care provided. Download a WAGE$ overview PDF (Haga clic aquí para ver la versión en español), or learn more below.

Child Care WAGE$ Webinar

Learn more about bringing Child Care WAGE$® to your state.


  • Recognizes the challenges and diversity of the workforce
  • Links incremental educational accomplishments and continuity of care with compensation incentives
  • Provides children with more stable relationships with better-educated teachers
  • Is typically available to teachers, directors, and family child care providers working in regulated settings

The 4 Cs of Child Care WAGE$® Components

  1. Compensation
    Salary supplements tied to the participant’s level of education awarded every six months based on commitment to their program
  2. College Education
    Encourages graduated, increased salary supplements based on increased education
  3. Commitment
    Requirement for participants to remain in their child care setting for a specified time period to continue receiving supplements
  4. Counselor
    Individuals who are housed within each WAGE$ agency and support participants to ensure ongoing supplement awards


“WAGE$ has helped me keep my home and have funds for my children. It has helped me to make it every day. Thank you for saving my home, giving us food and keeping me from being homeless. Thank you from the top and bottom of my heart.”

Center Teacher

“If we have learned anything from a time of crisis, it is that a strong economy is absolutely contingent upon a strong early childhood workforce. Without fair compensation reflective of the important work they do, early educators simply cannot provide this essential support to children, families and businesses. Until early educators can earn what public school teachers earn with comparable education, we need strategies to enhance their compensation. The Child Care WAGE$® Program not only helps address the compensation deficit but helps build quality.”

Allison Miller, VP of Compensation Initiatives at CCSA