Because Child Care WAGE$® provides salary supplements based on increased levels of education, WAGE$ 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 5 years of age in a variety of settings, often for 8–10 hours a day.

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

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

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

“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


The Critical Role of the Early Childhood Workforce in the Preparation of our Young Children