We work in partnership with the early care and education workforce.

The National Early Care and Education (ECE) Workforce Center is a joint research and technical assistance center. This center builds on broader efforts of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support the early childhood workforce by identifying effective policies and strategies through research and evaluation, translating lessons from research for practice, and supporting innovations in states and communities through technical assistance. 

Featured Resources

Our collection of original and curated resources offers the latest research, practical guidance, and examples of innovation to inform the advancement of the ECE workforce. 

Grow Your Own ECE: An Introduction

This brief explores the transformative potential of Grow Your Own initiatives in strengthening and sustaining the early care and education […]

Published 2024

Grow Your Own ECE: Cultivating Community Partnerships

This brief expands upon the design and sustainability essential elements of Grow Your Own initiatives that are centered on solid […]

Published 2024

Grow Your Own ECE: Higher Education as an Essential Partner

This brief builds upon the ideas in “Grow Your Own ECE: An Introduction” and “Grow Your Own ECE: Cultivating Community Partnerships,” […]

Published 2024

Policy Analyst, Child Care and Early Education at CLASP

Lead infant/toddler educator with Oklahoma Head Start

Doctoral student in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County  

Doctoral student in Human Development and Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles

Key Topics

The foundation of our work is based on five key policy areas, or key topics, sourced from the Early Childhood Workforce Index created by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE).

Compensation & Financial Relief Strategies

Initiatives and investments to ensure compensation equal to the value of early educators’ work

Financial Resources

Public investment in the ECE workforce and broader ECE system

Qualifications & Educational Support

Policies and pathways that provide consistent standards for educators to achieve higher education

Work Environment Standards

Standards for providing safe and supportive work environments for early educators

Workforce Data

State-level collection of important data on the size, characteristics, and working conditions of the ECE workforce

Integrated Research & Policy Fellowship Program

The National ECE Workforce Center has welcomed the first cohort of fellows for our Integrated Research & Policy Fellowship Program. The 10-month program focuses on the development of emerging leaders and the integration of research and policy/practice.  

Meet the fellows and learn more about the program here.

Early Educator Advisory Board

We are developing an Early Educator Advisory Board to ensure that the work of the National ECE Workforce Center is meaningful and impactful to the workforce.

Serving as thought partners and advisors, this board will contribute to activities across research and technical assistance and will be composed of teachers representing settings across the sector, including home-based programs, Head Start, community-based centers, tribal child care programs, and state preschools. Board members will receive honorariums.

Please stay tuned for more information.