We work in partnership with the
early care and education workforce.
About the National ECE Workforce Center
The National Early Care and Education (ECE) Workforce Center is a joint research and technical assistance center. This center builds on the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) broader efforts 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.
This website serves as the temporary home for the National ECE Workforce Center. A fully-developed site will be launched in 2024.
"The National Early Care and Education Workforce Center will help states and localities support early care and education professionals—and, in doing so, support working families."
- January Contreras, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The National ECE Workforce Center’s research, technical assistance, and other efforts are designed to examine and address the need for fundamental changes to ECE career advancement systems, compensation, and ECE workplace policies. We view these as key mechanisms for facilitating the successful recruitment and retention of a diverse, qualified, and effective workforce and essential to providing high-quality early care and education experiences for children and families across all early care and education settings and programs.
The foundation of our work is based on the five key policy areas highlighted below sourced from the Early Childhood Workforce Index created by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE).
Key Policy Areas
Qualifications & educational supports
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.
& financial relief strategies
Initiatives and investments to ensure compensation equal to the value of early educators' work.
State-level collection of important data on the size, characteristics, and working conditions of the ECE workforce.
Public investment in the ECE workforce and broader ECE system.
Educators are SO Important
“Early educators are so important. But as a country we do not fully recognize or appreciate the important role that they play,” says Jenna Conway, Deputy Superintendent of the Virginia Department of Education.
In this video, hear Conway talk about Virginia’s efforts to support the early care and education workforce. #WeWorkForECE
A selection of resources for the early care and education workforce. A comprehensive resource library is in development and will be available on our permanent website. Visit Our Current Resources Page
- Tue, Sep 26Sep 26, 2:00 PM EDTZoom Webinar
- Wed, Sep 13Sep 13, 12:00 PM EDTZoomSep 13, 12:00 PM EDTZoomSustaining Compensation Investments Beyond the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding This webinar highlights ways that state/ocal leaders are creating and sustaining ECE workforce compensation increases that were implemented using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and others.
“Our aim is to strengthen early care and education systems, policies, and practices via applied research and innovative technical assistance so that the workforce, families, children, and the country thrive.”
- Dr. Chrishana Lloyd,
Research Scholar, Early Childhood Development, Child Trends
Co-Director (Research), ECE Workforce Center
Early Educator Leadership Board
We are developing an Early Educator Leadership 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.
For questions email
Research & Policy Fellows Program
We will soon be introducing an integrated research and policy fellowship program.
We will engage two policy fellows and two research fellows each year to deepen their expertise about the key issues impacting the workforce and to build research and policy capacity in the field.
The fellowship is a year-long, part-time program. Each fellow will receive a stipend.
Please stay tuned for more information.
For questions email
Foundational Technical Assistance Series
Join the National Early Care and Education (ECE) Workforce Center for the Foundational Technical Assistance (TA) Series starting October 23rd.
The series is designed for early childhood leaders seeking to strengthen the early care and education workforce through innovations in policies, programs, working conditions, compensation, and professional development.
Participants will learn how to apply effective processes and levers to tailor strategies to transform the ECE Workforce and also hear about successful strategies from states and the National ECE Workforce Center’s collaborating partners.
Registration for the full series
is now open!
The Foundational TA Series will occur at 2pm ET on the following dates: 10/23, 11/27, 1/ 22, 2/26, 3/25, and 4/22
The National ECE Workforce Center is a collaborative of six core partners, nine collaborative partners that provide consultation support, and ECE educators that will advise across activities. Each partner will continue to maintain a portfolio of independent work within their own organizations while collectively bringing decades of expertise to the National ECE Workforce Center.