In Solidarity with the Fight for Equity and Justice

The Early Educator Investment Collaborative stands in solidarity with the movement for black lives and condemns the violence against those fighting for equity and justice.

As a group of early childhood funders, we are committed to eliminating the systemic racism that has held early childhood educators in poverty and limited the access of children of color to high-quality early childhood education in their communities.

We refuse to accept the status quo, where early childhood programs are subsidized on the backs of low-income black and brown women who work long hours, receive low wages and limited benefits, and are forced to seek public assistance while working full-time. It is unacceptable that 40% of the early childhood workforce are women of color who earn less than their peers. We are more determined than ever to insist on just recognition and compensation for those who have been asked to help care for other people’s children while their own live in unacceptable conditions.

Through grants and partnerships, The Collaborative will intensify its efforts to elevate the early childhood workforce, particularly the nearly half who are educators of color who do not have equal access to higher education and ongoing professional development. In 2021, we awarded seven innovation grants in support of partnerships between institutions of higher education (IHEs) and states/territories/tribal nations to transform their preparation programs for early educators and break down systemic barriers to education for people of color.

The Collaborative also engaged Child Trends in 2021 to conduct a literature review and develop a policy and practice report to map the history of systemic racism in the U.S. and how it has influenced early childhood education (ECE) policy and practice, with a particular focus on educator pay and benefits, preparation, and workforce stability. Child Trends’ research illuminates the stark history of inequity—from the racism, sexism, and oppression that is codified in U.S. policy to wage disparities and racialized compensation, ultimately devaluing the early childhood workforce. The findings also shed light on solutions—the accompanying policy and practice report offers actionable recommendations for centering racial equity in conversations about early childhood educator pay and benefits, preparation, and stability for policymakers, practitioners, and the philanthropic community.

The Collaborative will not rest until every young child has access to diverse and well-prepared early educators who are supported in their own professional development and well-compensated for the great value of their dedication, skill, and hard work.