Snapshot of the 2018 Early Head Start Workforce: Who Are the Teachers and Home Visitors Serving Children and Families?
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
- Most teachers and home visitors have postsecondary degrees. A large majority of staff without a postsecondary degree either have, or are working toward, a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.
- Teachers with less education and home visitors with less experience are the most likely to meet with their coach frequently (at least once a week). For most other professional development activities, however, staff with different levels of experience or education receive the same level of support.
- In general, teachers and home visitors perceive their centers and programs to have positive organizational climates and they are satisfied with their jobs.
- Centers and programs are more likely to face challenges in hiring qualified staff than to face challenges in retaining them.
- Staff receiving more intensive professional development and working in centers and programs with strong leadership support and positive organizational climates are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.
Previous research shows teachers and home visitors are central to the quality of Early Head Start services. In this brief, we use data collected in spring 2018 from a nationally representative sample to describe Early Head Start teachers’ and home visitors’ characteristics, the program activities (or processes) they are part of, and how well their programs operate (or function). We also examine how staff-specific program processes and program functioning are associated with job satisfaction for teachers and home visitors. Findings help identify the composition and needs of the Early Head Start teaching and home visiting workforces and could inform policies and initiatives intended to build and maintain a high quality Early Head Start workforce.