Seeking Strategies to Recruit, Advance, and Retain Early Care and Education Workforce


The Building and Sustaining the Early Care and Education Workforce (BASE) project aims to increase understanding of what drives workforce turnover in the early care and education (ECE) field and to inform efforts to improve the recruitment, advancement, and retention of the ECE workforce. The project is funded by the Office of Research, Planning, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

One of the early project activities is completing a comprehensive scan of the initiatives that are currently underway in the U.S. to improve recruitment, advancement, and retention of the ECE workforce. We are interested in local, state, cross-state, and multi-site strategies; publicly and privately supported approaches; and efforts at all levels, including those aimed at ECE policies, systems (and across systems), programs, or individuals. We are interested in strategies that target ECE workers in different roles caring for young children in all settings, including administrators and educators in subsidized center-based and family child care settings.

We are particularly interested in examples of approaches that aim to build, advance, and retain the ECE workforce, including, but not limited to, targeting any of these factors:

  • Economic well-being of the ECE workforce, such as income, wages, salaries, health care benefits, paid leave, or the availability and accessibility of other similar resources
  • ECE workforce qualifications and competencies, such as training, coaching, mentoring, professional development, or technical assistance in any of a range of areas (for instance, implementing curricula or supporting children with special needs or challenging behaviors) 
  • Job stressors and supports for the ECE workforce—these stressors, such as workplace climate, and supports, such as leadership trainings, might be at the structural, social, or organizational level
  • Alignment of ECE policies, regulations, systems, and funding, reflecting cohesion across different settings within state and local ECE systems
  • System inequities, such as disparities in opportunities and barriers for racial, ethnic, indigenous, immigrant, or linguistic groups of workers
  • Socio-emotional and mental well-being of ECE workers
  • Other factors that may affect recruitment, advancement, and retention of the ECE workforce

If you have information about current efforts that could inform this project, please send it, along with contact information, to the by April 15, 2021.

We will assume that materials you share with us can be made publicly available unless you specify otherwise. Please include URLs for materials that are available online.

BASE is being conducted by MDRC and its partners, MEF Associates, Butler Institute, Chapin Hall, Erikson Institute, and Decision Information Resources, Inc.