2017 Salary and Staffing Survey of Licensed Child Care Facilities

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

2017 Salary and Staffing Survey of Licensed Child Care Facilities (pdf)

Bureau of Child Care and Development 217/785-2559

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Child Care Centers - Highlights and Key Findings
    1. Capacity and Staffing
    2. Accreditation
    3. ExceleRate Illinois QRIS
    4. Education Level of Staff
    5. Salary
    6. Benefits
    7. Turnover
  3. Family Child Care Homes - Highlights and Key Findings
    1. Capacity and Enrollment
    2. Accreditation
    3. ExceleRate Illinois QRIS
    4. Education Level
    5. Salary and Benefits
    6. Years of Experience/Turnover
    7. Working Hours
    8. Motivation for Providing Child Care
  4. Introduction
  5. Methods
    1. Survey Development
    2. Respondents
    3. Administration of Surveys
    4. Survey Data
  6. Profile of Child Care Centers: Key Findings
    1. Respondent Role
      1. Types of Centers
      2. Accreditation & ExceleRate Illinois Status
    2. Center Program Revenue
    3. Capacity and Enrollment Patterns
    4. Ethnicity of Children in Programs
    5. Staffing Patterns
      1. Male Staff
      2. Non-English Fluency of Staff
    6. Professional Development
      1. Illinois State Professional Development Programs
      2. Professional Development Plan
    7. Peer Support
    8. Staff Turnover
      1. Turnover Rates
      2. Turnover Reasons
      3. Applicants for Vacant Positions
      4. Hires for Vacant Positions
      5. Male Applicants
      6. Non-English Fluency of Applicants
      7. Attraction to Child Care Careers and Employment
    9. Center Turnover
    10. Staff Demographics
      1. Education and Credentials
      2. Duration of Employment with Current Employer
    11. Salary and Wages
      1. Salary Scale
      2. Hourly Wage by Position
      3. Comparison of Hourly Wages from FY 2013-FY 2017
      4. Hourly Wage by Full- Versus Part-Time Status
      5. Staff Experience and Education
      6. Center Characteristics and Hourly Wage
    12. Benefits
  7. Profile of Family Child Care Home Providers: Key Findings
    1. Completed Surveys
    2. Demographics
      1. Gender
      2. Age
      3. Ethnicity
      4. Experience
      5. Education
    3. Accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois Status
    4. Demographics of Children Served
    5. Professional Development
      1. Program Awareness and Participation
      2. Training and Training Opportunities
    6. Capacity and Enrollment
    7. Assistants
    8. Business Characteristics
      1. Hours
      2. Earnings and Operating Expenses
      3. Other Income Sources
      4. Fee Policies
      5. Financial Assistance
      6. Benefits
    9. Professional Support
    10. Turnover
    11. Motivations and Perceptions about Providing Child Care
  8. Conclusion
  9. Appendix A: Child Care Resource and Referral System Map
  10. Appendix B: Licensing Standards for Center Staffing
  11. Appendix C: Acknowledgements

Executive Summary

High quality child care improves children's experiences and developmental outcomes and also contributes to a prepared, productive, and stable current and future workforce. Practitioners who work in child care settings are responsible for the quality of care and early education provided to children and their families.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is mandated by legislative rule 20 ILCS 505/5.151, to conduct a survey of the workforce in licensed child care facilities every two years. The survey summarized in this report meets that mandate by documenting the following: (1) the number of qualified caregivers attracted to vacant positions and any problems encountered by facilities in attracting and retaining capable caregivers; (2) the qualifications of new caregivers hired at licensed child care facilities during the previous two-year period; and (3) the average wages and salaries and fringe benefits paid to caregivers throughout the State computed on a regional basis.

Collection of survey data began with the list of 11,295 licensed child care programs in Illinois (3,203 licensed child care centers and 8,092 licensed day care homes) obtained through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). On February 8, 2017, providers with email addresses were sent an invitation to participate in the survey. This was followed by a letter mailed to all providers (including those that already received an email) on February 27, 2017. The survey was available in two formats: on-line and a paper document. Out of the 11,295 licensed programs, 666 child care centers (response rate = 20.8 percent) and 987 family child care home providers (response rate = 12.2 percent) completed the survey.

In addition, the 2017 report includes administrative data from the Gateways to Opportunity Registry. Because of the substantial population of licensed child care center staff and licensed family child care providers in the Registry, these administrative data are the best source for analysis of staff qualifications and salaries.

The findings of this 2017 survey and analysis of administrative data profile the qualifications, salary and benefits, and turnover rates from the sample of licensed child care programs operating in Illinois as of December 31, 2016.

1The entire bill is located on the Illinois General Assembly website: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=242&ChapterID=5

Child Care Centers - Highlights and Key Findings

Capacity and Staffing

  • The average licensed capacity of centers was reported as 90 children.
  • The 666 responding directors reported a total of 11,261 employees in their programs, including:
    • 1,515 administrative directors and director/teachers,
    • 8,084 classroom teaching staff,
    • 444 food service staff,
    • 408 administrative support staff,
    • 285 building support staff,
    • 525 other types of staff.

Accreditation

  • Out of responding centers, 19.8 percent (n = 132) were accredited by a national accrediting organization2:
    • 104 (15.6 percent) were accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC);
    • 27 (4.1 percent) were accredited by the National Accreditation Commission (NAC) under the auspices of the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP).
    • 3 (0.5 percent) were accredited by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA); and,
    • 1 (0.2 percent) was accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).

2Three centers held accreditation from two organizations, so the sum of centers by accrediting organization will be larger than the overall "n" of accredited centers.

ExceleRate Illinois QRIS

  • All of the responding centers were ExceleRate rated:
    • 328 (49.2 percent) of programs had received the Licensed Circle of Quality.
    • 86 (12.9 percent) of programs had earned a Bronze Circle of Quality.
    • 126 (18.9 percent) of programs had earned a Silver Circle of Quality.
    • 126 (18.9 percent) of programs had earned a Gold Circle of Quality.

Education Level of Staff

  • Out of 18,229 early childhood teachers in the Gateways Registry,
    • 82.8 percent reported having some level of college education,
    • 71.1 percent had completed a college degree (Associate's or higher),
    • 27.5 percent had completed their degrees in early childhood education or child development, and
    • 1.6 percent had completed a Child Development Associate (CDA) or Child Care Professional (CCP) credential.
  • 9.5 percent of early childhood teachers with a bachelor's degree or higher reported they also held a Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.

Salary

  • The median hourly wage for a full-time administrative director was $16.42 per hour, which is approximately equal to $34,160 per year.3
  • The median hourly wage for a full-time early childhood teacher was $12.50 per hour, which is approximately equal to $26,000 per year.
  • The median hourly wage for a full-time early childhood assistant teacher was $10.00 per hour, which is approximately equal to $20,800 per year.

3Assumes 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.

Benefits

  • Most centers did not offer insurance to most of their staff:
    • 51.1 percent of centers offered health insurance for their staff.
    • 44.8 percent of centers offered retirement/pension coverage for their staff.
    • 43.8 percent of centers offered life insurance.
    • 42.8 percent of centers offered dental insurance.
    • 39.7 percent of centers offered disability insurance.
  • Most centers did provide time off benefits:
    • 91.4 percent of centers provided paid vacation leave for staff.
    • 91.3 percent of centers provided paid holiday leave for staff.
    • 78.7 percent of centers provided paid sick leave for staff.

Turnover

  • The turnover rate for early childhood teachers over the last two years increased from 27.2 percent in 2015 to 33.6 percent in 2017.
  • The turnover rate for early childhood assistant teachers over the last two years increased from 34.2 percent in 2015 to 39.1 percent in 2017.
  • Administrative directors had been employed at their current program an average of 9.8 years and early childhood teachers had been employed an average of 5.1 years.
  • The top reason for early childhood teachers to leave their jobs willingly was dissatisfaction with pay or benefits, followed by personal/family issues, and being unhappy with job duties.
  • The least important reasons for an early childhood teacher to leave their job willingly were retirement and not enough opportunities for professional development or growth.
  • Directors reported that it often took more than 4 weeks to fill IDCFS positions; there was very little difference by type of position being filled.

Family Child Care Homes - Highlights and Key Findings

Capacity and Enrollment

  • The average license capacity reported for family child care homes was 9.8 children, with providers reporting that they care for an average of 7.8 children in a typical week.

Accreditation

  • 5.4 percent (n = 53 out of 987) of family child care providers were accredited through the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC).

ExceleRate Illinois QRIS

  • All responding family child care providers participated in ExceleRate.
    • 88.4 percent (n = 873) had received the Licensed Circle of Quality.
    • 4.9 percent (n = 48) had earned the Bronze Circle of Quality.
    • 5.7 percent (n = 56) had earned the Silver Circle of Quality.
    • 1.0 percent (n = 10) had earned the Gold Circle of Quality.

Education Level

  • Data from the Gateways to Opportunity Registry show that of all licensed family child care providers in the registry:
    • 43.3 percent had some form of college education.
    • 36.7 percent had an Associate's degree or higher.
    • 12.8 percent had an Associate's degree or higher in either early childhood education or child development.
    • 0.7 percent reported that they had a public school early childhood professional educator license (PEL).

Salary and Benefits

  • Licensed family child care providers reported an average annual net income of $14,122 per year:
    • 25 percent of family child care providers make less than $3,650.
    • 50 percent of family child care providers make less than $12,000.
    • 75 percent of family child care providers make less than $22,000.
  • 75.9 percent of family child care providers required payment when closed for holidays, 48.1 percent required payment when closed for vacation, 31.2 percent when closed for sickness, and 18.6 percent when closed for training.
  • 94.5 percent of family child care providers were covered by some form of health insurance.
  • 59.4 percent of family child care providers contributed to Social Security and 29.4 percent set aside money for retirement.
  • 24.8 percent of family child care providers had received some form of public assistance in the preceding two years.

Years of Experience/Turnover

  • Family child care home providers reported an average of 16.2 years of experience taking care of children in their homes.
  • 31.5 percent of licensed family child care providers reported that they had been previously employed in a child care center or public school.
  • 40.3 percent of family child care providers considered quitting providing care in the preceding two years. Dissatisfaction with benefits was the primary reason endorsed.
  • 35.0 percent of family child care providers report they plan to leave child care within an average of 8 years.

Working Hours

  • On average, family child care providers were paid to care for children 50.7 hours per week.
  • On average, family child providers spent an additional 16.0 hours per week on aspects related to their child care business (preparing food, shopping, cleaning, record keeping and lesson planning).

Motivation for Providing Child Care

  • Family child care practitioners endorsed "enjoy teaching children" and "like to be in business for self" as their two primary motivating factors for providing child care.

Introduction

Legislative rule 20 ILCS 505/5.15 mandates a statewide survey of the workforce of licensed child care facilities be conducted every two years by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). This survey evaluates:

  • the number of qualified caregivers attracted to vacant positions and any problems encountered by facilities in attracting and retaining capable caregivers;
  • the qualifications of new caregivers hired at licensed day care facilities during the previous two-year period; and
  • the average wages and salaries and fringe benefits paid to caregivers throughout the State computed on a regional basis.

Other areas assessed by the survey include information pertaining to fiscal management, enrollment patterns, staffing patterns, staff turnover rates, and professional development.

IDHS contracted with the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) to conduct the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017) survey.

Methods

Survey Development

One version of the Salary and Staffing Survey was constructed for licensed child care centers, and a separate version was used for licensed family child care providers. To allow for the comparison of 2017 survey results with those from past survey years, questions from past surveys were retained with some minor changes in formatting and wording.

Respondents could opt to take the survey either on-line, via the internet, or as a mailed paper document. Formatting and instructions differed slightly between the two forms of administration; survey content remained the same.

To create the on-line version of each survey, the paper versions were directly transcribed on-line, using the web-based SurveyMonkey product (surveymonkey.com). Respondents could access the surveys through a link on the INCCRRA website. The Salary and Staffing Survey web page contained links for both the licensed child care center and licensed family child care home surveys. It also included information on how to access both the online and paper versions of the survey, "Frequently Asked Questions" about the survey, and a link to "Previous Survey Highlights." To maintain confidentiality, respondents were assigned a user code (a randomly generated ten-character code). This code was required to enter in order to access the survey. With their unique code information, respondents could enter and exit the survey at their convenience, take the survey at their own pace, and make changes to responses prior to submission.

Respondents could request a paper copy of either the licensed child care center survey or the licensed family child care home survey by emailing or calling INCCRRA. Along with the requested survey, respondents would receive a self-addressed stamped envelope in which to return the survey. Appendix A contains the paper versions of both the licensed child care center and licensed family child care home surveys.

Respondents

There are sixteen Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies in Illinois (see Appendix B) which together serve all 102 counties in Illinois. Each CCR&R is assigned one or more counties to cover (referred to as their Service Delivery Area or SDA). All CCR&R agencies are partners with INCCRRA, which provides coordination and supports for the Illinois CCR&R System. CCR&Rs support licensed and license-exempt child care centers and family child care homes in their assigned areas. Child care facilities in Illinois are licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS).

Local CCR&Rs list these IDCFS licensed child care facilities on a provider database called NACCRRAware. INCCRRA maintains this database for Illinois. All 11,295 facilities in Illinois (3,203 licensed child care centers and 8,092 licensed family child care homes listed in the database as providing care as of December 31, 2016) were invited to participate in the survey.

Administration of Surveys

On February 8, 2017, an email blast was sent to 8,325 providers with emails listed in the database (5,828 family child care providers, 2,497 centers) inviting them to participate in the Salary and Staffing Survey. On February 27, 2017, a letter was mailed to all centers (n = 3,203) in care of the center director and all family home providers (n = 8,092), including those who had already been sent an email. Both notifications delineated the purpose of the study and invited the providers to participate in it, either by completing the survey online or via a mailed paper questionnaire.4

On April 6, 2017, reminder postcards were sent to 10,382 providers (7,536 family child care home providers, 2,846 centers). These postcards thanked providers who had completed the survey, reminded providers of the survey's availability both online and as a paper document, and provided the contact information necessary for providers to obtain the paper copy of the survey if so desired. Analyses were based on all completed surveys returned by July 1, 2017.

A total of 8,092 IDCFS licensed family child care home and group home providers and 3,203 centers were invited to complete the Salary and Staffing Survey. Out of these, 987 family child care/group home providers (903 online; 84 paper) and 666 center directors (653 online and 13 paper) completed and returned the survey. The response rates for each type of program were 12.2 percent and 20.8 percent respectively.

4Copies of both surveys are included in Appendix A

Survey Data

A discrepancy in the number of responses to each question exists because not all respondents completed each question. The number of raw responses to a question is denoted by the symbol (n or n =).

STATISTICAL NOTES

Using this data set as an example:

1 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 6 6 7 8 99

n (lowercase) - the number responding to a single question (in this dataset n = 13) whereas N (uppercase) is the number of respondents in total for the survey. Respondents sometimes skip a question or it is inapplicable so the n for each question or analyses is noted.

MEAN - the average, the result of adding all values in a data set and dividing by the number of values. Means are sensitive to each number in a data set but can be easily affected by extreme values. In the example data set above, the mean is calculated as: (1+2+2+2+3+3+4+5+6+6+7+8+99) ÷ 13 = 11.23. If the extreme value, 99, was to change to 9, the mean would change dramatically, (1+2+2+2+3+3+4+5+6+6+7+8+9) ÷ 13 = 4.31.

MEDIAN - the number that falls in the center of a list of data when scores are ordered by value. The median is not affected by the relative size of extreme scores. The median in the data set above is 4. Changing the 99 to 9 has no effect on the median.

MODE - the number that occurs most frequently in a group of scores. The mode in the data set above is 2.

RANGE - the range is the difference between the highest and lowest score. In the sample data set the range is (1-99).

Profile of Child Care Centers: Key Findings

The term "child care center" encompasses an assortment of programs that have their own legal and regulatory status as well as funding sources. Types of programs include full-day/full-year center-based child care programs, preschool programs, nursery schools, state-funded Preschool for All pre-kindergarten programs, Head Start/Early Head Start programs, and school-age care programs. Staff qualifications and training requirements vary with the type of program.

"Legal status" indicates for-profit or not-for-profit; "regulatory status" refers to licensed or license-exempt. Source of capital includes public and/or private funding sources. Public funding sources include, but are not limited to: Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) vouchers, certificates or site contracts, the Chicago Department of Family Support Services site contracts, Illinois Department of Children and Family Service (IDCFS) vouchers or certificates, Head Start, State Board of Education (ISBE)/Preschool for All (PFA), Child and Adult Child Care Food Program, and municipal, state or federal grants. Examples of private funding sources include tuition-based (parent fees), private donations, grants from foundations or agencies such as the United Way, corporate or employer subsidies and fundraisers.

Some centers are independent and stand-alone enterprises - either for-profit or non-profit; some are part of a corporation or chain (or are corporate-sponsored), and some are affiliated with a social service agency, hospital, or college or university. Others are sponsored through funds from the federal, state, or local government or are affiliated with the public school system. Some are single-site programs and others are multi-site programs.

All of these types of centers represent variation in child care delivery that is considered in the survey analyses.

From the 3,203 invitations sent to child care centers, 653 online surveys were completed and an additional 13 paper surveys were completed. Thus, 666 center surveys were completed out of 3,203 delivered invitations, for a response rate of 20.8 percent. Table 1 presents the response rates by CCR&R service delivery area (SDA) (see Appendix B).

Table 1. Survey return rates by service delivery area: Licensed Child Care Centers

Service Delivery Area CCR&R Office Location Centers Surveys Completed Percentage of Surveys Completed
SDA 1 Rockford 69 26 37.7%
SDA 2 DeKalb 135 43 31.9%
SDA 3 Gurnee 207 32 15.5%
SDA 4 Addison 392 70 17.9%
SDA 5 Joliet 191 44 23.0%
SDA 6 Chicago 1,415 229 16.2%
SDA 7 Moline 75 21 28.0%
SDA 8 Peoria 119 37 31.1%
SDA 9 Bloomington 46 12 26.1%
SDA 10 Urbana 89 26 29.2%
SDA 11 Charleston 31 7 22.6%
SDA 12 Quincy 27 11 40.7%
SDA 13 Springfield 90 27 30.0%
SDA 14 Granite City 172 46 26.7%
SDA 15 Mt Vernon 67 15 22.4%
SDA 16 Carterville 78 20 25.6%
Totals 3,203 666 20.8%

Respondent Role

Respondents were asked to provide basic information about their programs. Out of 666 centers responding to the survey, 56 (8.4 percent) were completed by owners, 142 (21.3 percent) by owner/directors, 379 (56.9 percent) by administrative directors (including CEO and executive director), 65 (9.8 percent) by director/teachers, 12 (1.8 percent) by support staff, and 10 (1.5 percent) by other personnel including teachers and fiscal officers. Since the majority of respondents to the licensed child care center survey were directors in some form (88.0 percent), all respondents will henceforth be referred to as "directors".

Types of Centers

Directors were queried about their programs, specifically: (1) hours of operation/program type; (2) whether it is sponsored by a faith-based organization; and (3) whether it exists as a single or multi-site program. Data from the NACCRRAware database provided information as to whether the center was an accredited program and whether it has been awarded a Circle of Quality in the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS).

Directors were asked to identify their center's schedule of operation based on hours open and center type. The 666 surveys yielded the following results:

  • 57.1 percent (n = 380) of centers were defined as full-day/full-year only (open at least eight hours per day for a minimum of 47 weeks per year);
  • 22.2 percent (n = 148) were full-day/full-year programs with a separate part-day option;
  • 15.5 percent (n = 103) were part-day only (nursery school, preschool, Head Start);
  • 1.4 percent (n = 9) were defined as part-day only before- and/or after-school programs;
  • 3.6 percent (n = 24) identified their center as operating on an "other" schedule; and,
  • 0.3 percent (n = 2) programs did not identify their type of center.

(Please note: unless otherwise specified, all further analyses will combine the data from both full-day and part-day programs.)

When asked whether their centers were sponsored by a faith-based organization, 507 directors (76.1 percent) responded "No", 156 (23.4 percent) answered "Yes", and 3 (0.5 percent) did not answer the item.

Directors were also asked whether their program was a single-site program or part of a multi-site program. Nearly three-quarters (72.8 percent, n = 485) indicated that their program was a single-site program; 26.6 percent (n = 177) were part of a multi-site program, and 0.6 percent (n = 4) did not report whether or not their center was single or multi-site.

Accreditation & ExceleRate Illinois Status

Accreditation demonstrates a center's commitment to high quality in early care and education by meeting voluntary guidelines and standards established by national accrediting organizations. The ExceleRate Illinois Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS) is designed to make continuous quality improvement an everyday priority among early learning providers.5 Providers who care for children eligible for the IDHS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) also receive a quality bonus above the standard payment rate if they achieve an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality above the Licensed Circle of Quality. Using information from INCCRRA's databases, variables were created to indicate the accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois rating status of licensed centers participating in the salary and staffing survey.

Of all 666 programs responding to the FY 2017 survey, 19.8 percent (n = 132) were accredited6:

  • 15.6 percent (n = 104) of programs were accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC);
  • 4.1 percent (n = 27) were accredited by the National Accreditation Commission (NAC) under the auspices of the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP);
  • 0.5 percent (n = 3) of programs were accredited through NECPA (National Early Childhood Program Accreditation); and,
  • 0.2 percent (n=1) of centers were accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).7

In FY 2017, all 666 centers responding to the survey participated in ExceleRate Illinois, with 49.2 percent (n = 328) being at the Licensed Circle of Quality and 50.8 percent (n = 338) having a higher Circle of Quality. Of those 338 programs, 25.4 percent (n =86) of programs earned a Bronze Circle of Quality, 37.3 percent (n = 126) of programs earned a Silver Circle of Quality, and 37.3 percent (n = 126) of programs earned the Gold Circle of Quality.8

Please note that centers can simultaneously hold a Circle of Quality and be nationally accredited. Of the 338 centers that had achieved a rating above the Licensed Circle of Quality, 35.8 percent (n = 121) were also nationally accredited.

5From the ExceleRateTM Illinois website, http://www.excelerateillinois.com/about/what-is-excelerate-illinois

6Three centers held accreditation from two organizations, so the sum of centers by accrediting organization will be larger than the overall "n" of accredited centers.

7To further identify the prevalence of accredited centers in Illinois, data were accessed from NACCRRAware in July 2017 and showed that: 379 (11.9 percent of all Illinois centers) are NAEYC accredited, 101 (3.2 percent of all Illinois centers) are NAC accredited, 29 (0.9 percent of all Illinois centers) are NECPA accredited, and 4 (0.1 percent of all Illinois centers) are COA accredited. Overall, 15.8 percent of all center programs in Illinois have been accredited by national organizations and meet nationally recognized standards for high quality.

8According to data retrieved for all programs from INCCRRA's Data Tracking Program (DTP), on July 1, 2017: 48 percent of centers were at the Licensed Circle of Quality, 7 percent were at Bronze, 20 percent were at Silver, and 25 percent were at the Gold Circle of Quality.

Center Program Revenue

To assess center program revenues, directors were asked to describe the legal status of their center, list center funding sources, estimate the contribution of each funding source to the center's overall budget, and provide totals on center revenue, operating budget, and net profit.

First, directors were asked to delineate the legal status of their program (profit or non-profit). The legal status of a program influences the types of revenue available to the program as well as a host of other factors that define or affect the program. Of the 666 centers who participated in the survey:

  • 324 (48.6 percent) reported their centers as for-profit enterprises:
    • 25.8 percent (n = 172) reported their center as a for-profit private proprietary or partnership;
    • 21.6 percent (n = 144) reported their center as a for-profit corporation or chain;
    • 1.2 percent (n = 8) reported their center as a for profit corporate sponsored;
  • 252 (37.8 percent) described their centers as a private non-profit:
    • 30.6 percent (n = 204) described their center as an independent private non-profit;
    • 7.2 percent (n = 48) described their center as a private non-profit affiliated with a social service agency or hospital;
  • 65 (9.8 percent) identified their centers as a public non-profit sponsored by federal, state, or local government;
  • 15 (2.3 percent) identified their centers as college or university affiliated;
  • 4 (0.6 percent) identified their centers as a public school; and
  • 6 (0.9 percent) of center directors did not respond to this item.

Next, center directors were provided a list of funding sources and asked to indicate which ones their center currently received. Table 2 identifies each revenue source and the percentage and number of centers who reported receiving it. As Table 2 reveals, 92.3 percent of all centers stated a portion of their funding base was comprised of tuition-based/parent fees. Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) vouchers or certificates were the second most common source of funding (68.9 percent).

Table 2. Type of center program revenues (n = 666)

Type of Program Revenue Percentage1 n
Tuition-Based (Parent Fees) 92.3% 615
Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) vouchers or certificates 68.9% 459
Chicago Department of Family Support Services (DFSS) 5.7% 38
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) vouchers or certificates 43.7% 291
Head Start 11.7% 78
Early Head Start 6.0% 40
State Board of Education (ISBE)/Preschool for All (PFA) 9.8% 65
Chicago Public Schools (CPS)/Preschool for All (PFA) 4.8% 32
Child and Adult Care Food Program 43.8% 292
Private Donations, grants (e.g., foundations, United Way), or fundraising 26.7% 178
Corporate/employer subsidies 4.8% 32
Other (fundraisers, church sponsorship, grants…) 4.4% 29

Table should be read: "92.3 percent of licensed child care centers received tuition-based revenues."

1Percentages add up to greater than 100 percent as respondents were asked to endorse all items applicable to their programs.

Not only were directors asked to identify the various sources of funding which comprised their center's revenue base, but they were also asked to estimate the percentage that each funding source contributed to their general revenue. Tuition and parent fees were reported to be the most common source of funding for centers (92.3 percent), with tuition and fees comprising an average of 62.9 percent (n = 596, median = 75.0 percent) or slightly less than two-thirds of center revenue.

The average and median percentages for each additional funding source for the 596 centers who answered the question are provided below.

  • Head Start funds comprised 5.4 percent of the total revenue base (median = 0.0 percent).
  • Preschool for All funds made up 1.8 percent of the revenue base (median = 0.0 percent).
  • Public funding (state, federal, or local) comprised 25.2 percent of the overall revenue base (median = 10.0 percent).
  • Private donations and gifts were 2.7 percent of the funding base (median = 0.0 percent).
  • Corporate/employer subsidies were 0.6 percent of total revenue (median = 0.0 percent).

Directors were asked to approximate both the annual operating costs and annual income for their centers. A wide range of budgets emerged. Annual operating expenses averaged $482,033 (n = 443), with a median of $360,000. Annual revenues averaged $512,398 (n = 443) with a median of $369,478. To calculate net profit, annual expenses were subtracted from annual revenues. Again, a notable range in net-profit existed between the centers; however, the average profit per center was $30,365 (n = 443).

As stated previously, the term "child care center" encompasses an array of programs and facilities such as public and private or for-profit and not-for-profit. To report a single figure for revenues or expenses that represents the fiscal experience of child care centers in Illinois obscures the varied nature of child care. Table 3 presents the operating costs, revenues, and profits of licensed Illinois child care centers by profit/nonprofit status and affiliation. The table documents that fiscal outcomes of child care centers are as varied as the centers themselves. Not surprisingly, as with the findings from 2015, corporate for-profit centers generally yield a profit, but public and private nonprofit centers make considerably less.

Table 3. Annual operating costs, revenues, and profits by profit/non-profit status: Licensed Child Care Centers

Legal Status of Center Revenues Operating Costs Profit
Mean n Mean n Mean n
For Profit: private proprietary or partnership $505,673 106 $471,111 106 $34,562 106
For Profit - corporation or chain $594,673 97 $496,667 97 $98,005 97
For Profit - corporate sponsored $666,190 4 $533,749 4 $132,441 4
Private nonprofit - independent $442,692 159 $432,691 159 $10,001 159
Private nonprofit - affiliated with a social service agency or hospital $488,122 30 $520,581 30 -$32,459 30
Public nonprofit - sponsored by federal, state, or local government $640,250 28 $634,450 28 $5,800 28
College or university affiliated $551,035 15 $619,760 15 -$68,725 15

Note: Statistics for which there were fewer than 3 observations were deleted.

As with the last three surveys, questions were asked to ascertain whether the general economy was perceived to have affected either the operating costs and/or revenues of centers. Directors were asked to rate these changes on a scale from 1 ("Decreased greatly") to 5 ("Increased greatly"). Directors rated the average change in operating costs as 3.6 (n = 610; median = 4.0) and the average change to revenue as 2.8 (n = 601; median = 3.0). Close to half of the directors that indicated revenues "stayed about the same" noted that operating costs had increased in the last two years.

If centers charge private-paying parents more for child care than the child care subsidy program reimburses, the center can ask the parent to pay the difference between the rates (if not a contracted site provider). More than one-third of the reporting centers (41.9 percent; n = 220 out of 525) enrolling subsidized children charge parents more than the amount reimbursed by the subsidy program.

Directors were also asked to rate the ease of collecting the parent's share of subsidized child care (parent co-pay plus any difference between state reimbursement and center rate). On a scale of 1 ("Very easy") to 5 ("Very difficult"), responding centers (n = 499) reported an average rating of 3.3 (median = 4.0), indicating that the task was "Neither easy nor difficult." Directors were further asked whether collecting the parent share had gotten easier or more difficult in the past two years (again on a scale from 1 ("Much easier") to 5 ("Much more difficult"). The average rate reported was 3.4 with a median of 3.0, indicating that it had "stayed the same."

Capacity and Enrollment Patterns

Licensed capacity is defined as the maximum number of children permitted in the child care facility at any one time. The ages of children that can be enrolled in a licensed center varies between six weeks - 12 years of age and are stipulated on the center's IDCFS license. Of the 665 responding centers with a licensed capacity listed, the mean total licensed capacity was 89.5 children, with a median licensed capacity of 78.0. The average total capacity of reporting centers was somewhat higher than the average licensed capacity of all 3,203 active licensed centers (79 children).

When asked to recount their current total enrollment (how many children attended their program), directors (n = 640) reported an average current total enrollment of 91.3 children, with a median current total enrollment of 77.0. Please note that enrollments can exceed total licensed capacity as counts may be made across multiple shifts and/or include children who attend programs on a part-time basis.

Directors were asked whether they had children enrolled whose families receive Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Chicago Department of Family Support Services (DFSS), and/or Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) financial assistance (subsidized child care). A preponderance (86.3 percent; n = 552) of centers have children enrolled whose families receive IDHS, DFSS, and/or IDCFS assistance. These centers enrolled an average of 31.3 children (median enrollment of 20.0) whose child care was subsidized by the aforementioned types of assistance.

To calculate the percentage of subsidized children enrolled in a center, the number of subsidized children enrolled was divided by the center's current total enrollment (n = 466). On average, 37.0 percent (median = 29.2 percent, with a range of from 0 to 100 percent) or, four out of every ten children enrolled in licensed child care centers, had child care paid through IDHS, DFSS, and/or IDCFS public financial assistance. This was 1.9 percent lower than the FY 2015 Salary and Staffing Survey report of 38.9 percent, and 5.8 percent lower than the FY 2013 report of 42.8 percent.

To further explore the enrollment patterns of centers, directors were asked how frequently their programs had vacancies over the past two years. On a scale of 1 ("There are always vacancies") to 5 ("There are never vacancies"), directors (n = 646) reported an average of 2.5 (with a median of 3.0). A rating of 3 means directors observed "there are sometimes vacancies" in their centers. Table 4 displays enrollment patterns.

Table 4. Enrollment Patterns (n = 646)

Enrollment Pattern Percentage n
1 (There are always vacancies) 26.8% 173
2 (There are often vacancies) 20.4% 132
3 (There are sometime vacancies) 31.4% 203
4 (There are rarely vacancies) 18.6% 120
5 (There are never vacancies) 2.8% 18

As Table 4 demonstrates, 78.6 percent of all directors rated their vacancy pattern as "There are always vacancies" to "There are sometimes vacancies". This is nearly the same as what was reported in FY 2015, indicating that center directors have experienced vacancies remaining steady in the past two years. It is interesting to note that per the NACCRRAware database, 8.4 percent of all contacted Illinois child care centers that closed their doors between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, closed due to "insufficient enrollment." This is a decrease from the 9.9 percent reported in the FY 2015 report.

Directors were also asked to reflect on how enrollment had changed over the past two years. On a scale from 1 ("Decreased greatly") to 5 ("Increased greatly"), directors indicated that on average the change of enrollment was 2.8 (n = 647; median = 3.0). The number 3 on the scale designates that the current enrollment "stayed about the same". A comparison of the data in 2013 and 2015 indicates little change in perceived enrollment patterns.

Ethnicity of Children in Programs

The 609 center directors responding to the item estimated that, on average, 20.4 percent (median = 5.0 percent; range = 0 to 100 percent) of the children in their programs were African-American, 59.0 percent (median = 70.0 percent; range = 0 to 100 percent) were Caucasian/White, 11.1 percent (median = 2.0 percent; range = 0 to 100 percent) were Hispanic/Latino, 0.1 percent (median = 0.0 percent; range = 0 to 25 percent) were Native American, 3.5 percent (median = 0.0 percent; range = 0 to 97 percent) were Asian/Pacific Islander, 4.9 percent (median = 1.0 percent; range = 0 to 80 percent) were multi-racial, and 1.0 percent (median = 0.0 percent; range = 0 to 48 percent) were of other racial/ethnic groups.

Over half (56.0 percent; n = 364) of directors indicated that there were children in their programs whose primary language was not English. Directors who reported children in their programs who spoke a language other than English also reported on the other languages spoken by the children in their center. In descending order, the following languages were reported to be spoken by the children. The percent shown in parenthesis represents the frequency of children who speak the indicated language in the 666 centers represented in the 2017 Salary and Staffing Survey.

  • Spanish (42.6 percent)
  • Chinese Dialect of either Cantonese or Mandarin (15.0 percent)
  • Hindi/Urdu (15.0 percent)
  • Polish (14.3 percent)
  • Russian (9.0 percent)
  • Arabic (8.6 percent)
  • Korean (7.4 percent)
  • French (5.3 percent)
  • Farsi (3.9 percent)
  • Japanese (3.6 percent)
  • Vietnamese (3.0 percent)
  • Hebrew (2.4 percent)
  • German (2.3 percent)
  • Other (7.5 percent)

Spanish (42.6 percent) was the predominant non-English primary language spoken by children in the responding centers.

Staffing Patterns

Directors were asked to provide information on the number of full-time and part-time staff employed in their center. In order to ensure the uniformity of job titles between the centers, the five staff positions highlighted in IDCFS licensing standards (see Appendix C) were used throughout the survey. The position of center director was separated into two categories to account for directors who double as teachers in their center. Other job categories were also listed in the survey that corresponded to those examined in previous surveys. Table 5 depicts the breakdown of center staff by position as well as the mean number of employees in the positions.

Table 5. Breakdown of center staff by position

Position Employees Centers1

Mean Employees per

Center

Median Employees

per Center

IDCFS-Defined Positions
Administrative Director 661 518 1.3 1.0
Director/Teacher2 854 442 1.9 1.0
Early Childhood Teacher 4,631 587 7.9 6.0
Early Childhood Assistant 2,875 548 5.3 4.0
School-Age Worker 419 511 2.0 1.0
School-Age Assistant 159 86 1.9 1.0
Other Staff Positions
Curriculum Coordinator 77 70 1.1 1.0
Family Support/Parent Educator 146 61 2.4 1.0
Cook 444 361 1.2 1.0
Administrative Support/Secretary 408 192 2.1 1.0
Building Support Staff 285 210 1.4 1.0
Other 302 86 3.5 2.0

1Number of centers with one or more staff members of the designated title.

2A director/teacher must meet the qualifications of both the director position and the teaching position.

The average child care center employs 17.9 staff members, the majority (85.2 percent) in IDCFS-defined positions. Early childhood teachers represented the single largest category of child care staff (41.1 percent of all staff and 48.2 percent of all IDCFS-defined instructional positions).

Directors were also asked to report on how many of their staff were lead teachers. Lead teachers were defined as follows:

  • The lead teacher is the individual with the highest educational qualifications assigned to teach a group/classroom of children and who is responsible for daily lesson planning, parent conferences, child assessment, and curriculum planning.
    • Depending on the program, this individual may be called a head teacher, master teacher, or teacher.
    • Each group/classroom will have one, and only one, lead teacher.

A total of 605 centers provided information about lead teachers. Child care centers averaged 6.1 lead teachers, with a median of 5.0. This figure remains consistent with findings from 2015 (mean = 6.0; median = 5.0) and 2013 (mean = 6.3; median = 5.0).

Table 5 indicates that on average most centers employ one cook and one building support person in their program; however, not all centers have these employees on their regular staff. Of the 666 directors who responded to the survey, 32.4 percent indicated that they contracted for food service, 35.3 percent contracted for building cleaning, 33.6 percent contracted for grounds maintenance, and 6.8 percent indicated that they contracted for other services such as pest control, accounting, and office equipment.

To further explore staffing patterns, directors were asked to identify the number of instructional staff with a second-paying job outside of their center. Out of 610 responses to this question, 286 directors answered "I don't know" and 324 (53.1 percent) indicated that at least one member of their instructional staff had a second paying outside job. These directors reported that on average, three (mean = 3.1; median = 2.0; range = from 1.0 to 20.0) of their instructional staff had a second-paying job outside their center. The average number of staff reported to have an outside paying job is consistent with the findings from the last several surveys.

Male Staff

Men continue to be underrepresented when it comes to employment in the field of early care and education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 national percentage of men employed as child care workers was 6.3 percent, employed as teacher assistants was 11.5 percent and employed as preschool or kindergarten teachers was 2.3 percent.9 To assess how many males were employed in child care centers in Illinois, respondents were asked to indicate the number of males employed in IDCFS center staff positions. Table 6 presents the number of male staff members employed in each position. While 21.9 percent of centers employed one or more male staff members in an instructional capacity (all positions except administrative director in Table 6), only 2.5 percent (n = 227) out of 8,938 of instructional staff were male. This percentage decreased slightly from the 2015 report.

9Figures were calculated by comparing the number of women in the position to the total number of workers in the position. This produced the number of males in the position. The BLS combines the positions of kindergarten and preschool teachers in their data. Data from, "Household Data Annual Averages", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm.

Table 6. Male center staff by Position

Position All Employees Male Employees Percent of Male Employees All Centers1 Centers with Male Staff2 Percent of all Centers with Male Staff3
Administrative Director 661 31 4.7% 518 30 5.8%
Director/Teacher 854 23 2.7% 442 20 4.5%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,631 60 1.3% 587 43 7.3%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,875 68 2.4% 548 53 9.7%
School-Age Worker 419 57 13.6% 211 41 19.4%
School-Age Assistant 159 19 12.0% 86 16 18.6%
All Positions 9,599 258 2.7% 630 156 24.8%

Table should be read: "Of the 518 centers who had administrative directors, 30 or 5.8 percent had a male administrative director."

1Number of centers with one or more staff members of the designated title.

2Number of centers with one or more male staff members of the designated title.

3Percentage of centers with one or more male staff members of the designated title.

Note: See Note on Table 5

Non-English Fluency of Staff

As previously reported, over half of responding centers reported caring for at least one child whose primary language was other than English. In order to gauge staff capacity to speak a language other than English effectively, we asked directors to indicate how many of their staff were fluent in a non-English language. Table 7 presents the results of this inquiry. Just over 16 percent of the 8,938 instructional staff were reported to be fluent in a language other than English (this is nearly the same as what was reported in 2015, but represents an increase from the 14.1 percent reported in 2013 and 10.5 percent reported in 2011). Just over half of all centers (51.1 percent) had at least one instructional staff member who was fluent in a non-English language. This is comparable to the 48.9 percent reported in FY 2015.

In descending order, the following languages were reported as spoken fluently by center staff. The percentage of all programs represented in the survey that have staff who speaks that language appears in parentheses.

  • Spanish (42.8 percent)
  • Hindi/Urdu (9.6 percent)
  • Polish (7.5 percent)
  • Arabic (4.4 percent)
  • Chinese dialect of either Cantonese or Mandarin (4.2 percent)
  • French (2.9 percent)
  • Russian (2.9 percent)
  • Farsi (2.1 percent)
  • German (1.4 percent)
  • Korean (1.4 percent)
  • Vietnamese (1.1 percent)
  • Japanese (0.9 percent)
  • Hebrew (0.6 percent)

Table 7. Number of staff who are fluent in a non-English language by position

Position All Employees Employees with non-English Fluency Employees with Non-English Fluency All Centers1 Centers with Non-English Fluent Staff2 Percent of Centers who Employ Non-English Fluent Staff3
Administrative Director 661 92 13.9% 518 85 16.4%
Director/Teacher 854 128 15.0% 442 81 18.3%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,631 713 15.4% 587 254 43.3%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,875 527 18.3% 548 199 36.3%
School-Age Worker 419 46 11.0% 211 30 14.2%
School-Age Assistant 159 31 19.5% 86 17 19.8%
All Positions 9,599 1,537 16.0% 630 503 79.8%

1Number of centers with one or more staff members of the designated title.

2Number of centers with one or more staff members of the designated title fluent in a non-English language.

3Percentage of centers with one or more staff members of the designated title who are fluent in a non-English language.

Table should be read: "Of the 518 centers who had administrative directors, 85 or 16.4 percent had an administrative director who is fluent in a language other than English."

Note: See Note on Table 5

Professional Development

Illinois State Professional Development Programs

Directors were asked about their awareness of and staff awareness of professional development opportunities and programs available in Illinois. Several programs exist including:

  • The Gateways to Opportunity Illinois Professional Development System is recognized for promoting quality and professionalism for early care and education, school-age, and youth practitioners.
    • The Gateways to Opportunity Registry is available for practitioners to track their training and professional development.
    • Great START (Strategy to Attract and Retain Teachers) is a wage supplement program that aims to increase child care practitioner retention while encouraging increased levels of education.
    • The Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program provides partial funding for college scholarships for both center and family child care providers in an effort to increase the educational levels of practitioners, promote increased practitioner compensation, and improve the consistency of care for children.
    • Gateways to Opportunity awards credentials to practitioners in the field of early care and education, school-age and youth development. The various credentials that can be earned are the ECE Credential, Infant Toddler Credential (ITC), Illinois Director Credential (IDC), Family Child Care Credential (FCCC), School-Age and Youth Development Credential (SAYD), Family Specialist Credential (FSC), and the Technical Assistance Credential. Achievement of these credentials is based on educational level, professional development background and work experience in the field of early care and education.
    • The Professional Development Advisor (PDA) Program pairs experienced mentors with less experienced practitioners to assist the latter in meeting their professional development goals.
    • The Gateways i-learning System is a web-based platform that provides online training opportunities to early care and education professionals. Online trainings offered include those required for IDCFS licensing, ExceleRate Illinois, and Gateways to Opportunity Credentials.
  • ExceleRate Illinois is a statewide quality recognition and improvement system (QRIS) designed to make continuous quality improvement an everyday priority among early learning providers. The program establishes standards for helping children develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally.
  • Local Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies offer various services for child care providers, parents and communities. Services for child care providers include technical assistance, training and consultation from specialists including Quality and Infant Toddler Specialists, and Mental Health Consultants.

Directors' awareness of the various professional development opportunities are reported below.

  • 99.5 percent (n = 621) of the 624 responding centers knew of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry;
  • 83.8 percent (n = 523) of the 624 responding center directors reported knowing of the Great START Program;
  • 86.4 percent (n = 539) of the 624 responding centers reported they had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program;
  • 93.8 percent (n = 585) of the 624 responding centers had heard of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials;
  • 56.9 percent (n = 355) of the 624 responding center directors reported they had heard of the Professional Development Advisor Program;
  • 92.1 percent (n = 575) of the 624 responding centers knew of the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS);
  • 79.6 percent (n = 497) of the 624 responding center directors knew of the consultants/specialists available through their local Child Care Resource & Referral agency.
  • 85.1 percent (n=531) of the 624 responding center directors knew of the online training opportunities available through the Gateways i-learning System.
  • 65.9 percent (n = 439) of all 666 responding centers had at least one Great START recipient in the past two years. Those 439 programs had a total of 1,542 recipients.
  • 37.4 percent (n = 249) of all 666 responding centers had at least one Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship participant for a total of 494 participants.

Some directors provided written feedback about these professional development opportunities. Below are representative comments.

  • "I feel that the maximum amount staff can make [$15/hr.] [to qualify for Great START] is too low. I have hard working staff who are dedicated to this program that we pay slightly more than the $15/hr. and they can't receive [a wage supplement]." 
  • "ExceleRate Illinois has provided a vast array of opportunities for child care professionals and our centers welcome the challenges. The goal of Illinois should now be to better inform parents of the talents required to successfully work with children in this field…"

Professional Development Plan

According to IDCFS Center Licensing Standards, center directors are responsible for ensuring that each child care staff member receives 15 hours of training each year. Programs that are accredited may have additional requirements beyond the 15 hours of training. A series of questions were devoted to finding out whether a center had a professional development (PD) plan for staff to meet this requirement, and the modes in which staff received training. An interesting finding is that there were notable increases in the percent of directors reporting they have staff professional development plans for their center and for their teaching/instructional staff. The 2015 report revealed 80.3 percent had professional development plans for their center, and 67.1 percent had professional development plans for their staff. These percentages compare to the 79.0 and 67.1 percent, respectively, in this report. Both the 2015 report and this one show an increase over previously reported data (the 2013 report showed 71.0 percent of centers had PD plans for their center and 56.7 had plans for individual staff). One potential reason for this jump is the increased attention on the role of professional development planning as part of continuous quality improvement. In addition to being a primary focus within ExceleRate Illinois, there have been several efforts in Illinois over the last several years to bring greater awareness to continuous quality improvement through regional meetings, training opportunities, and technical assistance.

Professional Development Plan for Staff

  • 79.0 percent (n = 492) of the 623 directors who responded to the question reported they have a staff professional development plan for their center.
  • 67.1 percent (n = 418) of the 623 directors who responded reported they have an individual staff professional development plan for their teaching/instruction staff.
  • 95.8 percent (n = 598) of the 624 directors who responded to the question reported they have in-service training opportunities for their instructional staff.
  • 84.3 percent (n = 528) of the 626 directors who responded to the question reported they pay for conference training or registration.

Training Received

Of the 616 directors who responded to the question concerning training in early childhood education, child development, or health education:

  • 71.1 percent (n = 438) reported their staff had received training from a Child Care Resource and Referral agency;
  • 53.1 percent (n = 327) reported their staff had received training from a local community training; and
  • 63.1 percent (n = 389) reported their staff had received training at a professional association meeting or conference.
  • 92.9 percent (n=572) reported their staff had received training through an online training source.

Directors were also asked whether they believe there are adequate training opportunities available to them and their staff. Of the 623 directors who responded to this question, 79.0 percent believe there are adequate training opportunities available. This is consistent with the responses from 2015 (79.2 percent), which was a large increase over the 60.7 percent who had responded favorably to this question in 2013. A possible explanation may be an increase in the amount of online training that has been made available and/or the use of it. For example, several new trainings were made available in the past several years through the Gateways to Opportunity i-learning System.

Peer Support

It is the director's responsibility to ensure center compliance with IDCFS licensing and other regulations, manage the day-to-day operations of the center, be its overall manager, and deal with various challenges on a daily basis. To measure the director's resilience to the nature and scope of issues inherent in his or her position, directors were queried about their support system (contact with other child care professionals).

When asked, "Approximately how many other child care professionals in addition to your immediate staff did you speak to last week?", 59.8 percent (n = 361) of the 604 responding directors reported that in the past week they spoke to no more than two additional child care professionals in addition to their immediate center staff, 20.7 percent (n = 125) reported that they spoke to between three and five additional child care professionals, and 19.5 percent (n = 118) reported that they spoke to six or more additional child care professionals.

Directors were also asked to indicate how many other center professionals they know personally, in addition to their immediate center staff. Of the 604 directors who responded:

  • 64.2 percent (n = 388) reported knowing at least six other child care professionals;
  • 21.2 percent (n = 128) reported knowing three to five child care professionals; and
  • 14.6 percent (n = 88) directors reported knowing two or fewer child care professionals.

Staff Turnover

Turnover Rates

When searching for a quality child care arrangement in a center, parents are advised to ask, "What is your staff turnover rate?" A consistent, nurturing caregiver is essential to creating a positive, trusting learning environment for children. That is why a stable workforce is paramount to providing quality child care. In order to understand the factors that comprise a stable workforce, questions concerning turnover rate, applicants, and new hires were posed.

Directors were asked to report the number of full-time and part-time staff members who left their program within the past two years. Temporary, substitute, and seasonal staff were excluded. To determine the percentage of turnover rate at the center level, the number of centers with staff exits within the past two years was compared to the number of centers employing staff with the given position. Staff turnover rates at the center level are presented in Table 8.

Table 8. Two-year center level turnover rate by position

Position

Centers Employing

Staff1

Centers who had Staff Leave

in Past 2 Years1

Center Turnover

Rate

Administrative Director 518 74 14.3%
Director/Teacher 442 118 26.7%
Early Childhood Teacher 587 412 70.2%
Early Childhood Assistant 548 326 59.5%
School-Age Worker 211 73 34.6%
School-Age Assistant 86 32 37.2%

1Number of centers reporting at least one staff member of the indicated position. See Table 5.

Table should be read: "14.3 percent of centers employing administrative directors had one or more administrative director(s) leave their position in the past two years."

The percentage of centers experiencing staff turnover in the past two years decreased with regard to turnover in the administrative director and director/teacher positions (14.3 percent and 26.7 percent in 2017 compared to 18.5 percent and 28.3 percent in 2015), and had slight increases for early childhood teacher and assistant positions (70.2 and 59.5 percent in 2017 compared to 67.8 and 61.9 percent in 2015.) Centers experiencing turnover in school-age worker and assistant positions remained fairly consistent.

In order to calculate the turnover rate on an individual position level, the number of staff who left in the past two years was compared to the number of employees currently employed. Table 9 displays the percentage of employees who left each position within the past two years.

Table 9. Two-year individual position level turnover rate by position

Position Employees1

Staff Who Left in

Past 2 Years1

Employee

Turnover Rate

Administrative Director 661 101 15.3%
Director/Teacher 854 208 24.4%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,631 1,555 33.6%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,875 1,123 39.1%
School-Age Worker 419 166 39.6%
School-Age Assistant 159 50 31.5%

1From Table 5

Table should be read: "15.3 percent of administrative directors left their position within the two years preceding the survey."

Individual turnover rates for administrative directors and director/teacher positions were fairly consistent with 2015 turnover rates, but turnover rates for early childhood teachers and assistants were notably higher (33.6 and 39.1 percent in 2017 compared to 27.2 and 34.2 percent in 2015).

Data regarding the two-year turnover rate by position has been collected since the FY 1997 Staffing Salary Survey (although the turnover rates were referred to as "replacement rates" in all surveys prior to FY 2003). Table 10 offers a comparison of these rates from FY 2007-FY 2017.

Table 10. Two-year turnover rate (individual position level) by position: FY 2007-FY 2017

Position FY 2007 FY 2009 FY 2011 FY 2013 FY 2015 FY 2017
Administrative Director 12% 14% 12% 10% 16% 15%
Director/Teacher 19% 18% 20% 16% 23% 24%
Early Childhood Teacher 28% 28% 25% 26% 27% 34%
Early Childhood Assistant 41% 39% 36% 33% 34% 39%
School-Age Worker 37% 36% 30% 28% 25% 40%
School-Age Assistant 24% 44% 38% 34% 33% 32%

Table should be read: "For every 100 administrative directors working in FY 2017, 15 administrative directors left in the two years preceding the survey."

Turnover rates have increased for early childhood teacher/assistant and school-age worker positions since FY 2015, while turnover rates for other positions remained largely the same.

Turnover Reasons

The turnover questions in the 2017 survey were different from past years' surveys in an effort to obtain more reliable data. Previously, directors were asked to subjectively rate (on a 5 point scale from "not important" to "very important") the reasons staff in various positions had turnover. For this survey, we first asked how many staff turned over of their own choice and how many were terminated. Directors reported that 84.8 percent of staff that left their program in the past two years did so voluntarily.

Directors were then asked, for the staff who left of their own choice, their reason for leaving, to the best of the director's knowledge. Table 11a shows the percent of staff in that position that left for each given reason, based on the director's knowledge. (Percentages will not add to 100 as not all directors specified reasons and some specified more than one.)

Table 11a. Percentage of staff departures by reason for leaving

Reason for Leaving Admin. Director

Director/

Teacher

Early

Childhood

Teacher

Early

Childhood

Assistant

School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
Dissatisfied with wages or benefits 24.6% 42.9% 39.2% 28.5% 29.9% 31.3%
Dissatisfied with work schedule or availability of hours 1.5% 5.7% 7.8% 6.0% 3.0% 18.8%
Not enough opp. for professional development or growth 4.6% 7.1% 3.4% 2.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Unhappy with job duties 27.7% 7.1% 11.0% 9.6% 10.4% 0.0%
Burnout 6.2% 10.0% 9.1% 5.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Retirement 13.8% 8.6% 2.6% 2.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Personal or family issues 23.1% 13.6% 18.0% 19.4% 32.8% 150.0%*
Staying at home with their own children 1.5% 3.6% 4.9% 5.2% 3.0% 0.0%
Unknown/did not share reason 13.8% 10.0% 10.2% 13.9% 26.9% 50.0%

Table should be read: "Directors reported that 39.2 percent of Early Childhood Teachers that left in the past two years did so because they were dissatisfied with wages or benefits."

* Due to an error made by a director reporting more staff in this category than in the overall number that left.

It is apparent from Table 11a that the most significant reasons for staff exit were dissatisfaction with wages or benefits; and personal or family issues, and to a lesser extent, unhappy with job duties. In addition to asking the reason why staff left, directors were asked a follow-up question to determine where the staff that left went - whether they stayed in the field or went into a different field, as shown in Table 11b.

Table 11b. Percentage of staff departures by type of new position

Reason for Leaving Admin. Director

Director/

Teacher

Early

Childhood

Teacher

Early

Childhood

Assistant

School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
Opened their own child care center or family child care home 5.4% 0.0% 1.1% 1.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Went to a different child care center 21.6% 27.7% 27.2% 12.7% 8.8% 0.0%
Went to work within the public school system 5.4% 16.1% 14.7% 4.0% 7.5% 0.0%
Found another job within the field of ECE 10.8% 6.3% 4.9% 4.8% 13.8% 0.0%
Found job outside of the field of ECE 13.5% 20.5% 21.1% 20.9% 46.3% 47.6%
Moved out of the area 10.8% 4.5% 7.6% 6.6% 3.8% 0.0%
Went back to school 0.0% 1.8% 2.9% 6.3% 6.3% 33.3%
Unknown/did not share 59.5% 14.3% 16.1% 19.7% 22.5% 14.3%

Table should be read: "Directors reported that 27.2 percent of Early Childhood Teachers that left in the past two years went to a different child care center."

While directors did not know what type of position many of the departing staff ended up going to, it seems that administrative directors, director/teachers, and early childhood teachers frequently went to work at different child care centers. Many staff ended up going to work in positions outside of the field of early care and education, especially staff from the school-age worker and assistant categories.

In response to the question of staff turnover, directors reported:

  • "…most moved on to higher paying jobs to utilize their bachelor's degrees."
  • "The job is hard with lots of responsibilities. Burnout factor is important too. Many day cares have no health insurance or retirement to offer."

Applicants for Vacant Positions

Directors were asked to respond to a number of items in order to determine how vacant positions are filled, what type of applicants apply, and what attracts applicants to the field.

For each job position, directors were asked to report the number of IDCFS qualified applicants, program qualified applicants (e.g., met qualifications to work in Head Start), and non-qualified applicants who had applied for advertised vacancies within the past two years. Table 12 shows the number of applicants who applied for each position and the percentage of applicants qualified (either IDCFS or program qualified) for the position as reported by the 397 center directors participating in the survey. Comparing these results from those of the 2015 survey, the percentage of non-qualified applicants for director and director/teacher positions increased significantly, while the percentage of non-qualified applicants for early childhood teacher positions decreased somewhat. The percentage of IDCFS qualified applicants differed from the 2015 survey depending on position. In FY 2017, 45.4 percent of early childhood teacher applicants were IDCFS-qualified, up from 39.7 percent in 2015. The number of qualified assistant teachers also increased from 59.5 in FY 2015 to 65.2 in this report.

Table 12. Percentage of applicants by position and qualifications

Qualification Status Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
IDCFS-qualified applicants 41.7% 38.5% 45.4% 65.2% 54.2% 46.8%
Program-qualified applicants 15.1% 7.8% 7.0% 8.2% 8.2% 12.9%
Non-qualified applicants 43.2% 53.7% 47.5% 26.6% 34.6% 40.3%
Total applicants 775 1,947 5,704 5,211 522 248

Table should be read: "41.7 percent of applicants for administrative director openings were IDCFS-qualified."

To document the length of time needed to fill vacant positions, directors were asked to respond to a four-point rating scale of 1 ("Less than one week") to 4 ("More than four weeks"). Directors most often reported that all positions, with the exception of early childhood assistant/aide took more than 4 weeks to fill: administrative director (mean = 3.3; n = 73), director/teacher (mean = 3.1; n = 115), early childhood teacher (mean = 3.3; n = 370); early childhood assistant (mean = 2.8; n = 305), school-age worker (mean = 2.9; n = 77), and school-age assistant (mean = 2.9; n = 44).

Directors were also asked, "Has the length of time to fill a vacancy changed over the last two years?" For each staff category, directors were asked to rate any change using a five-point scale.10 The mean rating directors reported are as follows: 3.8 (n = 82) for administrative directors; 3.8 (n = 120) for director/teachers; 4.0 (n = 339) for early childhood teachers; 3.8 (n = 267) for early childhood assistants; 3.9 (n = 95) for school-age workers; and, 3.7 (n = 73) for school-age assistants. While many directors reported that the time to fill a vacancy has stayed the same over the last two years, for many positions the majority of directors reported that the time to fill a vacancy has actually increased by more than 2 weeks compared to just a couple of years ago.

Directors reported on the ease or difficulty of filling vacancies within the past two years on a five-point rating scale. Their responses are reflected in Table 13.

10Scale: 1 = "Decreased by more than 2 weeks"; 2 = "Decreased by 1-2 weeks"; 3 = "Stayed the same"; 4 = "Increased by 1-2 weeks"; 5 = "Increased by more than 2 weeks"

Table 13. Mean rating1 of difficulty in filling program staff by position

Position Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant

3.7

(n = 98)

4.1

(n = 146)

4.2

(n = 384)

3.6

(n = 309)

3.9

(n = 122)

3.5

(n = 93)

1Scale: 1 = "Very easy"; 2 = "Somewhat easy"; 3 = "Neither easy nor difficult"; 4 = "Somewhat difficult"; 5 = "Very difficult"

Many center directors expressed their concerns with the difficulties they have had finding qualified staff to work in their centers.

  • "Licensing requirements are too strict for part-time employment, especially vaccination requirements. It is hard to locate these records for older applicants and too expensive to get the vaccines."
  • "We cannot offer enough hours as a part-time school to attract people who need more pay."

Hires for Vacant Positions

Directors were asked to identify the number of hires within the last year that met, exceeded, or did not meet IDCFS qualifications for their position as defined in the licensing standards. Table 14 indicates that nearly all hires at least met IDCFS standards. Those least likely to do so were school-age workers or school-age assistants. Administrative directors, director/teachers and early childhood teachers appear to be the most likely to exceed standards as opposed to merely meet them.

Table 14. Percentage of hires in the past year meeting or exceeding IDCFS qualifications

Met IDCFS

Qualifications

Position Responding Centers Number of Hires Percent
Administrative Director 69 91 45.5%
Director/Teacher 104 185 54.3%
Early Childhood Teacher 250 968 60.1%
Early Childhood Assistant 228 863 72.3%
School-Age Worker 60 113 65.7%
School-Age Assistant 28 72 66.1%

Exceeded IDCFS

Qualifications

Position Responding Centers Number of Hires Percent
Administrative Director 74 98 49.0%
Director/Teacher 86 139 40.8%
Early Childhood Teacher 183 568 35.3%
Early Childhood Assistant 86 265 22.2%
School-Age Worker 22 36 20.9%
School-Age Assistant 5 12 11.0%

Did Not Meet

IDCFS Qualifications

Position Responding Centers Number of Hires Percent
Administrative Director 9 11 5.5%
Director/Teacher 8 17 5.0%
Early Childhood Teacher 23 74 4.6%
Early Childhood Assistant 26 65 5.5%
School-Age Worker 9 23 13.4%
School-Age Assistant 5 25 22.9%

Center directors were asked to compare the qualifications of staff hired within the past two years with the qualifications of staff hired more than two years ago and record their impressions using a five-point scale (see note in Table 15). Table 15 indicates that on average, directors appraised new hires to have similar qualifications as previous hires, which is in keeping with results from the FY 2013 and FY 2015 reports. Prior Salary and Staffing Survey data have revealed most directors to indicate that their new hires were somewhat more qualified. One explanation for this trend over the last three surveys could be that the increase of applicants who meet and exceed IDCFS qualifications over the past several years are now the norm; therefore, it only appears as if the frequency of qualified applicants is stagnant.

Table 15. Perceived changes in qualifications of new hires in the past two years by position

Position Responding Centers Mean1 Median
Administrative Director 127 3.4 3.0
Director/Teacher 146 3.4 3.0
Early Childhood Teacher 351 3.2 3.0
Early Childhood Assistant 295 3.1 3.0
School-Age Worker 118 3.0 3.0
School-Age Assistant 94 2.9 3.0

1Scale: 1 = "Much less qualified"; 2 = "Somewhat less qualified"; 3 = "Same qualifications"; 4 = "Somewhat more qualified"; 5 = "Much more qualified"

Male Applicants

From providing a male role model for children to helping fathers become more involved in their child's care, males serve a myriad of important functions in early care and education. Directors indicated the number of males who applied for advertised positions within the past two years. Table 16 shows the results.

Table 16. Number of male applicants for vacant positions in the previous two years

Position

Responding

Centers

Male Applicants

in Past Two Years

Proportion of Male Applicants

per Open Position

Administrative Director 69 58 7.5%
Director/Teacher 108 81 4.2%
Early Childhood Teacher 319 352 6.2%
Early Childhood Assistant 250 297 5.7%
School-Age Worker 60 61 11.7%
School-Age Assistant 33 39 15.7%
Total -- 888 6.2%

As Table 16 shows, the positions of school-age worker and school-age assistants garnered the highest percentage of male applicants. This is consistent with past research which found that a higher percentage of men tend to be employed in afterschool child care than in other child care arenas.11 Overall, the number of male applicants for all positions increased from 3.8 percent in FY 2015 to 6.2 percent as of this report.

Directors were further requested to specify the number of males they had hired within the past two years. Results displayed in Table 17 indicate that at least 10 percent of males who applied for each position were hired, with the exception of director/teacher. For positions related to working with school-age children, the percent of male hires out of total male applicants was much higher and over 30 percent. Compared to all applicants for open positions, one percent of applicants hired for the position of administrative director were male and less than one percent of director/teacher, early childhood teacher, and early childhood assistants were male. Overall, less than one percent (0.9 percent) of all new hires were male. The proportion of male hires per open position was generally consistent with the low percentages seen in past reports. The only notable difference was for school-age assistants who went from a proportion of 10.1 percent in 2015 to 4.8 percent in 2017.

11Heather Rolfe, "Occupational Segregation Working Paper Series No. 35: Men in Childcare", National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Equal Opportunities Commission, 2005, p. 6, http://www.koordination-maennerinkitas.de/uploads/media/Rolfe-Heather.pdf

Table 17. Number of male applicants hired for vacant positions in the previous two years

Position Responding Centers Male Applicants Hired in Past Two Years Percent of Male Hires out of Total Male Applicants Proportion of Male Hires per Open Position
Administrative Director 115 8 13.8% 1.0%
Director/Teacher 146 7 8.6% 0.4%
Early Childhood Teacher 323 37 10.5% 0.6%
Early Childhood Assistant 272 46 15.5% 0.9%
School-Age Worker 75 24 39.3% 4.6%
School-Age Assistant 31 12 30.8% 4.8%
Total -- 134 15.1% 0.9%

Non-English Fluency of Applicants

As expressed previously in this report, the diversity of languages spoken by children in child care centers suggests that centers have staff with which children can effectively communicate in their primary language. Directors were asked to identify primary language information for applicants and hired employees in the past two years, and the results are displayed in Table 18. More than 89 percent of the non-English fluent applicants applied for the position of early childhood teacher or assistant. The proportion of applicants fluent in other languages was slightly lower across all roles than in the FY 2015 report.

Table 18. Number of applicants fluent in a language other than English who applied for vacant positions in the previous two years

Position Responding Centers Applicants Fluent in Other Language in Past2 Years Proportion of Applicants Fluent in Other Language in Past 2 Years
Administrative Director 69 20 2.6%
Director/Teacher 108 16 0.8%
Early Childhood Teacher 319 230 4.0%
Early Childhood Assistant 250 270 5.2%
School-Age Worker 60 21 4.0%
School-Age Assistant 33 30 1.2%
Total -- 560 3.9%

Directors also identified the languages spoken by primarily non-English speaking applicants:

  • 133 reported applicants who were fluent in Spanish
  • 20 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Hindi/Urdu
  • 17 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Polish
  • 12 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Arabic
  • 12 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Russian
  • 12 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Chinese dialect
  • Less than ten directors reported applicants who were fluent in the following languages: Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, German, Farsi, French, Hebrew, and Other.

Directors were then asked to indicate how many applicants fluent in a non-English language that had been hired as shown in Table 19. The percent of applicants fluent in other languages that were hired decreased from 57.3 percent reported in FY 2015 to 35.0 percent in this report, which is more in line with what had been reported in FY 2013. The overall proportion of applicants fluent in another language hired out of all applicants also decreased from 4.5 percent in FY 2015 to 1.4 percent in this report.

Table 19. Number of applicants fluent in a language other than English who were hired for vacant positions in the previous two years

Position Responding Centers Applicants Fluent in Other Language Hired in Past Two Years Percent of Applicants Fluent in Other Language Hired out of All Applicants Fluent in Other Language Proportion Applicants Fluent in Other Language Hired Out of All Applicants
Administrative Director 115 10 50.0% 1.3%
Director/Teacher 146 7 46.8% 0.4%
Early Childhood Teacher 323 70 30.4% 1.2%
Early Childhood Assistant 272 92 34.1% 1.8%
School-Age Worker 75 14 66.7% 2.7%
School-Age Assistant 31 3 100.0% 1.2%
Total -- 196 35.0% 1.4%

Of those directors who reported hiring applicants who were fluent in a non-English language:

  • 100 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Spanish
  • 11 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Polish
  • 10 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Arabic
  • Less than ten directors reported hiring individuals who were fluent the following languages: Chinese dialect, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Russian, Farsi, Hebrew, French, Hindi/Urdu, and Other.

Attraction to Child Care Careers and Employment

In order to explore why many are disinclined to go into child care as a career option, directors were asked to rate a list of potential deterrents on a scale of importance from 1 ("Not Important") to 5 ("Very Important"). "Low Salaries" and "Inadequate Benefits" (both with a median of 5.0 and a mean greater than 4.5) were listed as the top two reasons that deterred people from the field of early care and education. Other reasons which yielded a mean or median of 4.0 or higher were: "Better Career Opportunities in Other Child Care Professions," "Child Care Not Seen as Professional Career", and "Child Care Not Respected as Profession." These results are consistent with previous Salary and Staffing Survey reports.

Table 20. Reasons applicants not attracted to employment in child care

Reason Responding Centers Mean Median
Career Opportunities Not Known 453 3.13 3.00
Better Career Opportunities in Other Child Care Professions 457 4.09 4.00
Child Care Not Seen as Professional Career 450 4.08 4.00
Low Salaries 466 4.73 5.00
Inadequate Benefits 456 4.53 5.00
Openings Not Advertised 451 3.03 3.00
Child Care Not Respected as Profession 455 4.05 4.00

Several directors expressed concern about being able to keep qualified staff in the current environment:

  • "[My concern includes] the increasing demands for training and higher expectations for work performance without any increased pay. Increases in pay can't occur without adequate enrollment and increased revenue. The current financial climate doesn't support raising parent tuition since subsidized parents are already struggling with paying higher co-pays, subsidized rates have stayed stagnant, and private pay parents can't afford higher rates."
  • "Qualifications for positions are increasing without seeing results in salaries. How can you ask people to invest in a [higher degree] and not pay them better?"

Center Turnover

Center turnover was measured by drawing data from the statewide provider database on two separate occasions. The number of practitioners actively providing care on June 30, 2015 (June 30 represents the end of a fiscal year) was compared to the number in that same category on June 30, 2017. Table 21 displays the number of providers who are currently providing care, the number of new providers who were added to the database during 2017 and the number of providers who were active in the provider database as of June 30, 2017. As Table 21 shows, there was a slight decrease in the number of center providers for the two-year period, but a slight increase of total licensed capacity.

Table 21. Provider turnover 2013-2015: Licensed Child Care Centers

Active 2015 Still Active 2017 Percent Change New Providers 2017 Percent Change Active 2017 Percent Change
Active Providers 3,219 2,849 -11.5% 254 +8.9% 3,203 -0.5%
Total Licensed Capacity 248,439 233,158 -6.2% 19,513 +8.4% 252,671 +1.7%

Staff Demographics

In surveys prior to FY 2015, in order to assess staff demographics and understand the effects of the economy on the child care industry, directors were supplied with a supplemental worksheet12 and asked to complete it for all staff members who were employed either full- or part-time in an IDCFS defined position (director and classroom personnel). These data were the best available information at the time. The launch of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry in July 2009 provided Illinois with a workforce data system that could answer many of these same questions. In September 2012, IDCFS mandated that all licensed child care center and family child care home staff/providers join and maintain current membership in the Gateways Registry. This policy helped to ensure that nearly the entire licensed child care workforce is in the data system. For that reason, the FY 2015 report was the first where the supplemental worksheet was discontinued and administrative data from the Gateways Registry were used to provide results about staff demographics, education, and wages. This FY 2017 report continues with that same methodology.

According to the Gateways Registry, there are 49,281 individuals working in licensed child care centers in Illinois and 42,755 in IDCFS defined positions.

12The staff worksheet requested detailed information about each employee: position, age, primary language, education, certification, age group worked with, hourly wage, hours worked per week, start date, and benefits.

Table 22. Number of employees per IDCFS defined position (n = 42,755)

Position Employees Percentages
Administrative Director 4,127 8.4%
Director/Teacher 1,449 2.9%
Early Childhood Teacher 21,775 44.2%
Early Childhood Assistant 14,216 28.8%
School-Age Worker 720 1.5%
School-Age Assistant 468 0.9%
Total 42,755 100.0%

For the purposes of this survey full-time employment was defined as 40 hours per week.13 (Neither the Illinois Department of Labor nor the federal Fair Labor Standards Act14 distinguishes between part-time and full-time employees.) When completing the Gateways Registry membership form, individuals were asked to indicate the number of hours worked per week. Results indicate that overall, 59.6 percent of listed employees were defined as full-time and 40.4 percent as part-time.

13The work week was defined as 40 hours because the survey delineates a full-day as 8 hours/day.

14"The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define full-time employment or part-time employment. This is a matter generally to be determined by the employer." U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.dol.gov/elaws/faq/esa/flsa/014.htm

Table 23. Percentage of full-time and part-time employees by position

Position Full-Time Part-Time n
Administrative Director 82.7% 17.3% 3,661
Director/Teacher 64.3% 35.7% 1,301
Early Childhood Teacher 63.1% 36.9% 18,307
Early Childhood Assistant 49.6% 50.4% 12,035
School-Age Worker 36.0% 64.0% 602
School-Age Assistant 11.5% 88.5% 435
Total 59.6% 40.4% 36,341

Table should be read: "82.7 percent of administrative directors were full-time whereas 17.3 percent were part time."

Education and Credentials

Individuals report their educational achievements in the Gateways Registry and can update their record as they gain more education. In addition, they can also report credentials and certifications they have earned, such as the Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.15 The educational requirements necessary to be director or teacher-qualified (see Appendix C) are stipulated in the IDCFS licensing standards for day care centers. In summary, directors can qualify through 60 semester hours of coursework from an accredited college or university [18 semester hours must be directly related to child care (ECE) or child development (CD)], or can qualify through a combination of education and work experience. Similarly, early childhood teachers can either complete 60 hours of coursework from an accredited college or university (six semester hours must be directly related to ECE or CD) or qualify through a combination of education and work experience. Directors of school-age programs and school-age workers are required to have coursework directly related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping, or other related fields.

Table 24 shows that over 90 percent of all directors attained some level of college education. A large percent (63.5 percent) had earned their bachelor or master's degree, which are educational milestones that exceed IDCFS licensing standards. Nearly 83 percent of early childhood teachers attained some level of college education; moreover, 25.4 percent had achieved an associate degree and 37.2 percent a bachelor's degree or higher (which also exceeds licensing standards for that position). Of early childhood teachers with a bachelor's degree or higher, 9.5 percent reported having a Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.

More than one quarter of early childhood teachers (27.5 percent) had earned a degree in early childhood education or child development (ECE/CD)16. Close to half (40.6 percent) of early childhood assistants and 25.9 percent of school-age assistants had received education beyond a high school or GED degree.

There are also a number of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials that may be earned by individuals working in the field of ECE, as shown in Table 25. These credentials recognize the education, experience, and professional contributions of early childhood practitioners. Gateways Credentials are also a key component of ExceleRate Illinois, the state's Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS). The ExceleRate Circles of Quality, above the Licensed Circle, require that a percentage of personnel have achieved a Gateways Credential.

15Known previously as a Type 04 (early childhood) teaching certificate, the PEL with an early childhood endorsement is granted by the Illinois State Board of Education to educators who have earned a BA degree in early childhood and passed all state exams and requirements to teach in a publicly funded program serving children birth through age eight.

16This figure is likely under-reported as records that did not have a major listed were coded as "other" for purposes of this analysis.

Table 24. Center staff educational attainment by position (column percentages)

Education Level Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant All Positions
High School Diploma/GED 8.1% 10.0% 15.6% 58.1% 38.5% 72.6% 26.8%
CDA, CCP1 or Montessori credential2 0.5% 0.3% 1.6% 1.3% 1.2% 0.0% 1.3%
Some College in ECE/CD3, no degree 4.5% 4.3% 7.0% 4.3% 3.7% 1.5% 5.8%
Some College in other field, no degree 0.3% 0.2% 1.0% 1.4% 1.9% 1.0% 1.0%
Approved Community College ECE Certificate 1.8% 2.8% 3.7% 2.4% 1.7% 0.0% 3.0%
Associate's in ECE/CD 12.0% 28.9% 15.0% 7.8% 4.8% 2.0% 12.6%
Associate's in other field 9.3% 11.4% 10.4% 7.9% 12.3% 5.6% 9.7%
Bachelor's in ECE/CD 11.9% 11.4% 10.2% 1.6% 1.9% 1.0% 7.9%
Bachelor's in other field 29.6% 27.3% 27.0% 13.0% 27.2% 13.7% 23.4%
Master's in ECE/CD 8.6% 4.4% 2.3% 0.2% 0.6% 0.0% 2.5%
Master's in other field 13.4% 8.9% 6.2% 2.0% 6.2% 2.5% 5.9%
N 3,734 1,309 18,229 8,980 481 197 32,930

Table should be read, "Out of 3,734 administrative directors for whom education and credential information is available, 13.4 percent had a Master's degree in a field other than early childhood education or child development."

1CDA is the acronym for Child Development Associate; CCP is the acronym for Child Care Professional

2American Montessori Society or Association Montessori International

3ECE is the acronym for early childhood education; CD is the acronym for child development.

Table 25. Gateways Credential attainment by position (column percentages)

Position ECE Credential Infant/Toddler Credential Illinois Director Credential
Administrative Director 14.4% 17.0% 66.7%
Director/Teacher 4.4% 4.7% 11.5%
Early Childhood Teacher 63.3% 67.3% 19.9%
Early Childhood Assistant 17.2% 10.9% 1.7%
School-Age Worker 0.5% 0.2% 0.2%
School-Age Assistant 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
N 7,811 2,620 1,294

Note: Gateways Credentials may be earned by individuals in other settings (e.g., family child care) or by those no longer working in direct care. The "N" for this table represents only Gateways Credentials attained by individuals in these specified positions within licensed centers.

Duration of Employment with Current Employer

In salary and staffing surveys prior to FY 2015, directors were asked to record the number of years of paid experience each staff member had in the field of early care and education. With the change to using administrative data from the Gateways Registry for staff-related data in FY 2015 and present reports, a corresponding data field is not available. The Gateways Registry does collect information on how long individuals have been employed in their current place of employment, based on capturing their start date of employment. Table 26 shows that among all child care practitioners, the average years employed by their current employer was 5.0 years (median = 2.5 years). Administrative directors have been employed in the same program for longer than early childhood teachers and school-age workers, who in turn have been employed longer than early childhood and school-age assistants.

Table 26. Number of years employed by current employer

Position Mean Median n Range
Administrative Director 9.8 6.8 4,123 0.1-51.2
Director/Teacher 9.1 6.1 1,446 0.1-49.2
Early Childhood Teacher 5.1 2.7 21,744 0.1-45.8
Early Childhood Assistant 3.3 1.6 14,192 0.1-58.9
School-Age Worker 4.2 2.2 720 0.1-44.2
School-Age Assistant 2.3 1.4 467 0.1-33.6
Total 5.0 2.5 42,692 0.1-58.9

Salary and Wages

Salary Scale

As part of the main survey instrument (online and paper), directors were asked "Do you have a salary scale that you share with your staff?" Of the 600 directors who responded to this item, 48.0 percent (n = 288) indicated that they did. When asked how salary scales were differentiated:

  • 61.0 percent (n = 366) of 600 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by level of education,
  • 52.7 percent (n = 316) of 600 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by level of experience,
  • 23.5 percent (n = 141) of 600 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by attainment of an industry-recognized credential (other than a Gateways Credential), such as a CDA or professional educator license (PEL),
  • 18.7 percent (n = 112) of 600 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by attainment of a Gateways Credential,
  • 10.3 percent (n = 62) of 600 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by additional or supplemental training, and
  • 5.8 percent (n = 35) of 600 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated on some other basis. Other salary scales were based on length of employment/years of service, union contracts, pay grades set by campus/college human resources, job title/position description, minimum wage, responsibility, performance, and seniority.

Hourly Wage by Position

As part of the Gateways Registry, individuals have the option to report their hourly wages and/or annual salary with their employment data. The average hourly wage for all employees (n = 27,975 employees) was $12.75 (median = $12.00) (f = 1610.92, p (less than) .001). Table 27 depicts hourly wages by position. Reports prior to FY 2015 also collected wage data, but it was provided by the director completing the survey on behalf of their staff. Caution should be exercised if comparing data from reports before FY 2015 to the FY 2015 and current report for this reason.

Table 27. Hourly wage by position

Position Mean Median n
Admin. Director $18.42 $16.42 2,419
Director/Teacher $15.12 $14.00 928
Early Childhood Teacher $13.14 $12.50 14,131
Early Childhood Assistant $10.67 $10.00 9,758
School-Age Worker $11.88 $11.25 429
School-Age Assistant $10.13 $9.75 310

Table 27 also indicates that early childhood assistants and school-age assistants received lower wages than staff in other positions. Typically, these are positions in early childhood that require less education and experience to enter and yield compensation to match. The median hourly wages earned by early childhood assistants and school-age assistants were $10.00 and $9.75 respectively (the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25).17

17"Minimum Wage Law", Illinois Department of Labor, https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Pages/minimum-wage-law.aspx

Comparison of Hourly Wages from FY 2013-FY 2017

In Figure 1, the mean hourly wages for the positions of director/teacher, early childhood teacher, and early childhood assistant are compared over time. These figures have not been adjusted for inflation. The average hourly wage for early childhood teachers and assistants saw a small increase compared to the wages in FY 2013. The average hourly wages for administrative directors have fluctuated more noticeably.18 Still, as far as the consumer price index goes, administrative directors would need to earn $21.15 per hour, early childhood teachers $13.23 per hour, and early childhood assistants $10.44 per hour in 2017 to have the same buying power as $20.06, $12.55, and $10.60 had back in 2013.19 Overall, child care center staff wage increases are generally not keeping up with inflation.

Comparison of Hourly Wages

The salary data from the Gateways Registry can be compared to the most current Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).20 Although the data may not be strictly comparable, the national figures provide some context for interpreting the hourly wage of child care personnel in Illinois.

Three categories are primarily used by the BLS to include various child care positions. The categories are listed below, along with the descriptions provided on the BLS website. The mean and median hourly wages specified by the BSL are also included, followed in parenthesis by the mean and median hourly wages from Table 27.

  • Category 1 (11-9031): Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Center/Program. Description of position: "Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic and non-academic activities of preschool and child care centers or programs." As of May 2017 the mean hourly wage for this position was $31.66 and the median was $24.02 (mean = $18.42; median = $16.42).
  • Category 2 (25-2011): Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education. Description of position: "Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designated to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility." As of May 2017 the mean hourly wage for a preschool teacher was $15.27 and the median was $13.64 (mean = $13.14; median = $12.50).

Depending on the responsibilities of an assistant teacher, the position could fall under either the BLS category of Teacher Assistants or Child Care Workers.

  • Category 3 (25-9041): Teacher Assistants. Description of position: "Perform duties that are instructional in nature… [a]nd serve in a position for which a teacher has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services." As of May 2017, the mean hourly wage for an assistant teacher was $13.21.21
  • Category 4 (39-9011): Child Care Workers. Description of position: "Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and child care institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play." As of May 2017 the mean hourly wage for a child care worker was $11.40 and the median was $10.77 (mean = $10.67; median = $10.00).

18The decrease in hourly wage compared to 2013 may be attributed to the fact that the 2015 and analysis is based on administrative data from the Gateways Registry, which is a considerably larger population than what was represented by previous surveys. In addition, the 2015 report had those in the role of "director/teacher" grouped in with administrative directors, which may have artificially lowered the wages.

19CPI Inflation Calculator: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

20From "May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Illinois", Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm

21The annual mean wage listed in BLS was used to derive the hourly mean wage for Teacher Assistants. Comparison of median hourly wages are not available.

Hourly Wage by Full- Versus Part-Time Status

Summing across all staff positions with wage data available (n = 27,752 employees), hourly wages are higher for full-time compared to part-time employees. Full-time employees averaged $13.21 per hour compared to $12.12 per hour for part-time staff. The median hourly wage for full-time staff was $12.03 and part-time staff was $11.00 per hour (f = 384.85, p (less than) .001). Table 28 shows the breakdown of hourly wages by position and employment status. The findings across all positions, with the exception of early childhood teachers, show that staff make more per hour when employed on a full-time versus part-time basis.

Table 28. Hourly wages by position by full- vs. part-time status

Employment Status Full-Time Part-Time
Position Mean Median n Mean Median n
Administrative Director $18.76 $16.84 1,983 $16.84 $15.00 433
Director/Teacher $15.18 $14.00 599 $15.03 $13.95 328
Teacher $13.14 $12.50 8,835 $13.16 $12.02 5,217
Assistant Teacher $10.83 $10.25 4,742 $10.52 $10.00 4,886
School-Age Worker $12.14 $11.35 164 $11.72 $11.00 263
School-Age Assistant $9.88 $9.82 46 $10.17 $9.50 256

Staff Experience and Education

Table 29 (n = 27,922; f = 9.05, p (less than) .001) reveals that higher wages accompany increased years of employment with the same employer. Table 30 shows wages typically increase as level of education increases.

Table 29. Hourly wages by years employed with current employer by position (n = 27,922)

Years Employed Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
0-2 years Mean $17.72 $14.36 $12.72 $10.44 $11.48 $9.93
Median $15.65 $13.40 $12.00 $10.00 $11.00 $9.50
n 779 311 7,735 7,190 276 239
3-5 years Mean $16.76 $14.96 $12.98 $10.82 $12.14 $10.18
Median $15.00 $13.81 $12.39 $10.00 $11.25 $10.00
n 463 179 2,770 1,314 73 48
6-9 years Mean $18.46 $14.38 $13.35 $11.18 $12.38 $12.27
Median $16.50 $13.97 $12.66 $10.50 $11.48 $11.25
n 377 136 1,540 574 42 13
10-15 years Mean $19.32 $15.54 $14.05 $12.17 $12.95 $11.82
Median $17.31 $14.90 $13.55 $11.55 $12.96 $11.19
n 388 144 1,169 411 20 6
16-20 years Mean $19.41 $16.06 $15.03 $12.37 $13.79 -
Median $17.84 $15.00 $14.10 $11.80 $12.61 -
n 192 64 513 137 7 -
21 + years Mean $21.86 $17.87 $16.82 $13.27 $13.79 -
Median $19.71 $17.36 $15.00 $12.25 $14.94 -
n 217 91 377 113 11 -

Note: Statistics for which there were fewer than three observations were deleted.

Table 30. Hourly wages by education by position (n = 21,337)

Level of Education Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant All Positions
High School/GED Mean $15.27 $13.94 $11.86 $10.14 $11.07 $9.86 $10.93
Median $13.85 $13.25 $11.30 $10.00 $10.10 $9.15 $10.15
n 207 89 1,861 3,547 99 99 5,902
Child Development Associate Mean $15.32 $13.32 $11.63 $11.00 $12.42 - $11.66
Median $14.80 $13.20 $11.25 $10.50 $12.71 - $11.00
n 13 3 167 76 4 - 263
Some College in ECE/CD, no degree Mean $16.21 $13.39 $11.83 $10.95 $11.17 $9.64 $12.04
Median $15.00 $12.50 $11.52 $10.50 $10.50 $9.20 $11.50
n 96 41 787 259 10 3 1,196
Some College in other field, no degree Mean $13.15 - $11.92 $10.23 $10.25 - $11.30
Median $13.00 - $11.34 $10.00 $10.13 - $10.91
n 7 - 113 70 4 - 196
Approved Community College ECE Certificate Mean $14.80 $14.20 $12.29 $11.35 $11.82 - $12.33
Median $14.00 $14.00 $12.09 $11.00 $11.88 - $12.00
n 42 25 442 137 6 - 652
Associate's in ECE/CD Mean $16.05 $13.85 $12.67 $12.78 $12.21 - $13.09
Median $15.00 $13.25 $12.50 $12.68 $11.60 - $12.65
n 278 163 1,933 428 14 - 2,818
Associate's in other field Mean $16.06 $14.16 $12.15 $11.44 $11.17 $10.42 $12.47
Median $15.00 $13.26 $12.00 $11.00 $11.00 $10.00 $12.00
n 219 95 1,268 452 37 9 2,080
Bachelor's in ECE/CD Mean $18.96 $16.60 $15.40 $13.71 $14.45 - $15.99
Median $17.00 $15.00 $14.38 $13.50 $14.00 - $14.75
n 267 83 1,100 81 6 - 1,537
Bachelor's in other field Mean $19.15 $15.97 $14.00 $12.31 $13.09 $11.27 $14.48
Median $17.50 $15.00 $13.39 $12.00 $12.50 $11.00 $13.50
n 648 224 3,124 771 87 21 4,875
Master's in ECE/CD Mean $23.86 $20.38 $19.36 $15.16 - - $20.95
Median $22.55 $16.53 $16.82 $15.00 - - $18.90
n 156 30 238 9 - - 435
Master's in other field Mean $22.74 $16.89 $15.74 $13.23 $13.16 - $17.01
Median $20.77 $15.00 $14.00 $12.79 $13.50 - $14.85
n 248 67 689 116 14 - 1,134

Note: Statistics for which there were fewer than three observations were deleted.

Just as Table 29 demonstrates a logical pattern between hourly wage and number of years employed at the same program (generally, the longer one is employed at a site, the more one will get paid), Table 30 displays the logical pattern between hourly wage and education. Specifically, increased education and experience typically lead to higher hourly wages. In Table 30 (n = 21,088; f = 546.24, p (less than) .001), educational levels are defined by degree earned and the major field of study. For early childhood teachers and assistant teachers, those who hold a degree (associate, bachelor's, master's) in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD) earn significantly more than those who hold the same degree but in another field or major (p (less than) 0.001).22

22The only exception to this was for early childhood assistants with a master's degree or higher. While those with a master's in ECE/CD did earn more than those with a master's in another field, the difference was not statistically significant.

Center Characteristics and Hourly Wage

Using administrative data on program quality from the Data Tracking Program (DTP), variables were created to indicate the national accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois rating status of licensed child care center programs with staff in the Gateways Registry. These variables were examined in combination with wage data to determine whether there were any significant differences in wages between participating and non-participating programs.

Accredited centers could hold accreditation from one of several early care and education associations: the National Association for the Education of Young Children Accreditation, the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation, the National Association of Child Care Professionals, and the Council of Accreditation for School-Age Care. A center was considered accredited if they had one or more of the former accreditations. Table 31 demonstrates that, overall, without regard to position, there was a significant difference in the wages paid by accredited versus non-accredited centers. Accredited centers paid staff significantly more (mean = $13.68; median = $12.50) than non-accredited centers (mean = $12.52; median = $11.50) (f = 282.50, p (less than) .001).

Table 31. Hourly wages by position by accreditation status

Accreditation Status Not Accredited Accredited
Position Mean Median n Mean Median n
Administrative Director $17.83 $15.87 1,979 $21.03 $19.23 440
Director/Teacher $14.92 $14.00 866 $17.91 $16.23 62
Early Childhood Teacher $12.88 $12.07 11,221 $14.17 $13.15 2,910
Early Childhood Assistant $10.56 $10.00 7,919 $11.13 $10.50 1,839
School-Age Worker $11.70 $11.00 322 $12.44 $11.93 107
School-Age Assistant $9.93 $9.25 261 $11.20 $11.00 49

The ExceleRate Illinois QRIS recognizes program quality achievements of child care providers. The system has Circles of Quality which providers can achieve by meeting required criteria for each circle. Licensed child care centers who have earned the Gold Circle of Quality have reached the highest level of ExceleRate.23 Hourly wage and position of employees in the Gateways Registry were compared to the level of ExceleRate participation the employee's center had reached. The comparisons can be seen in Table 32.

23See the ExceleRateTM Illinois website for more information: http://www.excelerateillinois.com/about/what-is-excelerate-illinois

Table 32. Hourly wages by position by ExceleRate Illinois participation status

Position
ExceleRate Circle of Quality Administrative Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant
Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n
Licensed $18.28 $16.00 1,142 $15.10 $14.00 526 $13.51 $13.00 6,707 $11.01 $10.38 4,573
Bronze $17.57 $15.38 330 $14.67 $13.75 147 $12.07 $11.75 1,926 $10.06 $9.50 1,363
Silver $17.64 $16.01 287 $14.03 $13.50 73 $12.03 $11.65 1,873 $9.96 $9.50 1,282
Gold $20.62 $19.00 425 $18.77 $17.51 58 $13.82 $13.00 2,544 $11.08 $10.50 1,683

Note: Statistics for which there were fewer than 3 observations were deleted.

As shown in Table 32, there was an overall significant difference in the wages paid by ExceleRate participating versus non-ExceleRate participating licensed child care centers (f = 165.14, p (less than) .001), with wages being highest in programs with a Gold Circle of Quality.

Not-for-profit programs paid a significantly higher hourly wage than for-profit programs. Not-for-profit staff averaged $13.18 (median = $11.78) per hour as compared to for-profit staff who averaged $11.87 per hour (mean = $11.00) (f = 155.30, p (less than) .001). Table 33 depicts hourly wage by position and legal status (for profit vs. non-profit).

Table 33. Hourly wages by position by center profit status (n = 6,868)

Profit Status For Profit Not For Profit
Position Mean Median n Mean Median n
Administrative Director $17.52 $15.87 315 $19.68 $18.39 277
Director/Teacher $13.94 $14.00 85 $15.78 $14.23 101
Early Childhood Teacher $12.24 $12.00 2,032 $13.29 $12.00 1,610
Early Childhood Assistant $10.02 $9.62 1,418 $10.80 $10.00 854
School-Age Worker $11.01 $10.25 50 $11.70 $11.10 70
School-Age Assistant $9.21 $9.00 27 $9.29 $8.90 29

One of the primary functions of the survey is to calculate the mean and median hourly wage by region. CCR&R Service Delivery Areas (SDAs) are used here to define the word "region". The mean and median hourly wages earned by all IDCFS defined positions by SDA are presented in Table 34.

Table 34. Hourly wages by position by Service Delivery Area (SDA) (n = 27,975)

SDA Number with CCR&R Office Location Administrative Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n
1. Rockford $18.66 $15.63 55 $15.03 $14.15 20 $12.36 $12.00 310 $9.83 $9.01 150 $10.74 $10.21 18 $8.96 $8.38 8
2. DeKalb $17.25 $15.91 94 $15.16 $14.54 29 $12.15 $12.00 582 $9.80 $9.55 315 $11.35 $11.50 13 $8.89 $9.00 7
3. Gurnee $20.61 $18.27 151 $17.92 $15.94 70 $14.43 $13.39 844 $10.98 $10.40 587 $12.30 $12.21 24 $11.63 $10.61 24
4. Addison $18.93 $17.00 278 $16.56 $15.30 87 $13.90 $13.50 1,873 $10.76 $10.25 1,100 $11.97 $11.59 48 $10.07 $10.00 31
5. Joliet $17.53 $15.60 201 $14.09 $13.95 82 $12.57 $12.08 1,142 $10.16 $10.00 675 $11.52 $11.20 38 $8.80 $8.95 26
6. Chicago $19.65 $18.00 1,065 $15.55 $14.95 383 $14.26 $13.28 5,675 $11.50 $11.00 4,302 $12.97 $12.00 190 $10.82 $10.50 151
7. Moline $15.92 $14.75 43 $13.57 $11.28 25 $10.96 $10.50 306 $9.34 $9.00 157 $9.29 $9.25 4 - - -
8. Peoria $17.57 $15.73 90 $13.63 $12.78 44 $11.46 $11.00 683 $9.39 $9.00 429 $9.80 $10.00 18 $9.13 $9.17 4
9. Bloomington $17.40 $15.00 44 $13.03 $13.28 8 $11.93 $11.77 212 $9.12 $9.00 275 $10.47 $9.70 10 $8.70 $8.75 13
10. Urbana $16.81 $15.00 89 $12.90 $12.19 20 $11.97 $11.25 521 $10.38 $10.00 449 $9.76 $9.50 13 $9.17 $8.85 9
11. Charleston $13.33 $13.71 10 $13.43 $12.05 14 $10.47 $9.53 98 $9.41 $8.74 29 - - - - - -
12. Quincy $16.15 $14.54 19 $12.28 $12.62 8 $11.05 $10.80 109 $9.03 $8.50 36 $12.80 $11.00 5 - - -
13. Springfield $15.07 $14.61 54 $14.09 $12.69 25 $11.41 $10.85 420 $9.70 $9.13 308 $10.94 $10.00 13 $9.08 $8.63 8
14. Granite City $14.75 $13.68 141 $13.40 $12.75 69 $10.76 $10.00 836 $9.11 $8.75 632 $9.64 $9.50 22 $8.50 $8.25 21
15. Mt. Vernon $12.98 $12.11 38 $14.21 $11.75 30 $10.31 $9.50 248 $9.22 $8.69 156 $8.76 $8.75 4 - - -
16. Carterville $15.34 $14.75 47 $13.80 $10.71 14 $10.27 $9.58 272 $9.20 $8.50 158 $9.64 $9.50 7 - - -

Note: Statistics for which there were fewer than three observations were deleted.

Several directors commented about the inadequate salaries offered to child care personnel:

  • "Salary and benefits is most frequently the reason for permanent teaching staff to leave our employment. McDonald's has a higher starting pay for part-time work than our part-time teacher starting wages."
  • "Over 65% of our enrollment is CCAP children. Unless and until the CCAP rates increase, we cannot increase our hourly wage for our teachers."
  • "It is becoming increasingly difficult to retain quality staff."

Benefits

Directors where asked about the types of benefits available to their employees. This FY 2017 survey included an expanded list of benefits to get a more complete picture of what is offered in licensed center-based settings. In addition, the question was asked regarding benefits offered to full-time staff vs. part-time staff. Due to an error in the survey administration, only responses to the full-time staff questions were captured. As Table 35 shows, over 90 percent of responding centers offered paid holidays and vacation to its full-time employees. Additionally, three-fourths offered paid sick days. In terms of wage increases, two-thirds of centers offered periodic increases in wages based on performance and educational attainment, while less than half offered yearly cost-of-living increases. About three-quarters offered free or reduced fee child care to their employees and close to 80 percent offered payment or reimbursement for educational or training expenses.24 While half of the responding centers off health insurance, less than half offer dental insurance, life insurance, or retirement plans/pensions.

24Professionalizing the early childhood field and workforce is supported by various state initiatives. Center-paid educational stipends help staff meet their IDCFS requirement of 15 training hours per calendar year as well as assist centers to meet qualifications for an ExceleRate Circle of Quality. Some educational opportunities can be reimbursed through Professional Development and Improvement Funds. Money is also available through the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program to help child care practitioners meet their educational goals.

Table 35. Benefits offered to full-time staff

Benefit Programs Responding Programs Offering Benefit % Programs Offering Benefit
Health Insurance 474 242 51.1%
Dental Insurance 465 199 42.8%
Disability Insurance 459 182 39.7%
Life Insurance 457 200 43.8%
Retirement or Pension Plan 466 209 44.8%
Paid Sick Days 502 395 78.7%
Paid Personal/Vacation Days 511 467 91.4%
Paid Holidays 515 470 91.3%
Paid Time Off for Trainings 485 336 69.3%
Free Child Care 470 89 18.9%
Reduced Child Care Fees 476 355 74.6%
Performance-Based Wage Increases 494 355 71.9%
Cost-of-Living Wage Increases 469 220 46.9%
Wage Increase for Educational Advance 479 328 68.5%
Wage Increase for Credential Attainment 455 226 49.7%
Payment/Reimbursement for Educational or Training Expenses 486 374 77.0%
Formal Mentoring/Coaching 463 211 45.6%

Many directors commented on the difficulty providing benefits to their employees:

  • "Child care professionals are subsidizing the cost of child care by working for low wages and without benefits."
  • "The difficulty that many day cares face is that because of the high cost of qualified teachers, we cannot offer many of the benefits that we wish and staff deserve to have."

Profile of Family Child Care Home Providers: Key Findings

A total of 8,092 IDCFS licensed family child care and group providers were invited to complete the FY 2017 Salary and Staffing Survey. A total of 987 surveys (for a response rate of 12.2 percent) were completed: 903 surveys were completed online; 84 were completed in the form of a paper document. Table 36 presents the response rates by CCR&R service delivery area (SDA) (see Appendix B).

There may be a discrepancy in the number of responses for each question because not all respondents answered every question. An "n" will be used to signify the number of responses to an item.

Completed Surveys

Table 36. Survey return rates by Service Delivery Area: Licensed Family Child Care Homes

Service Delivery Area CCR&R Main Office Location Providers Surveys Completed Percentage of Surveys Completed
SDA 1 Rockford 445 54 12.1%
SDA 2 DeKalb 362 63 17.4%
SDA 3 Gurnee 532 58 10.9%
SDA 4 Addison 443 31 7.0%
SDA 5 Joliet 418 45 10.8%
SDA 6 Chicago 3,186 345 10.8%
SDA 7 Moline 318 37 11.6%
SDA 8 Peoria 229 33 14.4%
SDA 9 Bloomington 209 34 16.3%
SDA 10 Urbana 484 69 14.3%
SDA 11 Charleston 94 19 20.2%
SDA 12 Quincy 301 37 12.3%
SDA 13 Springfield 351 50 14.2%
SDA 14 Granite City 357 54 15.1%
SDA 15 Mt. Vernon 220 36 16.4%
SDA 16 Carterville 143 22 15.4%
Totals 8,092 987 12.2%

Demographics

Gender

Nearly all of the family child care practitioners who completed this item on the survey were female (99.3 percent; 845 of 851 respondents).

Age

Family child care practitioners were asked to identify their age. As seen in Table 37, the preponderance of respondents were 30 years or older. The most frequently reported range of age was 50-59 years. The least frequently reported range of age was "under 20 years" (IDCFS requires all "caregivers" in a day care home to be 18 or older) and was closely followed by the age range of 20-29 years of age. The category "60 years or over" accounted for 24.2 percent of all respondents.

Table 37. Respondents' age (n = 854)

Age Range* n Percentage
Under 20 years 0 0.0%
20-29 years 20 2.3%
30-39 years 102 11.9%
40-49 years 215 25.2%
50-59 years 310 36.3%
60 years or over 207 24.2%

*The question asked was "How old are you?"

Ethnicity

Practitioners were asked to self-identify their race/ethnicity. As Table 38 displays, 53.5 percent of family child care providers self-identified as "White", 29.7 percent as "African-American", and 14.2 percent self-identified as "Hispanic/Latino." When compared to population data in Illinois, African Americans are over-represented among licensed family child care home practitioners.25

25According to 2017 data from the Census Bureau https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/IL,US/PST045217, 14.7 percent of the state population self-identified race/ethnicity as African American and 17.0 percent of the state population self-identified race/ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino.

Table 38. Respondents' race/ethnicity (n = 843)

Race/Ethnicity n Percentage
African American 250 29.7%
Asian/Pacific Islander 3 04.%
Caucasian/White 451 53.5%
Hispanic/Latino 120 14.2%
Native American 4 0.5%
Multi-Racial 6 0.7%
Other 9 1.1%

Respondents were also asked to identify their primary language. The majority of respondents (86.3 percent; n = 735) indicated that their primary language was English. As to the extent of other primary languages reported for the 13.7 percent of providers who spoke a language other than English, the primary language spoken was Spanish. Out of the 852 reporting providers, 12.1 percent (n = 103) indicated their primary language was Spanish, and 1.4 percent (n = 12) indicated their primary language was another language. The additional languages providers listed included Bulgarian, French, Hindu/Urdu, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Punjabi, and Yoruba.

Experience

As a way of capturing longevity in family child care, practitioners were asked the length of time they had been paid to provide child care in their homes. The average length of time reported by providers was 16.2 years (n = 843; median = 15.0 years; range = 1 to 45 years).

There is often movement within the field of child care; therefore, practitioners were asked whether they were previously employed in other child care and education settings (i.e., child care center or public school). Out of the 850 responding practitioners, 30.0 percent (n = 255) had worked in another child care and education setting for an average of 7.7 years (median = 5.0 years; range = 1 to 40 years).

Education

For the analysis on the highest level of education held by family child care providers, administrative data were pulled from the Gateways to Opportunity Registry at the time when the survey was administered. Table 39 displays the frequency of educational attainment by the licensed family child care providers active in the Gateways Registry as of March 1, 2017. (When referring to Table 39, please note: ECE = Early Childhood Education and CD = Child Development.)

Table 39. Education level of licensed family child care providers (n = 5,807)

Educational Level n Percentage
High School Diploma/GED 3,223 55.5%
Child Development Associate 77 1.3%
Some college in ECE/CD,* no degree 186 3.2%
Some college in other field, no degree 33 0.6%
Approved Community College ECE Certificate 165 2.8%
Associate's in ECE/CD 561 9.7%
Associate's in other field 516 8.9%
Bachelor's in ECE/CD 140 2.4%
Bachelor's in other field 671 11.6%
Master's or higher in ECE/CD 39 0.7%
Master's or higher in other field 196 3.4%

*ECE is the acronym for Early Childhood Education; CD is the acronym for Child Development.

After January 1, 2011, all new licensed family child care providers were required to have proof of a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate. This mandate is waived for family child care providers already licensed prior to the first day of 2011. Nearly half of respondents reported an education level beyond a high school diploma or GED; 18.6 percent reported they had an Associate's degree, 14.0 percent indicated they had a Bachelor's degree, and 4.1 percent indicated that they had a Master's degree or higher. Out of the 6,987 family child care providers in the dataset, 0.7 percent reported to the Gateways Registry that they had earned their Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.26

26Known previously as a Type 04 (early childhood) teaching certificate, the PEL with an early childhood endorsement is granted by the Illinois State Board of Education to educators who have earned a BA degree in early childhood and passed all state exams and requirements to teach in a publicly funded program serving children birth through age eight.

Accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois Status

Utilizing information from NACCRRAware and the Data Tracking Program (DTP), variables were created to indicate the accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois status of family child care home providers who participated in the Salary and Staffing Survey. In FY 2017, 5.4 percent (n = 53) of family child care providers responding to the Salary and Staffing Survey were accredited through the National Association for Family Child Care Providers (NAFCC),27 the primary national accrediting body for family child care homes.

In addition, all of the 987 responding family child care providers participated in ExceleRate Illinois. The Circles of Quality represented by survey respondents were:

  • 88.4 percent (n = 873) were at the Licensed Circle of Quality
  • 4.9 percent (n=48) were at the Bronze Circle of Quality
  • 5.7 percent (n = 56) were at the Silver Circle of Quality
  • 1.0 percent (n=10) were at the Gold Circle of Quality

According to the survey sample, participation in ExceleRate at a level higher than the Licensed Circle of Quality was significantly associated with achievement of NAFCC Accreditation (p (less than) .001, Fisher's exact test) such that 8.1 percent of non-accredited providers were also participating in ExceleRate whereas 71.7 percent of NAFCC accredited providers were participating in ExceleRate.

27Per the online search tool at http://www.nafcc.org, there are 1,338 NAFCC Accredited providers and 183 (13.7 percent) are from Illinois.

Demographics of Children Served

Providers were asked to report upon the demographics of the children and families they serve. They were asked to estimate the number of children from each ethnic group and the number of second language learners in their care. Table 40 presents the mean proportions of children from each ethnic group reported by respondents.

Table 40: Demographics of children served by race/ethnicity (n = 7,962)

Child Race/Ethnicity n Mean Median Range
African-American 7,962 29.9% 0.0% 0-100%
Asian/Pacific Islander 7,962 0.8% 0.0% 0-100%
Caucasian/White 7,962 49.1% 52.3% 0-100%
Hispanic/Latino 7,962 15.0% 0.0% 0-100%
Native American 7,962 0.3% 0.0% 0-100%
Multi-Racial 7,962 4.6% 0.0% 0-100%
Other 7,962 0.4% 0.0% 0-100%

Practitioners were asked to report whether or not they had English language learners (ELL) enrolled in their programs. Of 987 respondents to this question, 18.4 percent (n = 179) indicated they had second language learners enrolled in their programs. Of those with ELLs, 84.4 percent (n= 151) reported having children whose primary language was Spanish as ELLs in their programs. Many other languages were represented in the sample, each with less than ten providers serving children who are ELLs of a particular language such as: Arabic, Chinese dialects, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Yoruba.

Professional Development

Program Awareness and Participation

Providers (n = 863) were asked about their awareness of professional development opportunities and programs available in Illinois.

  • Nearly all (99.2 percent; n = 856) knew of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry.
  • More than three quarters (76.5 percent; n = 660) knew of the Great START Program.
  • Approximately the same (77.4 percent; n = 668) had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program.
  • Over 80 percent (81.2 percent; n = 701) knew of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials.
  • Close to half (45.7 percent; n = 394) knew of the Professional Development Advisor Program.
  • About 80 percent (80.1 percent; n = 691) knew of ExceleRate Illinois.
  • Almost two-thirds of participants (60.6 percent; n = 523) had heard of the consultant/specialist (e.g. Mental Health Consultant, Quality Specialist, Infant/Toddler Specialist) services offered by the CCR&Rs.
  • Nearly three quarters (70.0 percent; n = 604) knew of the online training opportunities available through the Gateways i-learning System.
  • 23.9 percent of family child care homes (n = 236 of 987) had at least one Great START recipient in the past two years. Those 236 programs had a total of 248 recipients.
  • 4.3 percent (n = 42 of 987) of family child care programs had at least one Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship participant for a total of 45 participants.

Training and Training Opportunities

Licensing standards require family child care practitioners to have a minimum of fifteen training hours per year. Generally, respondents exceeded this minimum. Family child care providers reported devoting 23.0 hours to workshops or conference training in the last year (n = 908; median = 17.0 hours; range = 1-300 hours).

The content of training can vary in its relevance to early care and education (ECE). Family child care providers were asked where they received their training within the past year. Table 41 reports the results. In this survey, online training was the principal source of training for family child care practitioners, with nearly three quarters (74.9 percent) reporting using online training as a source to meet their training needs. This is a significant increase from the 55 percent in FY 2015 and 35.1 percent in FY 2013 that reported taking online training. Previous reports showed that Child Care Resource and Referral workshops were the primary source of training; however, this has been on the decline from 81.7 percent in FY 2013 to 66.3 percent in FY 2015 to 62.3 percent in this report. The increased availability and usage of online training opportunities reported is a likely factor for this decline.

Table 41. Sources of training (n = 926)

Training Sources n Percentage
Child Care Resource and Referral Workshops 577 62.3%
Local Community Workshops 283 30.6%
Professional Meeting or Conference Workshops 281 30.3%
Online Training 694 74.9%

Percentages add up to greater than 100 percent as respondents were asked to endorse all applicable items. Also, the sum of individual responses to each option will add to greater than the overall "n" respondents to the question.

Nearly 90 percent (88.1 percent) of all respondents expressed that they thought there were adequate training opportunities offered; however, that does not mean that all providers are able to attend those training opportunities. In order to determine what might hinder an individual's ability to attend trainings, providers were presented with a list of potential barriers to attending trainings and were asked to select all that applied.

  • 42.4 percent (n = 302) selected: "Most opportunities are during the day so it is difficult for me to attend";
  • 41.8 percent (n = 298) selected: "I am unable to take time away from my work to take more training";
  • 27.9 percent (n = 199) chose: "My community doesn't have enough courses/workshops";
  • 23.1 percent (n = 165) selected: "I am unable to take time away from my family to take more training";
  • 20.5 percent (n = 146) selected the item: "Cost of training is too high";
  • 10.9 percent (n = 78) chose: "There is no reason to pursue more training"; and
  • 5.0 percent (n = 36) selected the item "Quality of training is not good."

Additionally, 17.1 percent (n = 122) selected the "Other" option and specified the following items as barriers to attending trainings. Of the 122 providers that selected "Other", 72.1 percent indicated that the availability of trainings (location, timing of trainings, topic offerings, language barriers, and enrollment capacity) was problematic. The remaining providers indicated that the trainings were too far away (14.8 percent), they were interested in higher-level trainings than what were available (9.8 percent), or had (3.3 percent) personal circumstances that were preventing them from attending training.

Professional development is also available by taking coursework in early care and education at higher education institutions. Practitioners were posed the question, "Have you completed any ECE or CD coursework within the past two years?" Of the 954 practitioners who responded to this survey question, 107 (11.2 percent) reported "yes" and reported an average of 29.6 semester hours (median = 16.0) completed in the last two years.

Capacity and Enrollment

One aim of the Salary and Staffing Survey is to characterize the care environment of family child care home practitioners. According to NACCRRAware, the average total licensed capacity of the sample was approximately 9.8 (median = 8.0) children. The average licensed capacity of all 8,092 family child care providers on the database was 9.7 children.28

During a typical week, providers cared for an average of 7.8 (n = 965; median = 8.0) children (excluding their own). Just over 89 percent of providers indicated that they accept children whose families receive IDHS or IDCFS financial assistance. Providers also responded that they have an average of 5.5 (n = 588; median = 4.0) children in their program whose child care is being funded through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) or IDCFS vouchers.29 Providers reported serving an average of 4.6 of all client families (n = 476; median = 3.0) who receive financial assistance (from government, employers, local agencies) to subsidize child care costs.

A greater proportion of respondents participating in ExceleRate Illinois at a level higher than the Licensed Circle of Quality also served CCAP families in their programs. Participation in higher levels of ExceleRate was significantly associated with serving CCAP families (?2 = 8.85, p = .003) with 97.3 percent of providers higher than the Licensed Circle of Quality serving CCAP families versus 2.7 percent of those providers not serving CCAP families in their programs.30

Family child care providers were also asked to rate the vacancies in their program on a scale from 1 ("There are always vacancies") to 5 ("There are never vacancies"). Out of 970 providers answering this question, 42.2 percent of family child care providers felt that there were rarely or never vacancies in their homes, 29.7 percent felt that there were sometimes vacancies, and 28.0 percent felt that there were always or often vacancies in their programs. Results from this survey when compared to the 2015 survey results show a high degree of similarity. A provider shared this perspective on having inconsistent enrollment:

  • "It is difficult to have a set budget when my enrollment is always changing. It's also hard with staffing because the hours and pay have to constantly change due to [changes in] enrollment."

28Licensed capacity in NACCRRAware adds regular capacity and extended capacity together. Extended capacity signifies the number of before- and after-school children a provider may care for on top of their regular capacity. For any capacity typically over 8, an assistant is required to be present.

29About 6.7 percent of providers indicated that they have had children/families on CCAP enrolled over the last 2 years, but did not have any children on CCAP currently. Those providers were excluded from this analysis.

30Data from the Data Tracking Program (DTP) was used to obtain the ExceleRateTM Illinois status of all providers who participated in the Staffing and Salary Survey.

Assistants

IDCFS licensing requirement for staff in group homes and child care homes differ. Staff employed in group homes must have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years of age if an on-site supervisor is present. If not, staff must be 21.31,32 Staff working in day care homes are required to be at least 14 years of age, work under the direct supervision of the family child care provider and be at least five years older than any child for which they provide care.33 In the 2017 Salary and Staffing Survey group family child care practitioners and family child care practitioners reported on the assistants they employed. Of the 954 providers that responded to the question, 32.7 percent (n = 312) indicated hiring paid assistants. Additionally, out of 874 respondents, 27.1 percent (n = 237) reported using unpaid assistants.

Paid family child care assistants received an average of $10.17 per hour (n = 265; median = $10.00). Their typical work week averaged 25.9 hours (n = 296; median = 25.0).

There is a large discrepancy in the range of hourly wages reported for assistants. Since a minor can work in a family day care, family child care providers can hire their own children. Although minimum wage for youths under the age of 18 is $7.75,34 providers can hire their eligible teenage children for less; however, with the exception of an employer's parent, spouse, or child, or other members of his or her immediate family, Minimum Wage Law requires an employer to pay an employee 18 years of age or older at least $8.25 per hour (minimum wage).35,36

Family child care practitioners were then asked to provide additional thoughts about staffing in the comments section of the survey. The primary theme was about being able to afford to have an assistant and to pay them a competitive wage. Below are some representative comments.

  • "I would love to have a paid assistant, however I can't afford it with only 7 children enrolled."
  • "My main staff member is a college student so as soon as her degree is done, the $11 an hour I pay will not be sufficient and she will likely go elsewhere."

31From Part 408 IDCFS Licensing Requirements for Group Day Care Homes, Section 408.45. All requirements can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/089/089004080000450R.html

32For employees 18 and older, the Illinois Internal Revenue Service requires the employer to withhold federal income tax from the employee's paycheck plus the employers' portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes. From the Internal Revenue Website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/understanding-employment-taxes

33From Part 406 IDCFS Licensing Requirements for Day Care Homes, part 406.10. All requirements can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/089/08900406sections.html

34From "State of Illinois - Department of Labor Hourly Minimum Wage Rates by Year", Illinois Department of Laborhttps://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Pages/minimum-wage-rates-by-year.aspx

35From "Illinois Compiled Statutes (820 ILCS 105/) Minimum Wage Law", Illinois General Assembly, http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2400&ChapterID=68

36Based on this rationale, all reported wages under $7.75 were excluded from this analysis.

Business Characteristics

Hours

Respondents (n = 794) indicated that they get paid to work an average of 50.7 hours per week (median = 52.0 hours) taking care of children, and their child care home operates an average of 49.4 weeks per year (n = 833; median = 51.0 weeks).

In addition to hours spent directly with children, providers reported spending an average of 16.0 hours per week (n = 809; median = 12.0 hours) on various activities performed before or after business hours. These activities include preparing food, shopping, cleaning, record keeping, and preparing educational activities for the children.

Practitioners were also asked whether they ever closed for holidays, vacation, sick days, training, or any other occasion. Out of 852 providers who responded, 95.3 percent (n = 812) responded affirmatively; a major increase from the previous two surveys. (This increase was likely due to a change in survey administration and that this question was not required. Thus, people who were not closed for any of these reasons may have simply skipped the question.) The average number of days closed per year was 15.3 days (median = 14.0 days, n = 812).

Earnings and Operating Expenses

Practitioners were queried about their annual expenses for food, utilities, insurance, and materials; all expenses except wages. Average annual expenses totaled $15,354 (median = $12,000) for the 620 providers who responded to this question. Expenses in 2017 were similar to those reported in the past two surveys.

Licensed family child care providers were asked to report their gross and net annual earnings. The average annual gross earning was $31,575 (n = 695; median = $28,084). FY 2017 reported earnings were slightly less than those reported in FY 2013 and FY2015. This survey's reported annual net earnings (n = 641) averaged $14,122 (median = $11,000). In FY 2015, respondents reported average net earnings of $14,999, with a median of $13,000. In FY 2017:

  • 25 percent of family child care providers netted less than $3,650;
  • 50 percent of family child care providers netted less than $12,000; and
  • 75 percent of family child care providers netted less than $22,000.

In FY 2017, the average hourly wage family child care providers earned was $7.48 (compared to the state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour);37 however, this hourly wage only reflects the average length of time that direct service is provided to children. When the average hours spent cleaning, preparing food, shopping, recordkeeping, and preparing educational activities for children (16.0 hours) are factored into the equation, child care providers work on average 65.00 hours per week and average $5.67 per hour.

As independent business owners, family child care providers set their own rates. Rates can exceed the CCAP rates reimbursed by the state. Providers can choose to have parents pay the difference between the CCAP reimbursement rates and their private rates. In FY 2017, providers were asked to provide information about their experience with the IDHS subsidy program. These questions specifically addressed whether providers charged parents more than their CCAP copays, the difficulty they experience in collecting copays, and whether or not the difficulty in collecting copays had changed in the past two years. Out of 835 respondents, 17.5 percent of providers (n = 146) reported charging families more than their CCAP copay; 82.5 percent (n = 689) of providers reported charging families their CCAP copay only. Out of 740 practitioners who rated the difficulty of collecting copays, 43.8 percent reported that collecting copays was "very easy or somewhat easy," 19.9 percent responded that it was "neither easy nor difficult", and 36.3 percent responded that collecting copays was "somewhat difficult or very difficult." In response to whether the difficulty in collecting copays had changed in the past two years, out of 734 respondents, 16.2 percent responded that collecting copays had become "much easier or somewhat easier", 60.8 percent responded the difficulty in collecting copays had "stayed about the same", and 23.1 percent responded that collecting copays had become "somewhat or much more difficult."

Providers were then asked to rate how their financial situation had changed in the past two years. In response to changes in their gross annual earnings, out of 987 providers responding to the question, 13.3 percent said their gross income had decreased greatly, 21.0 percent said their gross income had decreased somewhat, 41.7 percent stated their gross income remained about the same, 20.9 percent said their gross income had increased somewhat, and 3.1 percent responded that their gross income had increased greatly.

In response to changes about their net annual earnings, out of 823 providers, 17.9 percent said their net income had decreased greatly, 29.2 percent responded that their net income had decreased somewhat, 37.8 percent stated their net income had remained about the same, 13.6 percent responded that their net income had increased somewhat, and 1.6 percent responded that their net income had increased greatly.

When asked about changes in their annual expenses, out of 829 providers, 8.7 percent responded that their annual expenses had increased greatly, 36.4 percent stated their annual expenses had increased somewhat, 33.2 percent said their annual expenses remained about the same, 15.0 percent stated their annual expenses decreased somewhat, and 6.8 percent stated their annual expensed had decreased greatly.

37The average hourly wage of a family child care practitioner can be calculated using the formula: Average net income ÷ (average of hours worked per week X average number of weeks worked per year).

Other Income Sources

Providers were asked to report on other sources of income beyond their family child care programs. Just under one tenth of providers (9.7 percent) reported having a second paid job. Nearly 60 percent of providers (59.6 percent) indicated there was at least one other adult who contributed to their household income. In addition, the Child and Adult Food Care Program38 was an income source identified the majority of providers (82.2 percent).

38The Child and Adult Care Food Program is a nutritional program funded through the USDA. In Illinois, this reimbursement program is administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. The program educates providers about proper nutrition and reimburses them for the meals and snacks they serve to children in care.

Fee Policies

Family child care homes are considered small businesses; therefore, fee policies are decided by the owner(s). As Table 42 shows, the majority of family child care providers chose to be paid when children are absent due to sickness. In addition, 75.9 percent of providers require parents to pay when the child care home is closed for holidays and 48.1 percent require payment when the home is closed for vacation days. More than half of providers (57.7 percent) require parents to pay for days the child is on vacation. The preponderance of providers do not require parents to pay for days when the family child care home is closed due to provider illness or workshop attendance. When day care homes are closed for other reasons (e.g., family emergencies, bereavement, jury duty, doctor appointments, personal days, or inclement weather), 21.3 percent of family child care practitioners require parents to pay for these days. Although no questions specifically pertained to how providers construct their fee policies, the survey asked practitioners to record any additional thoughts they had about compensation in the field of child care. Some comments were:

  • "Working in this field for as long as I have should afford me some benefits like vacation, training days, and sick days. I lose a lot of money waiting for approvals that never come, or because families do not qualify for the CCAP program. I have not taken a salary for myself in a few years."
  • "The amount the state pays should be comparable to private pay rates."

Table 42. Fee policies (n=667)

Provider is paid when... n Percentage
Children are absent because they are sick 507 76.0%
Children are on vacation 385 57.7%
You are closed for holidays 506 75.9%
You are closed for vacation days 321 48.1%
You are closed for sick days 208 31.2%
You are closed for training days 124 18.6%
Other reasons 142 21.3%

Percentages add up to greater than 100 percent as respondents were asked to endorse all items applicable to their programs. Also, the sum of individual responses to each option will add to greater than the overall "n" respondents to the question.

IDCFS requires family child care homes to have a written policy that describes what will occur if a child is picked-up late. This policy also includes information about any late fees that will accrue. Out of 853 practitioners who responded to this question, 56.0 percent charged a late fee (or early drop-off fee). The fee for late pick up or early drop off averaged $2.14 (median = $1.00) per minute for family child care providers who stated their fee (n = 453).

Financial Assistance

Family child care practitioners were provided with a list of financial assistance resources and asked the question: "In the past two years, have you received any types of financial assistance?" Approximately one quarter of the total respondents selected one or more of the financial assistance resources. Specifically:

  • 14.4 percent selected "Medicaid/Medicare for yourself";
  • 8.1 percent selected "Medicaid for your children";
  • 6.4 percent selected "Food stamps/SNAP";
  • 5.6 percent selected "All Kids for your (child)ren";
  • 1.0 percent selected "Subsidized housing/Section 8";
  • 0.4 percent selected "FamilyCare for yourself"; and,
  • 0.4 percent selected "TANF/AFDC".

Benefits

Practitioners were asked whether they were currently covered by any health insurance or medical plan. In response, 94.5 percent (n = 812) of the 859 child care practitioners that responded reported having health care coverage. As with 2015, this represents a significant increase over the 80.4 percent reported in 2013 and is likely due to requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Further analysis of health care coverage shows that 14.3 percent received full coverage and 22.9 percent received partial coverage through their spouse's employer, 24.4 percent purchased health insurance on their own, and 20.4 percent reported that they were Medicaid/Medicare eligible. Of respondents, 16.6 percent had paid health care coverage received through a variety of other sources, including as retirement benefits from previous employers, community health services, and through SEIU (union for family child care providers). There were 1.4 percent of respondents who indicated they have health care coverage but that did not respond to one of the options displayed.

Nearly 60 percent of practitioners (59.4 percent) indicated that they contribute to Social Security and Medicare. When asked the question, "In the last year, have you set aside any savings for your retirement," just over one quarter of the respondents (29.4 percent) said they had (slightly up from 27.8 percent in the 2015 report).

Per the comment section of the survey, many practitioners expressed anxiety about the lack of affordable health care insurance (including dental and vision care) available to child care providers and their families. In addition, many acknowledged the need for retirement benefits. One provider's remarks are shown below.

  • "As a small business owner, I cannot afford to offer any benefits. My staff needs to purchase their own insurance and 401k plans. With minimum wage increases, as well as staying competitive with area centers, $14.50/hr. is the minimum amount I can offer. This leaves me no profits on a monthly basis."

Professional Support

Family child care practitioners often work alone and have no other adults within close proximity. Research suggests that the lack of "social, instrumental, and problem-solving support over a long workday as the only adult in the setting" and the lack of support when "having to play multiple roles" are potential sources of stress for providers. One way to combat that stress is to use support services such as participation in a professional organization or network with other professionals.39 Based on this rationale, providers were asked whether they had any contact with any other child care professionals. A predominance of home-based practitioners (83.6 percent) responding to the survey indicated that they have at least one other child care professional with whom they can discuss a problem in their program.

There are national, state, regional and local child care associations that support the needs of family child care providers. Nearly half of respondents (48.6 percent; n = 413 of 850) reported that they were members of a child care association. Two-thirds (64.2 percent; n = 551 of 858) indicated that they utilized their Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) as a professional support in the past two years. Local CCR&Rs provide various services to child care professionals.

39Charlyn Harper Brown, "Strengthening Families: Almost Like Family: Family Child Care", Center for the Study of Social Policy, October 2009, http://www.cssp.org/publications/neighborhood-investment/strengthening-families/top-five/almost-like-family-family-child-care-october-2009.pdf

Turnover

Practitioners were asked to identify the length of time they would continue to operate their day care home. Nearly two-thirds (65.0 percent; n = 558) of providers responded "I don't know"; this is similar to what was reported in FY 2015, but is an increase from the 50.0 percent reported in the FY 2013 survey report. The remainder of providers (n = 300) indicated they would continue to provide child care in their homes for an average of eight years (mean = 8.4 years; median = 6.0 years). This is a slight decrease from the previous survey, which reported a mean of 8.9 years and median of 7.5 years.

To gauge potential turnover, providers were asked the question, "In the past two years, have you ever considered no longer providing care?" Just over 40 percent (40.3 percent; n = 346 of 859) had considered closing their business. Respondents who answered "yes" to that question were asked to further clarify by responding to a follow-up question which contained a list of reasons that traditionally contribute to provider burn-out. Practitioners were asked to rate the importance of each item on a scale of 1 ("Not important") to 5 ("Very important"). Table 43 presents the reasons why a provider may discontinue care and various statistics for each reason.

Table 43: Reasons providers considered for no longer providing care

Reason Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Very Important"
Dissatisfied with salary 3.8 4.0 333 43.8%
Dissatisfied with benefits 3.8 5.0 330 50.6%
Returning to school 2.1 1.0 328 15.2%
Working hours are too long 3.7 4.0 331 40.5%
Not enough work hours 1.7 1.0 328 4.9%
Enrollments are too low 3.0 3.0 331 31.1%
Enrollments are too high 1.9 1.0 327 5.2%
Frustration with parents 3.2 3.0 329 27.1%
Too little respect for child care providers 3.8 5.0 332 50.3%
Health problems 2.3 2.0 325 13.2%
Moving/relocating 1.7 1.0 327 7.0%
Too much stress 3.3 3.0 331 27.5%
Too little time off 3.5 4.0 331 37.5%
Isolation 2.8 3.0 327 20.8%
Retirement 3.5 4.0 327 46.2%
Other personal reasons 2.7 3.0 265 27.2%

According to Table 43, "dissatisfaction with salary," "dissatisfaction with benefits," and "too little respect for child care practitioners" were the three primary reasons instigating turnover in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary of a child care worker was the sixth lowest out of 29 occupations listed under the category Personal Care and Service Occupations. Only shampooers; gaming dealers; ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers; personal care aides; and manicurists and pedicurists made less.40 Providers are aware of the balance between earning an income while realizing parents cannot afford to pay more for care:

  • "I strongly believe that those caring for children in or out of the home should be compensated based on education and experience. As a business owner, I understand that I have the ability to charge what I want, however, if I want to provide quality care to as many children as possible, I have to keep my rates low and competitive."

Practitioners were asked to rate on a scale of 1 ("Not important") to 5 ("Very important") a number of items that might influence them to continue providing child care in their homes. Participants rated higher pay and better benefits as the main factors that would most entice them to continue providing child care. "More time off" was also rated as "very important" to nearly half of all respondents (mean = 3.7). (Again, family child care homes are only closed an average of 15.3 days per year.) Table 44 displays the results.

40"Occupation Employment Statistics: May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Illinois", Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm#00-0000.

Table 44: Reasons to continue offering care

Reason Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Very Important"
Help with problem solving 2.9 3.0 328 26.2%
More contact with other providers 2.7 3.0 328 18.3%
Help finding substitute caregivers 3.2 3.0 328 29.6%
Being part of a professional organization 2.6 3.0 325 18.5%
Family child care training 2.7 3.0 326 19.3%
Lower enrollments 2.2 2.0 321 10.9%
Higher enrollments 2.9 3.0 325 28.6%
Higher income 4.1 5.0 330 57.9%
Better benefits 4.1 5.0 325 60.0%
More time off 3.7 4.0 328 46.0%
More work hours 1.8 1.0 318 4.1%

In order to assess turnover rate, the total number of family child care providers listed in the provider database on June 30, 2015 (the end of IDHS's fiscal year) was compared to the number of providers listed in the same database on June 30, 2017. Through comparison of both databases, data could be collected regarding the number of providers who were new on the database and the number of providers no longer providing child care. Table 45 presents the information.

Table 45. Provider turnover 2015-2017: Licensed Family Child Care Homes

Active 2015 Still Active 2017 Percent Change New Providers 2017 Percent Change Active 2017 Percent Change
Active Providers 8,920 7,216 -19.1% 876 +12.1% 8,092 -9.3%
Total Licensed Capacity 84,735 71,119 -16.1% 6,661 +9.4% 77,780 -8.2%

Motivations and Perceptions about Providing Child Care

In order to grasp what motivates family child care practitioners to provide child care in their home and capture their perceptions about their work, they were given a series of statements and asked to rate each statement on a scale of 1 ("Strongly disagree") to 5 ("Strongly agree"). Some of the statements focused on motivation and others on perception. As Table 46 reveals, practitioners reported several factors that motivated them to be in the child care business. The most enthusiastically endorsed (rated as "Strongly agree" by 60 percent or more of the respondents) were: "Enjoy teaching children" and "Like to be in business for self." The least common motivator was "Stay at home with own children" (which still received a rating of "Strongly agree" by over almost a quarter of the respondents).

Table 46. Reasons for providing child care

Reason Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Strongly agree"
Enjoy teaching children 4.5 5.0 851 63.8%
Like to be in business for self 4.5 5.0 847 59.7%
Earn an income 4.0 4.0 849 37.7%
Stay at home with own children 3.1 3.0 841 23.8%

Table 47 reflects the responses to questions that pertain to a practitioner's perceptions about their work. The mean and median, number of respondents, and the percentage of respondents who rated the statement as a 5 ("Strongly agree") are presented in the table below. Perceptions most highly embraced by providers revolved around their sense of professionalism in the job. Most respondents considered themselves to be early childhood professionals, small business owners, and their own boss. They also recognized the role that training plays in furthering and maintaining their status as a professional.

Table 47. Perceptions about providing child care

Perception Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Strongly agree"
I consider myself an early childhood professional 4.2 5.0 852 51.3%
I consider myself a small business owner 4.5 5.0 854 61.1%
I do not provide child care for the money 3.0 3.0 846 16.3%
Getting more training helps me become more professional 4.1 4.0 849 42.8%
I can set my own rates and policies 3.7 4.0 847 31.1%

Providers were asked to respond to the question, "In the past two years, have opportunities for family child care providers become better, stayed the same, or become worse." Out of 832 respondents, over half (52.0 percent) replied that opportunities over the past two years had "stayed the same", 19.6 percent indicated they had become better, and 28.4 percent responded that opportunities had become worse.

Practitioners who felt that opportunities for family child care providers have gotten worse observed:

  • "Due to a lack of a budget most providers are struggling to make ends meet. While the salary for child care providers stays the same, the cost of living is steadily increasing."
  • "Getting paid has been difficult, enrollment is lower and working is more stressful…Families have left because they cannot afford out-of-pocket child care expenses."
  • "There are so many regulations and requirements that it seems actually caring for and interacting with the children is falling behind."

Practitioners who felt that opportunities for family child care providers had gotten better focused solely on support, resources, and training opportunities.

  • "[My CCR&R] is great! Trainings are wonderful, they help me to feel like a professional and encourage me to strive to be as professional as I can."
  • "Online training has been very helpful!"
  • "We have a Silver Circle of Quality [through ExceleRate] and I know preparing for it has improved every single aspect of my program. I am now watching other programs around me do the same. The chance to excel is leading to providers pursuing excellence in a real way."

Providers offered a plethora of other comments which reflected the issues they were facing in their child care programs. Some focused on the practitioner's perceptions and feelings towards the parents in their programs. Others commented about how the public continues to perceive the profession as "babysitting". There were concerns raised about the rules and regulations that must be in compliance with in order to maintain a day care home license (conversely, some providers stated the rules were not strict enough and were not adequately enforced). Some of the practitioners voiced concern over unlicensed or "illegal" day care homes that exist and its impact on their business. Many practitioners shared the various financial difficulties they experienced due to late payments from the state and/or from parents.

  • "It has become harder to get paid for [taking care of] children who receive payment assistance from DHS [subsidy]."
  • "Some families do not pay on time or at all."

Despite the frustrations family child care providers may face, there were many comments describing their passion and love for early care and education and the children for which they care.

  • "I have a passion and love for working with children. I enjoy what I'm doing and have gotten a bachelor's degree in early childhood development...my dream is to open a state of the art child care center specializing in children with special needs."
  • "I really love what I do. It is very rewarding to see the children develop and grow. I don't like the fact that if I receive a call from a family who needs care for their infant, I have to turn them away because of my enrollment and not being able to afford to hire an assistant. I am at capacity with the number of children I can care for in that age range."

Conclusion

Child care is a vital foundational service that allows for employment and economic betterment for families. Without affordable quality care options, parents are less likely to function effectively in their jobs and children are less likely to receive the developmentally stimulating environments proven to benefit them. Research has shown high quality child care contributes to young children's social competence and cognitive development.41 A nurturing and stable relationship with a provider is one important component of high quality care settings. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the education and stability of the child care workforce are critical to the well-being of children and their working parents. Young children have much to gain from a well-educated and stable child care workforce; however, Child Care Aware of America asserts that the minimal requirements for education (many states do not require any education beyond high school) and the high turnover rate among child care practitioners (roughly one-third leave the field each year42) is challenging the opportunity for quality child care to be achieved and maintained. In knowing the importance of education and continuity in the care of children, it is important to learn more about the child care workforce within the state of Illinois as a means of ensuring quality care for all children. As such, the Illinois Salary and Staffing Survey provides in-depth information every two years about wages, salaries and benefits, and other information pertinent to the child care work environment in licensed child care centers and in licensed family child care homes, as reported through the eyes of the child care providers. To complement the Illinois Salary and Staffing Survey, the Gateways to Opportunity Registry can provide more frequently collected and updated information regarding several workforce characteristics, including qualifications and salaries.

The majority of the child care workforce in Illinois has attained formal education beyond high school. Over 90 percent of center directors, 83 percent of early childhood teachers, and 43 percent of family child care providers had some college education. More than 60 percent of center directors had earned their bachelor's or master's degree. In addition, 71.1 percent of early childhood teachers and 36.7 percent of family child care practitioners had earned an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree. Further, 27.5 percent of early childhood teachers earned their degree in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD), and 12.8 percent of family child care providers earned their degree in ECE/CD.

As is the case at the national level, job turnover among child care providers in Illinois is a continuing problem. While the overall percentage of centers experiencing turnover in the past two years decreased with regard to administrative director and director/teacher positions, there were slight increases for early childhood teacher and assistant positions. At an individual staff level, the past two years showed a turnover rate of 33.6 percent for early childhood teachers and a 39.1 percent turnover rate for early childhood teacher assistants, both representing increases from the previous survey. The primary reason reported for early childhood teacher departure was "dissatisfied with pay"; which is consistent when compared to the predominant reasons cited in past surveys (with the exception of FY11). Other principal reasons reported for staff departure included dissatisfaction with benefits, found a new job either in another center, a public school, or in another field, and terminated or fired. As many of these reasons were endorsed at a similar rate by directors, it suggests that the reasons for turnover are usually complicated, especially since many directors also rated each reason for leaving by indicating there was a "personal reason" associated with the staff departure. Since data for this survey are gathered from directors or other administrative staff and not the departing staff member, having staff directly respond with their reasons for leaving might yield richer findings.

In the past two years, 40.3 percent of family child care practitioners considered closing their child care home; nearly one in five did. Dissatisfaction with salary and benefits, and "too little respect for child care providers" were the predominant reasons reported.

Even with the turnover challenges, two positive factors can be highlighted. First, there has been an increase over the last several years in the percentage of child care center instructional staff that are reported to be fluent in a language other than English. In 2011, this represented 10.5 percent of instructional staff and with this survey was up to 16 percent. Second, the percentage of IDCFS-qualified applicants for early childhood teacher and assistant positions both increased from the previous report, from 39.7 to 45.4 percent and 59.5 to 65.2 percent, respectively.

When it comes to compensation, patterns of compensation for center positions were varied. Per the FY 2017 survey, the hourly wages of administrative directors saw an increase from the FY 2015 survey. This may be due to the fact in FY 2015, data for "director/teacher" positions had been included with the overall "administrative director" category and may have artificially lowered the hourly wage data. Hourly wages for early childhood teachers, early childhood assistants, school-age teachers, and school-age assistants had slight increases compared to the previous reporting period.

The median hourly wage for an early childhood teacher in 2017 was $12.50, as compared to $12.00 in 2015, $11.04 in 2013, $11.50 in 2011, $11.00 in 2009, and $12.00 reported in 2007. Assuming a full-time early childhood teacher position equals 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, gross annual salary would equal $26,000. This represents more than twice the median net earnings of licensed family child care providers whose 2017 reported earnings were $12,000. This is lower than the $13,000 reported in 2013 and 2015.

Wages differed substantially in centers around the state. Early childhood teachers employed in Carterville (located in southern Illinois) earned a median hourly wage of $9.58 per hour compared to early childhood teachers in Addison (located in northern Illinois) who earned a median hourly wage of $13.50, a difference of nearly $4.00 per hour. Level of education also mattered, as teachers with more education earned more than those without degrees. Moreover, teachers who majored in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD) and obtained an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree, earned more than teachers with a degree in another field.

In addition to the low wages of the child care workforce, the benefits are also meager. Although at least 75 percent of centers reported offering paid vacation, holidays and sick leave, only 51.1 percent offered health insurance, and 44.8 percent offered a retirement/pension plan. Life insurance was offered by only 43.8 percent of centers. While centers may provide benefits to employees as part of their compensation, family child care practitioners must pay for their own. Although 94.5 percent of family child care providers were covered by a health plan, many received coverage through their spouse's employer. Other benefits are modest for family child care providers who reported being closed only a median of 14 days per year. While 75.9 percent charged when closed for holidays, only 57.7 percent charged when closed for vacation. Substantially fewer charged when closed for sick days or training days. Providers indicated that they did not charge when closed because they were sensitive to their clients' financial situations and they did not think their clients would pay.

As in past Salary and Staffing Surveys, low wages and poor benefits were voiced to be a major concern by all survey respondents. Aside from the obvious financial stress these factors create for providers, they underscore a lack of value and respect for the child care labor force. These dynamics continue to be a driving force for turnover in the child care field. Throughout the survey, while providers and administrators repeatedly described their love of and dedication to children and their development, they also admitted that they need to make a living. In the end, many expressed pessimism about the child care field and a plea for help to supplement income, educate parents, and provide benefits. If these survey results and comments have any predictive value, it may be to forecast a continuing ambivalence toward the profession among practitioners at all levels of the child care workforce.

In spite of these somber findings, survey results also indicate there are some reasons for optimism. First, the percentage of child care centers in Illinois that closed their doors due to "insufficient enrollment" between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 was 8.4 percent, down from 9.9 percent during the same period two years prior. Second, the frequency of directors and family child care providers who are aware of Gateways to Opportunity programs and other support programs suggests that there is more awareness of the resources and options that some centers and providers are able to access that provides some compensation for lower wages and benefits in the field of child care. Third, the availability and usage of online training opportunities is apparent in the survey results, as family child care providers reported that online training was their principal source of training. Nearly three quarters reported using online training, which represents a significant increase from the 55 percent and 35.1 percent reported in the previous two surveys. In addition, 79 percent of center directors responded that there are adequate training opportunities available. This is a large increase from the 61 percent in 2013, and a possible explanation may be due to the increased availability of online training, especially those freely available through the IDHS-supported Gateways to Opportunity i-learning System.

Several statewide programs support provider education and help reduce turnover. Survey respondents acknowledged these to be valuable supports to the child care field. The Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program awards partial college scholarships for both center and family child care practitioners to further their education in early childhood or school-age care. The Great START wage supplement program offers a stipend every six months to center and home-based providers based on their educational achievements (as long as they remain at their present place of employment). ExceleRate Illinois enhances the income of programs which provide quality care to CCAP enrolled children by providing a supplemental add-on to the CCAP reimbursement rate. Participating programs also receive support and recognition for their commitment to providing quality child care. The Gateways to Opportunity Credentials recognize the education, experience, and professional contributions of early childhood practitioners. The ExceleRate Circles of Quality, above the Licensed Circle, require that a percentage of personnel have achieved a Gateways Credential. Such programs can help improve the compensation possibilities of practitioners, thus leading to lower turnover and ultimately higher quality of child care in Illinois.

41D. Vandell, J. Belsky, M. Burchinal, N. Vandergrift, & L. Steinberg. "Do effects of early child care extend to age 15 years? Results from the NICHD study of early child care and youth development." Child Development, 2010, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2938040/

42Meredith MacMillian, "NAEYC calls for fair compensation for the early childhood workforce on worthy wage day." National Association for the Education of Young Children, May 1, 2012, http://cscce.berkeley.edu/files/2014/ReportFINAL.pdf

Appendix A: Child Care Resource and Referral System Map

CCR&R MAP

Appendix B: Licensing Standards for Center Staffing

From Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers April 1, 2010 - P.T. 2010.04

Joint Committee on Administrative Rules

ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

TITLE 89: SOCIAL SERVICES

CHAPTER III: DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER e: REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE

PART 407 LICENSING STANDARDS FOR DAY CARE CENTERS

Section 407.130 Qualifications for Child Care Director

  1. Day care centers licensed for more than 50 children shall employ a full-time child care director to be on site in a non-teaching capacity. The director may be on site in a teaching capacity at the following times:
    1. During the first hour and last hour of a program that operates 10 or more hours per day; or
    2. When attendance falls below 50 children.
  2. Day care centers licensed for 50 or fewer children, or half-day programs with children attending no more than 3 consecutive hours per day regardless of capacity, may employ a child care director who also serves as a member of the child care staff.
    1. When the director serves in both capacities, he or she must meet the qualifications of both the director position and the teaching position.
    2. When the director attends to non-teaching responsibilities, his or her group must be supervised by a person qualified to be in charge of a group.
  3. The child care director shall be at least 21 years of age.
  4. The child director shall have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate (GED).
  5. In addition to meeting the requirements of Section 407.100, the child care director of a facility serving the same number of groups of pre-school and school-age children or more groups of pre-school children than groups of school-age children shall have achieved:
    1. Sixty semester or 90 quarter hours of credit from an accredited college or university with 18 semester or 27 quarter hours in courses related directly to child care and/or child development from birth to age 6; or
    2. Two years (3120 clock hours) of child development experience in a nursery school, kindergarten, or licensed day care center, 30 semester or 45 quarter hours of college credits with ten semester or 15 quarter hours in courses related directly to child care and/or child development, and proof of enrollment in an accredited college or university until two years of college credit have been achieved. A total of 18 semester or 27 quarter hours in courses related directly to child care and/or child development is required to be obtained within the total two years of college credits; or
    3. Completion of a credentialing program approved in accordance with Appendix G of this Part, completion of 12 semester or 18 quarter hours in courses related to child care and/or child development from birth to age 6 at an accredited college or university, and 2 years (3120 clock hours) child development experience in a nursery school, kindergarten or licensed day care center.
  6. In addition to meeting the requirements of Section 407.100, the child care director of a facility serving more groups of school-age children than groups of pre-school children shall have achieved:
    1. Sixty semester or 90 quarter hours of credit from an accredited college or university with 18 semester or 27 quarter hours in courses related to child care and/or child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping, or other related fields, including courses related to school-age children; or
    2. Two years (3120 clock hours) of child development experience in a recreational program, kindergarten, or licensed day care center serving school-age children, or licensed exempt school-age child care program operated by a public or private school, 30 semester or 45 quarter hours of college credits with 10 semester or 15 quarter hours in courses related directly to child care and/or child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping or other related fields, and proof of enrollment in an accredited college or university until two years of college credit have been achieved. A total of 18 semester or 27 quarter hours in courses related directly to child care and/or child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping or other related fields, including courses related to school-age children, is required to be obtained within the total two years of college credits.
  7. Completion of a training program accredited by the American Montessori Society or Association of Montessori International may be substituted for the courses directly related to child care and/or child development required by this Section. Persons holding a Montessori pre-primary credential may serve as director to children through age six. Persons holding a Montessori primary or elementary credential may serve as director to children six years of age or older.
  8. Persons who were deemed qualified to serve as a child care director prior to January 1, 1985, continue to be deemed qualified for their position.
  9. When a program serves only school-age children and meets the criteria for Section 407.90(c), qualifications for the school-age director responsible for multiple sites and the site coordinators shall be as follows:
    1. The school-age director and each site coordinator shall be at least 21 years of age.
    2. The school-age director shall meet both the following requirements for education and experience:
      1. Sixty semester or 90 quarter hours of credit from an accredited college or university, with 18 semester or 27 quarter hours in courses related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping or other related fields; and
      2. At least 1560 clock hours of child development experience in a recreational program or a licensed day care center serving school-age children.
    3. The school-age site coordinators must meet one of the following qualifications:
      1. Thirty semester or 45 quarter hours of credit from an accredited college or university with 12 semester or 18 quarter hours related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping or other related fields and 750 clock hours of experience in a recreational program or a licensed day care center serving school-age children or in a license exempt school-age child care program operated by a public or private school; or
      2. 1560 clock hours of experience in a recreational program or licensed day care center serving school-age children or license exempt school-age child care program operated by a public or private school and either 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours of credit from an accredited college or university related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping or other related fields.
  10. A staff member who meets the qualifications for a day care center director shall be designated to assume decision-making responsibility whenever the child care director is off-site. A record of employees who meet the qualifications for director and who have been designated to assume decision-making responsibility in the director's absence shall be kept at the site. All day care staff shall be informed of the designated director at each occurrence. The person designated as alternate director may be in the classroom and counted in the staff/child ratio under the following circumstances:
    1. When the center meets the criteria of Section 407.130(b); or
    2. During the first hour and last hour of a program that operated 10 or more hours per day; or
    3. When attendance falls below 50 children.
  11. The child care director must successfully complete a basic training course of 6 or more clock hours on providing care to children with disabilities that has been approved by the Department. The day care center shall have on file a certificate attesting to the training of the child care director.
    1. Persons employed as a child care director shall complete this training within 36 months from date appointed as child care director.
    2. A child care director who has completed training prior to employment may have that training approved as meeting the provisions of this subsection (k). A certificate of training completion and a description of the course content must be submitted to the Department for approval.
    3. A child care director who obtains approved training and moves from one day care facility to another shall not be required to take another training course as long as the child care director can provide documentation in the form of a certificate that the training was completed.
    4. A training program approved by the Department in providing care for children with disabilities must include the following components:
      1. Introduction to Inclusive Child Care;
      2. Understanding Child Development in Relation to Disabilities;
      3. Building Relationships With Families;
      4. Preparing for and Including Young Children in Child Care Setting;
      5. Community Services for Young Children with Disabilities (including Early Intervention Services).

(Source: Amended at 34 (Ill. Reg. 4700, effective March 22, 2010)

Section 407.140 Qualifications for Early Childhood Teachers and School-Age Workers

  1. Early childhood teachers and school-age workers shall be at least 19 years of age.
  2. Early childhood teachers and school-age workers shall have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate (GED).
  3. In addition to meeting the requirements of Section 407.100, the early childhood teacher responsible for a group of children that includes infants, toddler or preschooler-age children shall have achieved:
    1. Sixty semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of credits from an accredited college or university with six semester or nine quarter hours in courses related directly to child care and/or child development, from birth to age six; or
    2. One year (1560 clock hours) of child development experience in a nursery school, kindergarten, or licensed day care center and 30 semester hours (or 45 quarter hours) of credits from an accredited college or university with six semester or nine quarter hours in courses related directly to child care and/or child development, from birth to age six; or
    3. Completion of credentialing programs approved by the Department in accordance with Appendix G of this Part.
  4. School-age workers shall be at least 19 years of age and at least five years older than the oldest child with whom they work.
  5. In addition to meeting the requirements of Section 407.100, the newly employed school-age worker responsible for a group of school-age children shall have achieved:
    1. Thirty semester hours (or 45 quarter hours) of credit from an accredited college or university with six semester hours (or nine quarter hours) related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping, or other related fields; or
    2. 1560 clock hours of experience in a recreational program or licensed day care center serving school-age children or a license exempt school-age child care program operated by a public or private school, and six semester hours (or nine quarter hours) of credit from an accredited college or university related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping or other related fields; or
    3. A high school diploma or equivalency certificate plus 3120 clock hours of experience in a recreational program, kindergarten, or licensed day care center serving school-age children or a license exempt school-age child care program operated by a public or private school.
  6. Completion of a training program accredited by the American Montessori Society or Association Montessori International may be substituted for the courses directly related to child care and/or child development required by this Section. Persons holding a Montessori pre-primary credential may supervise children through age six. Persons holding a Montessori primary or elementary credential may supervise children six years of age or older.
  7. Persons who were deemed qualified as a child care worker or school-age worker prior to January 1, 1985, continue to be deemed qualified as an early childhood teacher or school-age worker.
  8. Early childhood teachers and school-age workers shall be responsible for the planning and supervision of a group of children. Early childhood workers and school-age workers shall also be responsible for supervising persons assigned to assist their group who are not similarly qualified.

(Source: Amended at 28 Ill. Reg. 3011, effective February 15, 2004)

Section 407.150 Qualifications for Early Childhood Assistants and School-Age Worker Assistants

  1. Early childhood assistants shall meet the requirements of Section 407.100, with the exception of subsection (b).
  2. Early childhood and school-age assistants shall have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate (GED).
  3. Early childhood assistants shall work under the direct supervision of an early childhood teacher or school-age worker and shall not assume full responsibility for a group of children, except as allowed by Section 407.190(e)(2).
  4. School-age assistants shall work under the direct supervision of a school-age worker and shall not assume full responsibility for a group of children, except as allowed by Section 407.90(e)(2).

(Source: Amended at 34 Ill. Reg. 4700, effective March 22, 2010)

Appendix C: Acknowledgements

We gratefully appreciate the support of the Illinois Department of Human Services and its Bureau of Child Care and Development for the opportunity to conduct these analyses, and for proofreading earlier drafts of this report and making important editorial comments.