Illinois Salary & Staffing Survey of Licensed Child Care Facilities: FY2011

Illinois Salary & Staffing Survey of Licensed Child Care Facilities: FY2011 (pdf)

Prepared by: Angela R. Wiley, PhD, Jacqueline Farber, M.S., Rebecca Swartz, Ed.M, and Samantha King, MA

Department of Human and Community Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for the Illinois Department of Human Services

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 505/5.15, to conduct a survey of the workforce in licensed child care facilities every two years. The entire bill is located on the Illinois General Assembly website: (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=242&ChampterID=5). 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 2-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 begins with list of 13,522 licensed child care programs in Illinois (3183 licensed child care centers and 10,339 licensed day care homes) obtained through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). On April 15, 2011, all providers were sent a request to participate in the survey. The survey was available in two formats: on-line and as a paper-and-pencil document. Out of the 13,522 licensed programs, 745 center programs (response rate = 23.41%) and 1392 family child care home providers (response rate = 13.46%) completed the survey.

The findings of this 2011 survey profile the qualifications, salary and benefits, and turnover rates from the sample of licensed child care programs operating in Illinois as of December 31, 2010.

Child Care Centers - Highlights and Key Findings

Capacity and Staffing

  • The average licensed capacity of centers was reported as 94 children.
  • The 745 responding directors reported a total of 9648 employees in their programs, including:
    • 1,277 directors and director/teachers,
    • 7,062 classroom teaching staff,
    • 395 food service staff,
    • 293 building support staff,
    • 233 administrative support staff,
    • 388 other types of staff.

Accreditation

  • Out of responding centers, 15.1% (113) were accredited by a national accrediting organization:
    • 97 (13%) were accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC);
    • 11 (1.5%) were accredited by the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP).
    • 4 (0.5%) were accredited by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA); and,
    • 2 (0.3%) were accredited by the National AfterSchool Association (NAA).
    • No responding programs were accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) for School-Age.

Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS)

  • 18.9% (141) of responding centers were QRS rated:
    • 15 (2.0%) of programs had earned a Star Level 1.
    • 57 (7.6%) of programs had earned a Star Level 2.
    • 69 (9.2%) of programs had earned a Star Level 3.

Education Level of Staff

  • Out of 1485 Early Childhood Teachers:
    • 92.9% were reported to have some form of college education,
    • 74.7% had completed a college degree (Associates or higher),
    • 41.2% had completed their degrees in early childhood education or child development, and
    • 5.9% had completed a Child Development Associate (CDA) or Child Care Professional (CCP) credential.
  • 24.6% of Early Childhood Teachers with a bachelor's degree or higher were reported to have 04/02 public school teaching certificates.

Salary

  • The median hourly wage for a full-time Administrative Director in a full-year program was $16.09 per hour, which is approximately equal to $33,467 per year. (Assumes 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.)
  • The median hourly wage for a full-time Early Childhood Teacher in a full-year program was $11.50 per hour, which is approximately equal to $23,920 per year.
  • The median hourly wage for a full-time Early Childhood Assistant Teacher in a full-year program was $9.00 per hour, which is approximately equal to $18,720 per year.

Benefits

  • Most centers did not provide insurance to most of their staff:
    • 37.1% of centers provided health insurance for their staff.
    • 23.0% of centers provided dental insurance.
    • 28.3% of centers provided life insurance.
    • 33.8% of centers provided retirement/pension coverage for their employees.
  • Most centers did provide time off benefits:
    • 74.9% of centers provided paid vacation leave to personnel.
    • 77.5% of centers provided paid holiday leave for staff.
    • 65.7% of centers provided paid sick leave for employees.

Turnover

  • The turnover rate for Early Childhood Teachers over the last two years was down slightly from 27.7% in 2009 to 24.6%.
  • The turnover rate for Early Childhood Assistant Teachers over the last two years was also slightly down from 39/36% in 2009 to 36.2% in 2011.
  • Early Childhood Teachers were reported as having, on average, 9.7 years in child care.
  • Dissatisfaction with pay and benefits were reported as top reasons for early childhood teachers to leave their jobs willingly; however, the most common reason for a practitioner leaving was termination/firing.
  • Dissatisfaction with professional development opportunities was the least important reason reported for leaving.
  • Directors reported that it took 3-4 weeks to fill Early Childhood Teacher vacancies, longer than it took to fill vacancies for other IDCFS positions.

Family Child Care Home Providers - Highlights and Key Findings

Capacity and Enrollment

The average license capacity reported for family child care was 9 children, with providers reporting that they care for an average of 7.4 children in a typical week.

Accreditation

3.7% (52 out of 1392) of family child care providers were accredited through the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC).

Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS)

  • 5.2% (73 out of 1392) of responding family child care providers participated in the QRS Program.
    • 0.9% (12) indicated they had earned a Star Level 1
    • 0.2% (3) indicated they had earned a Star Level 2
    • 4.2% (58) indicated they had earned a Star Level 3.

Education Level

  • 67.5% had some form of college education.
  • 39.4% had an Associate's degree or higher.
  • 16.7% had an Associate's degree or higher in either early childhood education or child development.
  • 2.4% reported that they had a public school early childhood teaching certificate.

Salary and Benefits

  • Licensed family child care providers reported an average annual net income of $12,548 per year:
    • 25% of family child care providers make less than $4,000.
    • 50% of family child care providers make less than $11,085.
    • 75% of family child care providers make less than $20,000.
  • While just over half (50.2%) of family child care providers required payment when closed for holidays, only 22.8% required payment when closed for vacation, 17.3% when closed for sickness, and 15.5% when closed for training.
  • 81.7% of family child care providers were covered by some form of health insurance. 34.5% of those were covered either fully or partially by their spouse's employer, 14.6% purchased their own health insurance, and 11.9% were Medicaid/Medicare eligible. 20.7% procured insurance through other avenues.
  • Over one-half (59.2%) of family child care providers contributed to Social Security and slightly over one-fourth (25.9%) set aside money for retirement.
  • More than one in five (22.8%) of 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 12.1 years of experience taking care of children in their homes.
  • Approximately one-third (29.37%) of licensed family child care providers reported that they had been previously employed in a child care center or public school.
  • Over one-third (34.6%) of family child care providers considered quitting providing care in the preceding year. Dissatisfaction with salary was the primary reason endorsed.
  • 31.2% of family child care providers plan to leave child care in 10 years.

Working Hours

  • On average, family child care providers were paid to care for children 52.5 hours per week.
  • On average, family child providers spent an additional 16.8 hours per week on aspects related to their child care business (preparing food, shopping, cleaning, record keeping and lesson planning).

Motivation for Providing Care

  • Family child care practitioners endorsed "enjoy teaching children" and "want 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 2-year period
  • 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 researchers from the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to conduct the Fiscal Year 2011 survey.

Methods

Survey Development

One version of the Salary and Staffing Survey was constructed for Child Care Centers; a separate version for Family Child Care Home Providers. To allow for the comparison of 2011 survey results with those from past survey years, questions from past surveys were retained with some minor changes in formatting and wording. New items were also added to provide more in-depth information regarding the operation of child care facilities in Illinois.

Respondents could opt to take the survey either on-line, via the internet, or as a mailed paper- and-pencil 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 software Checkbox® Survey Software (www.checkbox.com). Respondents could access the surveys through a link on the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies' (INCCRRA) website. The Salary Survey web page contained links for both the Licensed Family Child Care survey and the Licensed Child Care Center survey. It also included information on how to access both the online and paper-and-pencil versions of the survey, "Frequently Asked Questions" about the survey and a link to "Previous Survey Highlights." To maintain confidentiality, respondents were assigned a username that doubled as a password (a randomly generated 8-digit code). This information was required to log-in to the server and take the survey. With their unique log-in 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 of the survey.

Rather than the online version, respondents could request a paper copy of either the Licensed Family Child Care survey or the Licensed Child Care Center 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-and-pencil versions of both the Child Care Center and Family Child Care Surveys.

Respondents

Child care facilities in Illinois are licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services. Local Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) list these facilities on a provider database called NACCRRAware. The Illinois Network of Child Care and Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) maintains this database for Illinois. All 13,522 facilities in Illinois (3183 licensed child care centers and 10,339 licensed family child care home providers listed in the database as providing care as of December 31, 2010) were invited to respond to the Survey.

There are sixteen Child Care Resource and Referral 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 members of INCCRRA, which provides coordination and supports for the Illinois CCR&R system.

Administration of Surveys

On April 8, 2011, an email blast was sent to 7561 providers whom had emails listed in the database (5620 family child care providers, 1941 centers) inviting them to participate in the Salary and Staffing Survey. On April 15, 2011, a letter was mailed to all centers (n=3183), in care of the center director, and all family home providers (n=10,339), 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-and-pencil questionnaire. Copies of both surveys are included in Appendix A.

On May 9, 2011, reminder postcards were sent to 12,840 providers (9853 family child care home providers, 2987 centers). These postcards thanked providers who had completed the survey, reminded providers of the survey's availability both online and as a paper-and-pencil document, and provided the contact information necessary for providers to obtain the paper-and-pencil copy of the survey if so desired. On June 10, 2011, a second reminder postcard was sent to all participants (n=12,178) who had not finished the online survey. Analyses were based on all completed surveys returned by July 19, 2011.

A total of 10,339 IDCFS licensed family child care home and group home providers and 3183 centers were invited to complete the Salary and Staffing Survey. Out of these, 1392 family child care/group home providers (1226 online; 166 in paper-pencil form) and 745 center directors (725 online and 20 in paper-and pencil form) completed and returned the survey. The response rates for each type of program were 13.46% and 23.41% respectively.

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 an 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 then for each question or analysis 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 before- and after-school 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 Department of Family Support Services [formally referred to as Chicago Children and Youth Services (CYS). Since the survey listed the agency as CYS, the acronym CYS will continue to be used in this report.] 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 3183 invitations sent to child care centers, 725 online surveys were completed and an additional 20 paper and pencil surveys were complete. Thus, 745 center surveys were completed out of 3183 delivered invitations, for a response rate of 23.41 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: Child Care Centers

Service Delivery Area CCR&R Office Location Number of Centers Number of Surveys Completed Percentage of Surveys Completed
SDA 1 Rockford 66 10 15.15%
SDA 2 DeKalb 149 41 27.52%
SDA 3 Waukegan 179 38 21.23%
SDA 4 Glendale Heights 319 77 10.33%
SDA 5 Joliet 201 56 24.14%
SDA 6 Chicago 1,327 212 15.98%
SDA 7 Davenport 83 22 26.51%
SDA 8 Peoria 146 53 36.30%
SDA 9 Bloomington 88 27 30.68%
SDA 10 Urbana 101 35 34.65%
SDA 11 Charleston 36 15 41.67%
SDA 12 Quincy 29 9 31.03%
SDA 13 Springfield 95 33 34.74%
SDA 14 Granite City 214 52 24.30%
SDA 15 Mt Vernon 65 23 35.38%
SDA 16 Carterville 85 42 49.41%
Totals 3,183 745 23.41%

Respondent Role

Respondents were asked to provide basic information about their programs. Out of 745 centers responding to the survey, 54 (7.2%) were completed by owners, 125 (16.8%) by owner/directors, 385 (51.6%) by directors, 86 (11.5%) by director/teachers, and 95 (12.9%) by other personnel, including a CEO, Executive Director, Personnel Coordinator, and Assistant Director. Approximately 40 different titles were represented. All respondents will be referred to as "directors" for the rest of this report.

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, (3) whether it exists as a single or multi-site program, and (4) whether it is an accredited program or not; whether it has been awarded a Star Level in the Quality Counts Quality Rating System or not.

Directors were asked to identify their center's schedule of operation based on hours open and center type. The 745 surveys yielded the following results:

  • 40.4% (301) of centers were defined as full-day/full-year only (open at least 8 hours per day for a minimum of 49 hours per year);
  • 24.3% (181) were defined as full-day/full-year programs with a separate part-day option;
  • 18% (134) were defined as part-day only (nursery school, preschool, Head Start);
  • 2.3% (17) were defined as part-day only before- and/or after-school programs;
  • 3.6% (27) were defined as full-day, school year (less than 49 weeks) programs; and,
  • 11.5% (86) 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, 480 directors (64.4%) responded "No," 177 (23.8%) answered "Yes," and 89 (11.9%) did not answer the item.

Directors were also asked whether their program was a single-site program or part of a multi-site program. Over two thirds (65.4%, n=487) indicated that theirs were single-site programs; 23.8% (n=177) were part of a multi-site program, and 11.9% (n=89) did not report whether or not their center was single or multi-site.

Accreditation & Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) Status

Accreditation demonstrates a Center's commitment to excellence in early care and education by meeting voluntary guidelines and standards established by national accrediting organizations. The Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) "recognizes a provider for meeting specific indicators of quality" (from the Quality Counts website: Quality Counts (http://www.ilqualitycounts.com/quality-rating.system/overview) above state licensing standards which both impact and enrich a child's care and learning experience. 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 Quality Rating System certification. Using information from the INCCRRA Database, variables were created to indicate the accreditation and QRS rating status of Center programs participating in the salary and staffing survey. [To further identify the prevalence of accredited centers in Illinois, national accrediting agencies were contacted in mid-September of 2011 and asked to provide their accreditation data for Illinois: 359 (11.28% of all Illinois centers) are NAEYC accredited, 50 (1.57% of all Illinois centers) are NAC accredited, 27 (0.85% of all Illinois centers) are NECPA accredited, and 4 (2.4% of all Illinois centers) are COA accredited and 2 (0.06%) are still accredited through NAA. Overall, 13.88% of all center programs in Illinois have been accredited by national organizations and meet nationally recognized standards for excellence.]

In FY 2011, 15.1% (113) of programs responding to the Salary and Staffing survey were accredited:

  • 13% (97) programs were accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC);
  • 1.5% (11) of Programs were accredited by the National Commission (NAC) under the auspices of the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP);
  • 0.5% (4) of programs were accredited through NECPA (National Early Childhood Program Accreditation); and,
  • 0.3% (2) of programs were accredited through the National AfterSchool Association (NAA); no responding programs were accredited through the Council on Accreditation (COA) for school-age care. (As of early 2011, the NAA partnered with COA to deliver all accreditation services to after-school programs.)

In FY 2011, 18.9% (141) of programs responding to the Salary and Staffing survey were QRS certified. 2.0% (15) of programs had earned a Star Level 1, 7.6% (57) of Programs had earned a Star Level 2, and 9.2% (69) of programs had earned a Star Level 3. [According to data from the Quality Counts website (http://www.ilqualitycounts.com/quality-rating-system/qrs-data) for the reporting period of 7/1/07 - 1/31/12, 468 center programs in Illinois, have been awarded a Quality Counts Quality Rating System Star Level: 36 a Star Level 1, 205 a Star Level 2, 222 a Star Level 3, and 5 a Star Level 4. Collectively, the CCAP enrollment in the center programs was 24,521 (55.33% of their total combined enrollment of 44,321)].

Please note that centers can be QRS certified and nationally accredited. Of the number reported above, 45.5% (64) were also accredited.

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.

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 745 centers:

  • 284 reported their centers as for-profit enterprises:
    • 17.0% (127) reported their center as a for-profit corporation or chain;
    • 19.6% (146) reported their center as a for-profit private proprietary or partnership;
    • 1.5% (11) reported their center as a for profit corporate sponsored;
  • 286 described their centers as a private non-profit:
    • 31.4% (234) described their center as an independent private non-profit;
    • 7.0% (52) described their center as a private non-profit affiliated with a social service agency or hospital;
  • 58 identified their centers as public non-profits:
    • 7.5% (56) identified their center as a public non-profit- sponsored by federal, state, or local government;
  • 27 (3.6%) identified their centers as college or university affiliated; and
  • 91 (12.2%) of center directors did not respond to this item. Even with a 12.2% no-response rate in 2011, the number of directors who responded to this item in 2011 (n=655) exceeded the 2009 response rate (n=602).

Center directors were provided a list of funding sources and asked to indicate which ones their centers currently received. Table 2 identifies each revenue source and the percentage and number of centers who reported receiving it. As Table 2 reveals, 83 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 (59.3%).

Table 2. Type of Center Program Revenues (N = 745)

Type of Program Revenue Percentage n
Tuition-Based (Parent Fees) 83% 619
Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) vouchers or certificates 59.3% 442
Chicago Children and Youth Services (CYS) site contract 3.2% 24
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) vouchers or certificates 43.2% 322
Head Start 7.4% 55
State Board of Education (ISBE)/Preschool for All (PFA) 13.8% 103
Child and Adult Care Food Program 40.3% 300
Private Donations, grants (e.g., foundations, United Way), or fundraising 32.6% 243
Corporate/employer subsidies 4.4% 33
Other (fundraisers, church sponsorship, grants…) 4.8% 36

Note: This table should be read as follows: 83% of licensed child care centers received revenues from tuition or parent fees.  The percentages add up to greater than 100% 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, they were asked to estimate the percentage that each funding source contributed to their general revenue. Since tuition and parent fees were reported to be the most common source of funding for centers (83%), it is not surprising that they also comprised the largest source of revenue for a majority of the centers. According to directors, an average of 66.3 percent (n = 580, median = 75%), or two-thirds of center revenue, was generated through parent fees.

Directors were also asked to estimate the proportion that each revenue source contributed to their overall budget. Only responses with a proportion over 0 percent were included in the results below ("n" is indicated for each funding source):

  • Head Start funds comprised 16.1 percent of the total revenue base for the 117 centers who reported receiving this type of funding (median = 0%).
  • Preschool for All funding comprised 10.1 percent of the total revenue base for the 141 centers who reported receiving this type of funding (median = 0%).
  • Public funding (state, federal, or local) comprised 36.7 percent of the overall revenue base for the 396 centers who reported receiving this type of funding (median = 30.0%).
  • Private donations and gifts comprised 6.8 percent of the overall funding base for the 259 centers who reported receiving this type of funding (median = 4.0%).
  • Corporate/employer subsidies comprised 4.5 percent of the total overall revenue for the 102 centers who reported receiving this type of funding (median = 0%)

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 $351,987.77 (n=359), with a median of $268,752.60. Annual revenues averaged $377,993.34 (n=345) with a median of $290,000.00. 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 $27,131.41 (n=345 respondents). A number of responding centers were dropped from this and some subsequent analyses. Because we asked respondents if their center was part of a multi-site agency, a number of respondents may have been cued to report on their entire agency. Where this was the case, this respondent was dropped from the analyses. In addition, a number of centers did not respond to questions about their finances.

As stated previously, the term child care center encompasses an array of programs and facilities, public and private, 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 2009, corporate for-profit centers do generally yield a profit, but public and private nonprofit centers make considerably less and often operate at a loss.

As with the 2009 survey, the 2011 survey was conducted during one of the most severe economic downturns in United States history. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Illinois was at its zenith (11.2%) in January 2010 and was still at 9.5 percent in July of 2011 (a little higher than the National unemployment rate of 9.1%). ["Regional and State Employment and Unemployment-January 2010 (pdf)", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 10, 2010, (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives.laus_03102010.pdf)]; "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment-August 19, 2011 (pdf) (Monthly) New release, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives.laus_08192011.pdf)

NACCRRAware data indicates that 17.06 percent of all child care centers that closed between June 30, 2009 and July 1, 2011 did so for financial reasons. Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies, child care advocates, local, state, and national media have all documented the impact of the economic crisis on child care. As with the 2009 survey, questions were asked to ascertain whether the general economy was perceived to have effected a change to either the operating costs and/or revenues of centers. Directors were asked to rate these changes on a scale from 1 - 5 where 1 = "Decreased greatly", 3 = "Stayed about the same", and 5 = "Increased greatly". Directors rated the average change in operating costs as 3.6 (n=582; median=4) and the average change to revenue as 2.8 (n=569; median=3). Thus, at least half of all directors indicated that while revenues "stayed about the same," operating costs had "increased somewhat" in the last 2 years.

Table 3. Annual Operating Costs, Revenues, and Profits by Profit/Non-Profit Status, Licensed Child Care Centers

Type of Center Revenues Operating Costs Profit
Mean n Mean n Mean n
For Profit- private proprietary or partnership $384,964 104 $345,504 104 $49,942 104
For Profit- corporation or chain $419,502 81 $369,506 81 $64,169 81
For Profit- corporate sponsored $321,156 10 $244,842 10 $69,502 10
Private nonprofit- independent $326,118 204 $311,942 204 $19,068 204
Private nonprofit- affiliated with a social service agency or hospital $429,755 32 $462,370 32 -$39,650 32
Public nonprofit- sponsored by federal, state, or local government $468,844 28 $493,660 28 $26,170 28
College or university affiliated $435,954 22 $435,517 22 -$17,123 22
Other $215,025 2 $215,133 2 $108.00 2

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). Less than half of the reporting centers (43.2%; n=486) 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 + any difference between state reimbursement and center rate). On a scale of 1 to 5 where 1="Very Easy" and 5="Very Difficult", responding centers (N=495) reported an average rating of 3.3 (median=3), 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 to 5 where 1="Much Easier" and 5="Much More Difficult"). The average rate reported was 3.3 with a median of 3, indicating that it had "stayed the same."

Capacity and Enrollment Patterns

License 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 6 weeks - 12 years of age and are stipulated on the center's IDCFS license. Of the 745 responding centers, the mean total license capacity was 82.56 children, with a median license capacity of 71.

When asked to recount their current total enrollment (how many children attended their program), directors (n=608) reported an average current total enrollment of 91.24 children, with a median current total enrollment of 74. 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 Children and Youth Services (CYS) (currently known as the Department of Family Support Services (DFSS)), and/or Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) financial assistance (subsidized child care). A preponderance (81.4%; n = 511) of centers have children enrolled whose families receive IDHS, CYS, and/or IDCFS assistance. These centers enrolled an average of 33 children (median enrollment of 20) 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 = 474). On average, 41.3% (median=29.3%, with a range of from 0 to 100 percent) or, 4 out of every 10 children enrolled in licensed child care centers, had child care paid through IDHS, CYS, and/or IDCFS public financial assistance. This is a 7% increase over the percentages reported in the 2007 and 2009 Illinois Salary and Staffing Survey reports which were 33.7% and 33.94% correspondingly (or, only 3 out of every 10 children enrolled in centers received subsidized child care). In November of 2009, Illinois received $74 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to use towards funding child care. Illinois chose to use the money towards raising the income eligibility standards for parents from 185% of the poverty level (FPL) to 200% FPL, lower parent co-pays, increase job search time and hire infant toddler specialists. This one-time funding, which was to last for 2 years, was depleted prematurely. As of April 1, 2011, income eligibility guidelines returned to 185% FPL, and parent co-pays and job search times returned to the pre-ARRA guidelines. It is difficult to ascertain whether the increase in the average percentage of subsidy children enrolled in centers was a one-time phenomenon, influenced by the influx of the ARRA funds, or whether there were other contributing factors which will continue to influence and increase the percentage of subsidy children enrolled in centers.

To further explore the enrollment patterns of centers, directors were asked how frequently their programs had vacancies. On a scale of 1 ("There are always vacancies") to 5 ("There are never vacancies"), directors (n=614) reported an average of 2.7 (with a median of 3.0). A rating of 3 translates into "There are sometimes vacancies." Table 4 displays enrollment patterns.

Table 4. Enrollment Patterns (N = 614)

Enrollment Pattern Percentage n
1 (There are always vacancies) 22.5% 138
2 (There are often vacancies) 16.9% 104
3 (There are sometime vacancies) 36.7% 225
4 (There are rarely vacancies) 20.5% 126
5 (There are never vacancies) 3.4% 21

As Table 4 demonstrates, 76.1 percent of all directors rated their vacancy pattern as "There are always vacancies" to "There are sometimes vacancies". Only 23.9 percent reported that their centers rarely or never had vacancies. This represents a shift from the enrollment patterns reported in the 2009 Staffing Salary Survey. According to that report, 61.4 percent of centers "always" to "sometimes" had vacancies; 38.8% percent "rarely" or "never" had vacancies. Thus the vacancies have increased in the past two years. It is interesting to note that per the NACCRRAware database, 6.8 percent of all contacted Illinois child care centers that closed their doors between the period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011, closed due to "insufficient enrollment."

Directors were also asked to reflect on how enrollment had changed over the past two years. On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = "Decreased Greatly" and 5 = "Increased Greatly", directors indicated that on average, the change of enrollment was 2.9 (n=619; median=3). The number 3 on the scale designates that the current enrollment "Stayed about the same." While a comparison of the data in 2009 and 2011 (shown in Table 4) indicates change in perceived enrollment patterns, for this question, directors recall 2009 as being on a par with 2011.

Ethnicity of Children in Programs

Directors estimated that, on average, 21.8 percent (median = 8%; range = 0 to 100%) of the children in their programs were African-American, 71.6% (median = 83%; range = 0 to 100%) were Caucasian/White, 13.6% (median = 5%; range = 0 to 100%) were Hispanic/Latino, .5% (median = 0%; range = 0 to 10%) were Native American, 5.3% (median = 2%; range = 0 to 80%) were Asian/Pacific Islander, 7.2% (median = 5%; range = 0 to 85%) were multi-racial, and 2.9% (median = 1%; range = 0 to 30%) were of other racial/ethnic groups.

Almost half (51.8%; n=323) of directors indicated that there were children in their programs whose primary language was not English. Directors reported several other languages as the primary dialects spoken by the children in their center. In descending order, the following languages were reported to be spoken by the children. The percentage shown after the language indicates the frequency it was reported by directors.

  • Spanish: 35.8%
  • Chinese Dialect: either Cantonese or Mandarin: 13.3%
  • Polish: 12.6%
  • Hindi/Urdu: 10.3%
  • Arabic: 6.6%
  • Russian: 6.3%
  • Korean: 6.2%
  • Japanese: 4.7%
  • Farsi: 3.4%
  • Vietnamese: 3.2%
  • German: 2.5%
  • Hebrew: 1.3%
  • Other: 8.4%

Spanish (35.8%) 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 5 staff positions highlighted in IDCFS licensing standards (see Appendix C) were used throughout the survey. The position of center director was separated into 2 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 who fill those positions.

Table 5. Breakdown of Center Staff by Position

Position Number of Employees Number of Centers (with 1 or more staff memebrs of the designated title.) # of Employees (Mean) # of Employees (Median)
IDCFS-Defined Positions
Administrative Director 566 486 1.2 1
Director/Teacher
(must meet the qualifications of both the director and the teaching position.)
711 453 1.6 1
Early Childhood Teacher 4,217 544 7.8 6.0
Early Childhood Assistant 2,263 504 4.5 3.0
School-Age Worker 421 257 1.6 1.0
School-Age Assistant 161 200 .81 0
Other Staff Positions
Curriculum Coordinator 61 178 .34 0
Family Support/
Parent Educator 118 172 .69 0
Cook 395 370 1.1 1
Administrative Support/Secretary 233 260 .90 1
Building Support Staff 293 265 1.1 1
Other 209 161 1.3 0

The average child care center employs 17.8 staff members, the majority (86%) in IDCFS-defined positions. Early childhood teachers represented the single largest category of child care staff (50.6 percent of all staff and 43.7 percent of all IDCFS-defined instructional positions).

Directors were also asked to report on how many of their staff were lead teachers [The position "Lead Teacher" is not an IDCFS-defined position. However, a recommendation to revise IDCFS Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers to add "lead teacher" as a separate role category for teaching staff, appeared in the publication: "Who's Caring for the Kids? The Status of the Early Childhood Workforce - 2008," a joint project by the McCormick Tribune Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National-Louis University and the Early Childhood Parenting Collaborative at the University of Illinois. This report combined statistical data from IDHS, ISBE and INCCRRA to summarize the status of early child care education in Illinois and to make recommendations. The report proposed a definition of a "lead teacher" and the ECE credential levels which would be required for personnel hired as lead teachers in a day care center and/or Preschool for All program.] defined as:

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.

Five-hundred and seventy-four (574) centers provided information about lead teachers. Child care centers averaged 5.9 lead teachers, with a median of 5. This figure is consistent with the findings from 2009.

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 745 directors who responded to this question, 23.6 percent indicated that they contracted for food service, 28.7% contracted for building cleaning, 28.7% contracted for grounds maintenance, and 7.8% indicated that they contracted for other services.

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 530 responses to this question, 220 directors answered "Don't Know." Of the 310 who were able to respond to the question, 75.8 percent indicated that at least one member of their instructional staff had a second paying outside job, and reported that on average, almost 2 (mean=2; median=1; range = from 0 to 34) 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 both 2007 and 2009.

Staffing Patterns -- Male Staff

Historically, early childhood education has not been a common avenue of employment for men. Recently, however, there have been a number of calls to attract men into the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 national percentage of men employed as child care workers was 6.96 percent, employed as teacher assistants was 7.6% and employed as preschool or kindergarten teachers was 2.96%. [Raw data from "Household Data Annual Averages", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (http://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/lf/aat39.txt) Data shows "median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation and sex." Figures were calculated by comparing the number of men in the position to the total number of workers in the position. The BLS combined the positions of kindergarten and preschool teachers in their data. Descriptions for the positions of child care workers, teacher assistants and preschool teachers can be found on page 50 of this report.] 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 25.2 percent of centers employed one or more male staff members in an instructional capacity (all positions except Administrative Director in Table 6), only 2.87 percent (223 instructional staff out of 7773) of instructional staff were male. This is below the national average of men employed in the field of early child care.

Table 6. Male Center Staff by Position

Position Total Number of Employees in this Category Total Number of Male Employees in this Category Percent of Employees in this Category Who are Male Number of Centers with Employees in this Category (centers with 1 or more staff members of the designated title) Number of Centers with Male Staff in this Category Percent of all Centers with Male Staff in this Category
(Percentage of centers with 1 or more male staff members of the designated title. Should be read "Of the 486 centers who had administrative directors, 26 or 5.3 percent had a male administrative director.")
Administrative Director 566 29 5.1% 486 26 5.3%
Director/Teacher
(centers with 1 or more male staff members of the designated title)
711 22 3.1% 453 18 4.0%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,217 70 1.7% 544 57 10.5%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,263 59 2.6% 504 43 8.5%
School-Age Worker 421 55 13.1% 257 33 12.8%
School-Age Assistant 161 17 10.6% 200 11 5.5%
All Positions 8,339 252 3.0% 746 188 25.2%

Note: See Note on Table 5.

Non-English Fluency of Staff

It was reported previously that almost 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. Approximately 10 percent (10.5%) of the 8339 instructional staff were reported to be fluent in a language other than English. Slightly more than half of all centers had at least one staff member who was fluent in a non-English language (this is an increase compared to the 2009 Staffing/Salary Survey result that 2 out of every 5 centers had a staff member fluent in a non-English language).

In descending order, the following languages were reported as spoken fluently by center staff. The percentage of directors who reported the language appears in parentheses.

  • Spanish (27.9%)
  • Hindi/Urdu (5.1%)
  • Polish (4.2%)
  • Other (2.9%)
  • Russian (2.3%)
  • Arabic (2.0%)
  • German (2.0%)
  • Chinese dialect: either Cantonese or Mandarin (1.3%)
  • Korean (1.2%)
  • Japanese (0.7%)
  • Farsi (0.7%)
  • Hebrew (0.5%)
  • Vietnamese (0.4%)

Table 7. Number of Staff who are Fluent in a Non-English Language by Position

Position Total Number of Employees Number of Employees with non-English Fluency Percent of Employees With Non-English Fluency Number of Centers (with 1 or more staff members of the designated title) Number of Centers With Non-English Fluent Staff (with 1 or more staff members of the designated title who are fluent in a non-English language) Percent of all Centers Who Employ Non-English Fluent Staff
Administrative Director 566 39 6.9% 486 36 7.4%
Director/Teacher2 711 76 10.7% 453 52 11.5%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,217 410 9.7% 544 164 30.1%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,263 296 13.1% 504 127 25.2%
School-Age Worker 421 37 8.8% 257 22 8.6%
School-Age Assistant 161 15 9.3% 200 14 7.0%
All Positions 8,339 873 10.5% 746 415 55.6%

Percent of all Centers Who Employ Non-English Fluent Staff - is percentage of centers with 1 or more staff members of the designated title who are fluent in a non-English language, and should be read as of the 486 centers who had administrative directors, 36 or 7.4 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 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.
    • 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 Professional Development Advisor (PDA) Program pairs experienced mentors with less experienced practitioners to assist the latter in meeting their professional development goals.
    • 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), School-Age and Youth Development Credential (SAYD) and the Illinois Director Credential (IDC). Achievement of these credentials is based on educational level, professional development background and work experience in the field of early care and education.
    • The Gateways to Opportunity Registry is available for practitioners to track their training and professional development.
  • The Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) recognizes Illinois child care providers for meeting specific indicators of quality and assists them by providing technical assistance, training and supports.
  • 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 QRS and Infant Toddler Specialists, Nurse and Mental Health Consultants.

Out of 745 total child care centers/agencies responding to the survey,

  • 89.6% (n=520) of the 580 directors who responded to the question reported they had heard of the Great START Program;
  • 87.9% (n=510) of 580 responding directors had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program;
  • 84.5% (n=492) of 582 responding directors had heard of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials;
  • 60.6%; (n=346 of the 571 responding directors) had heard of the Professional Development Advisor Program;
  • 90.3% (n=522 of 578 directors responding) had heard of the Quality Counts Quality Rating System;
  • 83.6% (n=480 of 574 directors responding) had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry; and
  • 63.2% (n=363 of 574 directors responding) had heard of the consultants/specialists available through the local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency.
  • 54.4% (n=404 of 743) had at least one Great START recipient in the past two years. Those 404 programs had a total of 1862 recipients.
  • 23% (n=171 of 743) had at least one Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship recipient for a total of 369 recipients.

Directors provided written feedback about these professional development opportunities. Below are representative comments about the programs.

Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS):

  • "The QRS has helped our program tremendously. With our 3-star rating and high percentage of subsidized children, the QRS add-on has helped us to compensate our staff and offer a quality program."
  • "We are a qualified 2-Star Level in the QRS program with the state. We do get some extra money for this, but not near enough to make a bigger difference in what I can pay my teachers."

The Great START Program:

  • "The Great START Dollars are EXTREMELY attractive to the Child Care Employees as they really appreciate the stipend they receive." (emphasis in original)
  • "I think the Great START wage supplement program is a good way of compensating good educators…However, I do not like the fact that the supplement program puts a cap on the accepted wages of an applicant. The cap should be set much higher than $15 an hour, since a $15/hour salary is very low compared to other occupations."

Professional Development Advisor and Gateways to Scholarship Program

  • "The Great START Program, Professional Development Advisor and Scholarship program have been an important part of ECE in Illinois. These programs keep teachers working with our youngest children and support their teacher's professional development and continued education."

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 plan for staff to meet this requirement, and the modes in which staff received training.

Professional Development Plan for Staff

  • 81.6% (n=472) of the 578 directors who responded to the question reported they have a staff professional development plan for their center.
  • 54.6% (n=313) of the 573 directors who responded to the question reported they have an individual staff professional development plan for their teaching/instruction staff.
  • 95.7% (n=555) of the 580 directors who responded to the question reported they have in-service training opportunities for their instructional staff.
  • 86.3% (n=498) of the 577 directors who responded to the question reported they pay for conference training or registration.

Training Received

  • 58.3% (n= 435 of the 745 directors who responded to the question) reported that their staff had received training in early childhood education, child development or health education from a Child Care Resource and Referral training.
  • 52.5% (n=392 of the 745 directors who responded to the question) reported that their staff had received training in early childhood education, child development or health education from a local community training.
  • 56.4% (n=421 of the 745 directors who responded to the question) reported that their staff had received training in early childhood education, child development or health education from training at a professional association meeting or conference.

Of the 574 directors who responded, 63.0 percent believe there are adequate training opportunities available to them and their staff.

Illinois Director Credential

The Illinois Director Credential is awarded to directors on the basis of educational background, experience in the field and professional contributions to early care and education. Directors who have earned this voluntary credential exceed the qualifications necessary for their position per IDCFS Licensing Standards. Out of 543 directors who responded, 16.2 percent (n=88) reported that an administrative director at their center has the Illinois Director Credential. In addition, of the 531 directors who responded, 10.7 percent (n=57) reported that a director/teacher at their site has the Illinois Director Credential.

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, and 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, the 2011 Salary and Staffing Survey was expanded and 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?" 56 percent (n=323) of the 577 responding directors reported that in the past week they spoke to no more than 2 additional child care professionals in addition to their immediate center staff, 26.2% (n=151) reported that they spoke to 3-5 additional child care professionals, and 17.8% (n=103) reported that they spoke to more than 6 additional child care professionals.

They were asked to recount how many other center professionals they know personally, in addition to their immediate center staff. Of the 576 directors who responded,

  • 63.9% (n=368) reported that aside from their immediate center staff, they personally knew at least 6 other child care professionals;
  • 21.3% of directors (n=123) reported that they personally knew between 3-5 child care professionals; and,
  • 14.8% (n=85) directors reported that they knew 2 or fewer child care professionals.

Staff Turnover

Turnover Rates

Parents are advised to ask "What is your staff turnover rate?" when searching for a quality child care arrangement in a center. 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 universal quality child care. In order to understand the factors that comprise a stable workforce, questions concerning turnover rate, applicants, and new hires were asked.

Directors were asked to report the number of full-time and part-time staff members who left their program within the past 24 months. 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 24 months was compared to the number of centers employing staff with the given position. Staff turnover rate at the center level is presented in Table 8.

Table 8. Two-year Center Level Turnover Rate by Position

Position # of Centers Employing Staff (reporting at least one staff member of the indicated position) # of Centers Who Had Staff Leave in Past 24 Months (reporting at least one staff member of the indicated position. See Table 5) Center Level Turnover Rate
Administrative Director 486 54 11.1%
Director/Teacher 453 89 19.6%
Early Childhood Teacher 544 324 59.5%
Early Childhood Assistant 504 254 50.4%
School-Age Worker 257 70 27.2%
School-Age Assistant 200 29 14.5%

This table should be read, 11.1 percent of centers employing Administrative Directors had one or more Administrative Directors leave their position in the past 24 months.

In order to calculate the turnover rate on an individual position level, the number of staff who left in the past 24 months was compared to the number of employees currently in that job. Table 9 presents this information. This table conveys the percentage of employees who left each position within the past 2 years.

Table 9. Two-year Individual Position Level Turnover Rate by Position
This table should be read "12.4% of Administrative Directors left their position within the two years preceding the survey."

Position Number of Employees
(from Table 5)
# Staff Who Left in Past 24 Months (from Table 5) Position Turnover Rate
Administrative Director 566 70 12.4%
Director/Teacher 711 139 19.5%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,217 1,036 24.6%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,263 819 36.2%
School-Age Worker 421 127 30.2%
School-Age Assistant 161 61 37.9%

Data regarding the Two-year Turnover Rate by Position Level has been collected since the FY97 Staffing Salary Survey (although the turnover rates were referred to as "replacement rates" in all surveys prior to FY03). Table 10 offers a comparison of these rates from FY01 - FY11.

Table 10. Two-year Turnover Rate (Individual Position Level) by Position (FY01 - FY11)
This table should be read: For every 100 Administrative Directors working in FY11, 12 Administrative Directors left in the two years preceding the survey.

Position FY01 FY03 FY05 FY07 FY09 FY11
Administrative Director 19% 21% 15% 12% 14% 12%
Director/Teacher 44% 30% 23% 19% 18% 20%
Early Childhood Teacher 51% 38% 32% 28% 28% 25%
Early Childhood Assistant 62% 55% 53% 41% 39% 36%
School-Age Worker 100% 43% 31% 37% 36% 30%
School-Age Assistant 119% 56% 18% 24% 44% 38%

Turnover rates appear to have slightly decreased across all positions (except for Director/Teacher) since FY09. With the exception of the school-age assistant position, the overall turnover rates for other positions dropped to their lowest in FY2011 (although FY 2011 finds the turnover rates for Director/Teachers slightly higher than in FY2007 and FY2009). With an economic recession, lower job turnover rates are not unexpected. According to the Wall Street Journal, "the natural turnover of employees leaving to advance their careers didn't occur during the recession because jobs were so scarce." (Joe Light, "More Workers Start to Quit", Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2010, (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100001424052748704113504575264432377146698.html)  According to the Huffington Post, the recession is still playing a role in job turnover: "The recession has left workers fearful of leaving the stability of their current position and companies are still not replacing all of their employees." (Bonnie Kavoussi, "Job Moves Stay Low During Recovery, Hurting Workers, Growth", 2.14.12, Huffington Post, (http://www.huffingpost.com/2012/02/13/job-moves_n_1274754.html)

Staff Turnover Reasons

Center directors were given a list of reasons why employees might leave. For each staff member who left, directors were asked to identify the reason and rate its importance on a scale of 1 - 5, (1="Not Important" and 5 = "Very Important"). Broken down by position, Table 11 represents the percentage of centers whose directors ranked a given reason as a 4 or 5 (important to very important).

Table 11: The Percentage of Directors Reporting on Importance of Reason for Leaving by Position
This table should be read as: "9.0 percent of all center directors indicated that 'finding a new job in child care' was an important/very important reason why Administrative Directors left their job within the past 24 months."

Reason for Leaving Admin. Director Director/ Teacher Teacher Assistant Teacher School-Age Worker Assistant School-Age Worker
Took another position within our agency/organization 26.9% 15.7% 16.5% 9.4% 25.0% 0%
Found a new job in another child care center 9.0% 23.4% 27.9% 17.1% 33.3% 0%
Found a new job in public schools 6.7% 9.7% 24.3% 8.2% 29.1% 8.3%
Found a new job unrelated to child care or education 25.0% 14.3% 26.7% 27.6% 24.0% 6.7%
Dissatisfied - pay 21.4% 20.0% 35.7% 28.2% 21.1% 12.5%
Dissatisfied - benefits 20.0% 20.7% 26.9% 15.4% 11.1% 7.1%
Dissatisfied - professional development opportunities 7.7% 3.7% 8.1% 3.7% 6.3% 0%
Dissatisfied - schedule 7.1% 6.8% 9.1% 13.7% 5.9% 8.3%
Terminated / Fired 33.3% 24.4% 40.2% 38.0% 29.1% 38.9%
Laid off 6.7% 7.7% 8.8% 13.0% 0% 0%
Retired 11.2% 12.9% 14.2% 7.3% 6.7% 7.1%
Personal 13.6% 13.5% 38.9% 33.6% 21.7% 27.8%
Other 25.0% 17.7% 32.2% 34.0% 21.1% 9.1%

It is apparent from Table 11 that the least significant reason for staff exit was dissatisfaction with professional development opportunities. "Termination/fired" was the predominant reason acknowledged by directors for staff departure among all positions. This is a notable change from FY 2009 when no more than 13 percent of center directors rated this as an important or very important reason for staff exits across all positions except that 27.1 percent had reported "termination/fired" as important or very important for Assistant Teachers.

Dissatisfaction with pay and benefits continues to increase as important reasons why center staff members leave their positions. As previously stated, directors reported that almost 2 (mean=2; median=1; range = from 0 to 34) of their instructional staff had an outside paying job. In addition, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index Summary for August 2011, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 3.8% over the last 12 months, ("Economic News Release Consumer Price Index News Release", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9.15.2011, (http://www.bls.gov/new.release/archives/cpi_09152011.htm) while, "real average hourly earnings fell 2.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, from August 2010 to August 2011. "Economic News Release: Real Earnings New Release", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9.14.2011, (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/realer_09152011.htm) Thus, consumer costs increased while real earnings decreased.

It is important to note that staff who left were not directly asked about their reasons for leaving. Data in Table 11 represents directors' perceptions of reasons for exits. It should also be noted that "Personal" and "Other" as reasons for leaving also increased as compared to the 2009 survey.

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

"Staff do not get paid enough for this type of work they do…they have an educational impact on the children. Research shows that it helps when children have routine and consistency, however, teachers leave because of the low pay."

"…If we could offer health insurance, we would have better luck at hanging on to our best employees…"

Applicants for Vacant Positions

In order to determine how vacant positions are filled, what type of applicants apply and what attracts applicants to the field, directors (n=745) were asked to respond to a number of items.

Per 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 2 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. Comparing these results from those of the 2009 survey, the percentage of program-qualified applicants increased across all positions, except school-age worker. Conversely, the percentage of IDCFS qualified applicants across all positions decreased from those reported in the FY09 survey. In the FY11 survey, less than half of all applicants for the early childhood teacher position were IDCFS qualified (49.2%); down 7.52 percent from FY 2009). Nationally, in 2009, "there [were] almost seven people in the total pool of available labor competing for every job opening out there". (Barry Reitholtz, "Jolts: 7 Applicants Per Job Opening", The Big Picture website, June 13, 2011, (http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/06/jolits-7-applicants-per-job-opening/) In 2010, the number of unemployed people available for every job was 5.4. ("Issues in Labor Statistics, Summary 10-03/March 2010 (pdf)", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (http://www.bls.gov/opub/ils/pdf/opbils80.pdf) More unqualified applicants may be applying just to try to gain employment.

Table 12. Percentage of applicants by position and qualifications
This table should be read as: "52.5 percent of applicants for Administrative Director openings were IDCFS-qualified."

Qualification Status Admin. Director Director/
Teacher
Teacher Assistant Teacher School-Age Worker Assistant
School-Age Worker
IDCFS-qualified applicants 52.5% 55.2% 49.2% 60.4% 44.7% 41.5%
Program-qualified applicants 19.8% 8.9% 11.5% 12.3% 5.1% 9.7%
Non-qualified applicants 27.7% 35.9% 39.3% 27.3% 50.2% 48.8%
Total number of applicants 238 774 5,566 4,883 615 487

To document the length of time needed to fill vacant positions, directors (n=745) were asked to respond to a 4 point rating scale: 1=Less than one week; 2=1-2 weeks; 3=3-4 weeks; 4=More than 4 weeks. Directors reported that it took 1-2 weeks to fill both administrative director (mean rating=2.07; n=45) and director/teacher positions (mean rating=2.47; n=94), and longer (3-4 weeks) to fill a teacher position (mean rating=3.0; n=312). For the positions of assistant teachers (n=255), school-age workers (n=75) and school-age assistants (n=38), directors reported that it took 1-2 weeks to fill these positions (all had a mean rating of 2.0). With the exception of the teacher position, the average length of time to fill a vacant IDCFS position was 1-2 weeks. [A repeated measures ANOVA indicuated that the mean length of time to fill vacancies did not very significantly (p=.05) by position.]

Directors were 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 5-point scale (Scale: 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.) The means reported by directors were: 2.07 (n=45) for administrative directors; 2.47 (n=94) for director/teacher; 2.58 (n=312) for teacher; 2.37 (n=253) for assistant teachers; 2.48 (n=75) for school-age worker; and, 2.0 (n=38) for school-age assistant. Across all positions, directors reported that the length of time to fill a vacancy over the last two years decreased by 1-2 weeks.

Directors were asked to report the ease or difficulty of filling vacancies within the past 2 years on a 5-point rating scale (Scale: 5-point scale 1=Very Easy; 2=Somewhat Easy; 3=Neither Easy nor Difficult; 4=Somewhat Difficult; 5=Very Difficult.) Their responses are reflected in Table 13.

Table 13. Mean rating of difficulty in filling program staff by position.
(1=Very Easy; 2=Somewhat Easy; 3=Niether Easy nor Difficult; 4=Somewhat Difficult; 5=Very Difficult)

Admin. Director - 2.96 (n=68)

Director Teacher - 3.33 (n=129)

Teacher - 3.23 (n=334)

Assistant Teacher - 2.84 (n=289)

School-Age Worker - 3.18 (n=119)

Assistant School-Age Worker - 2.80 (n=94)

"It is very difficult to find a teacher or director-qualified person to fill a position for the amount of pay that is available to offer." This sentiment was echoed by many of the other directors who wrote feedback.

Hires for Vacant Positions

Directors were asked to identify the number of hires who 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 assistants. In excess of one third of all hires not only met licensing standards but also exceeded them. In particular Administrative Directors and Early Childhood Teachers were almost equally like to exceed standards as to merely meet them.

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

Met IDCFS Qualifications Exceeded IDCFS Qualifications Did not Meet IDCFS Qualifications
Position # Centers Responding # Hires % # Centers Responding # Hires % # Centers Responding # Hires %
Administrative Director 27 35 48.6% 33 36 50.1% 1 1 1.3%
Director/Teacher 65 134 68.0% 46 62 31.5% 1 1 .5%
Early Childhood Teacher 172 506 50.2% 170 477 47.3% 9 25 2.5%
Early Childhood Assistant 164 582 65.6% 94 256 28.9% 18 49 5.5%
School-Age Worker 52 121 57.6% 38 73 34.8% 5 16 7.6%
School-Age Assistant 25 47 60.3% 12 24 30.8% 3 7 8.9%

Center directors were asked to compare the qualifications of staff hired within the past two years with the qualifications of staff hired more than 2 years ago and record their impressions using a 5-point scale (Scale: 1=Much Less Qualified; 2=Somewhat Less Qualified; 3=Same Qualifications; 4=Somewhat More Qualified; 5=Much More Qualified). Table 15 indicates that on average, directors appraised new hires to be somewhat more qualified than their predecessors. Past Salary and Staffing Survey reports tend to report similar results.

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

Position # of Centers
Responding to Item
Mean* Median
Administrative Director 88 3.26 3
Director/Teacher 127 3.31 3
Early Childhood Teacher 309 3.46 3
Early Childhood Assistant 275 3.29 3
School-Age Worker 114 3.25 3
School-Age Assistant 95 3.25 3

For the Median Column above: 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 (n=745) indicated the number of males who applied for advertised positions within the past 2 years. Table 16 shows the results.

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

Position # of Centers Responding to Item Number of Male Applicants in Past Two Years Proportion of Male Applicants per Open Position
Administrative Director 153 7 2.94%
Director/Teacher 167 26 3.36%
Early Childhood Teacher 293 238 4.28%
Early Childhood Assistant 238 112 2.29%
School-Age Worker 165 85 13.82%
School-Age Assistant 151 59 12.11%

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. (In addition, "The higher representation of men in after-school care has been explained with reference to the nature of the work and the recruitment of men with experience in youth or community work." Heather Rolfe, "Occupational Segregation Working Paper Series No. 35: Men in Childcare (pdf)", (http://www.koordination-maennerinkitas.de/uploads/media/Rolfe-Heather.pdf), National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Equal Opportunities Commission, 2005, p. 6.Less than 3 percent of all applicants for the positions of Administrative Director and Early Childhood Assistant were male.

When the proportions of male applicants in the past two years are compared to FY 2009 findings, differences across all positions emerge. The contrast in findings for the positions of Administrative Director, Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher and Early Childhood Assistant may be connected to what has been called the "mancession". (According to the website Investopedia, (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mancession.asp#axzz1pIUjlEtQ) the definition of Mancession is "An economic instance in which the unemployment rate is substantially higher among men then it is among women. The term 'mancession' was coined during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, during which men bore the brunt of the job losses in the United States, at rates close to 50% higher than those of women."The mancession/recession are highly complex historical events which will be addressed here in only the most cursory of terms. [The 2007 recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 (18 months); however, that does not mean that he economy went back to normal, it just stopped shrinking.]

During the recession, the unemployment rate for men was 10.6 percent (peaking to 11.4 percent in October 2009). (Rakesh Kochhar, "In Two Years of Economic Recovery, Women Lose Jobs, Men Found Them" (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/06/two-years-of-economic-recovery-women-lose-jobs-men-find-them/4/), Pew Research Center, July 7, 2011, page 4. In Illinois, in late 2009, there were "nearly 6.0 unemployed people for every job opening." From: Reinhold, Rich, "The Illinois Labor Market After the Great Recession: The Economy Improves, but Long-term Unemployment Remains High (pdf)" (http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Custom/Library/publications/Publications/StudyOnRecentTrendsInTheIllinoisLaborMarket.pdf), Illinois Department of Employment Security, Economic Information and Analysis Division, August 2011, page 2.

Job seekers were counseled to take temporary jobs ("to pay the bills") while continuing to look for more desirable jobs, and to also transfer their skill sets to new realms of employment. (Darlene Fritz, "Career Convergence Magazine: Career Counseling Survival Tips: Helping Clients Find Employment During a Recession" (http://associationdatabase.com/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/4712/_PARENT/layout_details_cc/false), National Career Development Association, accessed on 3/22/2012.) And, although several employment counselors advised against it, numerous people still used the 'shotgun' method to apply for jobs." (The "shotgun approach" can be described as "applying to 100 jobs, getting 3 interviews, and landing 1 job. "From "Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring 2011: Focused jobseeking: A measured approach to looking for work (pdf)" (http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2011/spring/art01.pdf), page 4, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS. Mark Cummuta, "10 Secrets for Searching for a Job During a Recession" (http://www.cio.com/article/327613/10_Secrets_for_Searching_for_a_Job_During_a_Recession), CIO, April 2, 2008. Thus, per 2009 findings, it is not surprising that 15 percent of all applicants for the positions of early childhood teacher and early childhood assistant were male. Since the conclusion of the 2009 Illinois Salary and Staffing Salary, however, the mancession has slowly abated. As early as 2010, "the growth in jobs for men outpaced the growth for women", and by mid-July 2011, men were faring better than women in all but one sector of the economy (state government). (Heather Boushey, "The End of the Mancession" (http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/01/the_end_of_the_mancession.html), Slate, January 25, 2011. Rakesh Kochhar, "In Two Years of Economic Recovery, Women Lose Jobs, Men Found Them" (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/06/two-years-of-economic-recovery-women-lose-jobs-men-find-them/2/#ii-employment-in-the-recovery), Pew Research Center, July 7, 2011, page 2. The economic sectors with the most job growth post-recession have been in lower-wage and mid-wage occupations. Chris Isidore, "Jobs are Back! But the Pay Stinks" (http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/31/news/economy/low_wage_job_growth/index.htm), CNN Money Online, January 31, 2011. Lower wage occupations: median hourly wages range from $7.51 to $13.52 (in 2011 dollars); Mid-wage occupations: median hourly wages range from $13.53 to $20.66 (in 2011 dollars). From: "The Good Jobs Deficit: A Closer Look at Recent Job Loss and Job Growth Trends Using Occupational Data (pdf), (http://www.nelp.org/page/-/Final%20occupations%20report%207-25-11.pdf?nocdn=1), National Employment Law Project, July 2011, page 2.

Some of the job gains men have made are in office/administrative ["Men are snapping up [office and administrative jobs] at lightning-fast speed…women have lost nearly one million jobs in that professional category since the economic instability first hit."] From: Amy Tennery, "Why Men Will Continue to Dominate the Jobs Recovery" (http://business.time.com/2012/03/23/why-men-will-continue-to-dominate-the-jobs-recovery/), Time online, March 23, 2012 and retail [Tim Mullaney, "Men grab most new jobs, even in retailing" (http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-01-02/women-men-jobs/52342710/1) USA Today, updated 1/3/2012] work (mid-wage occupations). Perhaps with more mid-wage positions becoming available after 2009 (hourly wage of $13.53 - $20.66) men were able to prioritize the jobs for which they would apply. This is consistent with 2011 findings that indicate a 56.2 percent drop in male applicants for the positions of early childhood teacher and early childhood assistant (15 percent in 2009 vs. 6.57 percent in 2011). Conversely, the proportion of male applicants for mid-wage center positions (Administrative Director and Director/Teacher) grew from 2.3 percent in 2009 to 6.3 percent in 2011.

As previously mentioned, School-age worker and School-Age Assistant positions tend to garner more male applicants then other center positions and college students tend to comprise the second largest pool of staff. (Many school-age positions tend to be part-time during the school-year and full-time during the summer, although some centers hire full-time staff and split their workday between early care and school-age care.) According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for youth (16-24 year olds) was high, even prior to the recession. In 2007, the general unemployment rate was 10.8 percent in 2007 and rose to 14 percent in 2008. From 2009 through 2011, the unemployment rate for young men averaged 19.5 percent. Consequently, the extraordinarily high unemployment rate for youths from 2009-2011 may have fostered a surge of male applicants for these positions (25.93 percent in 2011 vs. 12.2 percent in 2009).

Directors were further requested to specify the number of males they had hired within the past 2 years (Table 17). Results indicate that at least one-fifth of males who applied for each position were hired. More than half (52.54 percent) of all males who applied for the position of school-age worker and almost two-thirds (63.53 percent) of males who applied for the position of school-age assistant were hired. However, less than 1 percent of all applicants hired for the positions of early childhood teacher and early childhood assistant were male and only slightly over 1 percent of administrative directors and director/teachers were male. In addition, less than 2 percent (1.58 percent) of all new hires were male. When 2009 and 2011 findings are compared, a pattern is consistent between survey years: a higher proportion of male applicants for a position yielded a higher proportion of hires for that position. Overall results mirrored the trends of the mancession.

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

Position # of Centers Responding to Item # of Male Applicants Hired in Past Two Years % of Male Hires out of Total Male Applicants Proportion of Male Hires per Open Position
Administrative Director 226 3 42.86% 1.26%
Director/Teacher 231 9 34.62% 1.16%
Early Childhood Teacher 280 55 23.11% 0.99%
Early Childhood Assistant 258 46 41.07% 0.94%
School-Age Worker 236 54 63.53% 8.78%
School-Age Assistant 223 31 52.54% 6.37%

Applicants Fluent in Languages Other Than English

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

Position # of Centers Responding to Item Number Of Applicants Fluent in a Language Other Than English in Past Two Years Proportion of Applicants Fluent in a Language Other Than English in Past Two Years
Administrative Director 143 13 5.46%
Director/Teacher 148 67 8.66%
Early Childhood Teacher 262 324 5.82%
Early Childhood Assistant 230 342 7.00%
School-Age Worker 142 25 4.07%
School-Age Assistant 134 5 10.27%
Total --- 776 6.18%

The preponderance of applicants fluent in a language other than English applied for the positions of Early Childhood Teacher and Early Childhood Assistant.

Directors were asked to identify the languages spoken by applicants fluent in a non-English language.

  • 119 reported applicants who were fluent in Spanish
  • 10 directors reported applicants who were fluent in a Chinese dialect
  • 17 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Polish
  • 12 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Arabic
  • 27 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Hindi/Urdu
  • 14 directors reported applicants who were fluent in another language
  • Less than 10 directors reported applicants who were fluent in each of the following languages: Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Russian, German, Farsi, and Hebrew.

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

Position # of Centers Responding to Item Number Of Applicants Fluent in a Language Other Than English Hired in Past Two Years % of Applicants Fluent in a Language Other than English Hired out of # of Applicants Fluent in a Language Other than English Proportion of Applicants Fluent in a Language other than English Hired out of Total # of Applicants
Administrative Director 205 4 30.77% 1.68%
Director/Teacher 210 15 22.39% 1.94%
Early Childhood Teacher 273 130 40.12% 2.34%
Early Childhood Assistant 257 142 41.52% 2.91%
School-Age Worker 201 9 36.00% 1.46%
School-Age Assistant 196 1 20.00% 0.21%
Total --- 301 39.51% 2.40%

As noted in Table 19, a greater number of applicants who were fluent in a language other than English were hired in early childhood positions than in either leadership or school-age positions.

Of those directors who reported hiring applicants who were fluent in a language other than English:

  • 104 reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Spanish.
  • 11 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Polish.
  • 15 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Hindi/Urdu.
  • 13 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in an other language.

Less than 10 directors reported hiring individuals who were fluent in each of the following languages: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Russian, German, Farsi, and Hebrew.

Attraction to Child Care Careers and Employment

In order to explore the impedances to 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." Reasons which yielded a mean or median of 4 or higher were: "Better Career Opportunities in Other Professions," "Child Care Not Seen as Professional Career", and "Child Care is not respected as a Profession."

"Low Salaries" and "Inadequate Benefits" (both with a median of 5 and a mean greater than 4) were listed as the top two reasons that detracted people from the field of early care and education.

Table 20. Reasons Applicants Not Attracted to Employment in Child Care

Reason Not Attracted Number of centers responding Mean Median
Career Opportunities Not Known 467 3.15 3.0
Better Career Opportunities in Other Professions 461 4.0 4.0
Child Care Not Seen as Professional Career 473 4.03 4.0
Low Salaries 479 4.68 5.0
Inadequate Benefits 471 4.43 5.0
Openings Not Advertised 466 3.11 3.0
Child care is not respected as profession 466 3.94 4.0
Other 56 3.59 4.0

The difficulty of attracting qualified candidates to the early child care field was expressed by many directors:

"It is difficult to attract and retain qualified teachers. We are unable to provide a wage that is attractive to perspective employees and we can't compete with other employers that are able to offer benefits such as health and paid holidays."

"If medical benefits were standard in the child care field, I believe the profession would be much more attractive to others…"

"I found that being a director for the past three years, staffing qualified teachers has been a challenge. The individuals who have inquired for a position at this center who are qualified, do not return because of the salary offered…"

One director focused on "Better Career Opportunities in Other Professions":

"When hiring, I find it challenging to be able to seek out and retain highly qualified and motivated teachers, because I feel their ultimate goal is to be in a higher paying field with benefits."

Many directors addressed how "Child Care Not Seen as Professional Career":

"I think that for the most part, child care workers are among the poorest paid professionals. The world looks at us like babysitters and not the teachers we really are…"

Center Turnover

Center turnover was measured by drawing from the provider database on two separate occasions. The number of practitioners actively providing care on June 30, 2009 (June 30 represents the end of a fiscal year) was compared to the number in that same category on June 30, 2011. Table 20a displays the number of providers who are currently providing care, the number of new providers who were added to the database since 2009 and the number of providers who are currently active in the provider database. As Table 20a shows, there was a slight decrease in the number of center providers for the two-year period while total licensed capacity increased somewhat.

Table 20a. Provider Turnover 2009-2011: Child Care Centers

Active 2009 Still Active 2009 Percent Change New Providers 2011 Percent Change Active 2011 Percent Change
Number of Active Providers 3,187 2,873 -9.85% 277 +9.64% 3,150 -1.2%
Total Licensed Capacity 231,211 217,713 -5.84% 16,557 +7.60% 234,270 +1.01%

Staff Demographics

In order to assess staff demographics and understand the effects of the economy on the child care industry, directors were supplied with a supplemental worksheet (The supplemental worksheet requested detailed information about each employee, including his or her: staff position, approximate age, primary language spoken, highest level of education completed, Type 02/04 certification, age of child worked with, wage per hour, number of hours worked per week, start date, and benefits.) and asked to complete it for all staff members who were employed either full- or part-time in an IDCFS defined positions (director and classroom personnel). Information gathered was limited to these IDCFS defined positions because they are the most common and consistent positions across all child care programs and are central to the operation of a typical program.

Directors from 448 centers completed the worksheet and provided information about 3975 staff members who worked in their centers. Since not all directors answered every question on the worksheet, the number of responses to each specific question varied and, as elsewhere in this report, is indicated with "n."

Table 21. Number of Employees per IDCFS defined Position (n=3016)

Position Number of Employees Percentages
Administrative Director 246 24.2%
Director/Teacher 371 9.4%
Early Childhood Teacher 1,510 38.0%
Early Childhood Assistant 771 19.4%
School-Age Worker 88 2.2%
School-Age Assistant 30 0.8%
Total 3,016 100.0%

The information in Table 21 (Number of Employees by Position) is somewhat discrepant from the information reported in Table 5 (Breakdown of Center Staff by Position). However, both are reporting on slightly different information (all full-time and part-time employees vs. only IDCFS defined positions) and both are derived from 2 different sources [survey vs. worksheet (and not all directors completed the worksheet)].

While neither the Illinois Department of Labor nor the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) distinguish between part-time and full-time employees, for the purposes of this survey, full-time employment was defined as 40 hours per week. ["The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (http://www.dol.gov/elaws/faq/esa/flsa/014.htm) does not define full-time employment or part-time employment. This is a matter generally to be determined by the employer" United States Department of Labor. The work week was defined as 40 hours becuase the survey delineates a full-day as 8 hours/day.] On the worksheet, directors were asked to indicate the number of hours each listed staff member worked per week. Results indicate that overall, 56.7 percent of listed employees were defined as full-time and 43.3 percent as part-time.

Table 22. Percentage of Full-Time and Part-Time Employees by Position
This table should be read as "79.7% of Administrative Directors were full-time whereas 20.3% were part time."

Position Full-Time Part-Time n
Administrative Director1 79.7% 20.3% 241
Director/Teacher 70.4% 29.6% 368
Early Childhood Teacher 58.1% 41.9% 1,497
Early Childhood Assistant 44.3% 55.7% 767
School-Age Worker 36.8% 63.2% 87
School-Age Assistant 56.7% 43.3% 30

Education and Credentials

The worksheet is used to record the highest level of education completed by each employee and whether each had attained an 02/04 teaching certificate. [A Type 04 (early childhood) teaching certificate 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 8. A Type 02 certificate is the old ISBE early childhood teaching certificate which signified an individual was certified to teach pre-K - grade 3.] 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 (6 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 23 shows that almost 65 per cent (63.2%) of all staff in IDCFS positions had an associate's degree or higher. Over 90 percent of all Directors and Early Childhood Teachers attained some level of college education. Sixty-one percent of Directors and almost 50 percent (49.6%) of Directors/Teachers had earned their Bachelor or Master's degree, which are educational milestones that exceed IDCFS licensing standards. Almost 3 out of 4 early childhood teachers (74.7%) had achieved an associate degree or higher (which also exceeds licensing standards for that position); more than 40% (41.2%) had earned an Associate, Bachelor or Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development. Over 58 percent (58.3%) of Assistant Teachers and 43.3% of Assistant School-Age workers had received education beyond a high school or GED degree.

Table 23. Center Staff Educational Attainment by Position (column percentages) N=2955
Percentages are column percentages. Therefore, this table should be read, for example, Out of 241 Administrative Directors for whom education and credential information was provided, 9.1 percent had a Master's degree in a field other than early childhood education or child development.

  • CDA is the acronym for Child Development Associate.
  • CCP is the acronym for Child Care Professional.
  • Montessori Credentials is American Montessori Society or Association Montessori International.
  • ECE is the acronym for Early Childhood Education.
  • CD is the acronym for Child Development.
Education Category Admin. Director Director/
Teacher
Teacher Assistant Teacher S/A Worker Assistant S/A Worker No Position Reported All Staff Positions
High School Diploma/GED 1.2 0.0 0.7 41.7 16.3 56.8 10.0 12.0
CDA, CCP or Montessori credential 3.3 4.7 5.9 3.8 3.5 0.0 10.0 4.9
Some College in ECE or CD, no degree 6.2 7.8 16.4 25.4 24.3 23.3 10.0 17.1
Approved Community College Early Childhood Certificate 1.7 1.9 1.8 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6
Associate Degree with ECE/CD major 18.3 27.1 22.4 5.7 11.6 3.3 20.0 17.9
Associate Degree with non ECE/CD major 5.4 8.6 6.7 6.0 4.7 3.3 20.0 6.6
Bachelor Degree in ECE/CD 12.5 15.3 14.4 2.7 9.3 3.3 10.0 11.1
Bachelor Degree in Other Field 25.7 22.3 22.6 9.9 24.4 0.0 10.0 19.4
Master's Degree in ECE/CD 13.7 6.7 4.4 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.2
Master's Degree in Other Field 9.1 5.3 4.2 1.5 4.7 0.0 0.0 4.0
Other 2.9 .3 0.5 1.9 1.2 10.0 10.0 1.2
N 241 359 1,485 744 86 30 10 2,955

Years of Experience

Directors were asked to record the number of years of paid experience each staff member had in the field of child care. The results are shown in Table 24. Table 24 reveals that the average number of years differs with position. Administrative directors and director/teachers averaged more years of experience; school-age assistants averaged the least. Among all child care practitioners, the average years of experience in the child care field was 9.78 years (median = 7.5 years). Although the range of years of experience differed for each position, there were staff members in all positions with considerable tenure (exceeding 36 years) in the child care field. The results are shown in Table 24.

Table 24. Years of Experience (n =2945)

Years of Experience in Child Care Field
Position Mean (n) Median n Range
Administrative Director 17.60 16.00 231 1-43 years
Director/Teacher 14.18 12.00 360 1-40 years
Early Childhood Teacher 9.74 7.00 1,474 1-50 years
Early Childhood Assistant 6.44 4.00 744 1-36 years
School-Age Worker 6.25 4.00 88 1-36 years
School-Age Assistant 4.52 2.00 29 1-26 years

Salary and Wages

Salary Scale

Of the 573 directors who responded to the item "Do you have a salary scale that you share with your staff?" 46.4 percent (n=266) indicated that they did. When asked how salary scales were differentiated,

  • 44.2% (n=330 of 573 respondents) reported a salary scale differentiated by level of education,
  • 39.9% (n=298 of 573 respondents) reported a salary scale differentiated by level of experience,
  • 11.7% (n=87 of 573 respondents) reported a salary scale differentiated by additional or supplemental training, and
  • 5.7% (n=43 of 745 respondents) reported a salary scale differentiated on some other basis. Other rationales behind salary scales were: length of employment/years of service, union contracts, pay grades set by campus/college human resources, job title/position description, minimum wage, responsibility, and seniority.

Hourly Wage by Position

Directors were asked to specify the hourly wage paid to each employee listed on the worksheet. The average hourly wage for all employees (n=2892 employees) was $12.42 (median = $11.00) (f=115.53, p<001). Table 25 depicts hourly wages by position. Comparing this data to the FY 2009 Staffing Salary report yields a slight increase in earnings for director/teachers, teachers, and assistant teachers. There was a slight decrease in the hourly wage for administrative directors, school-age workers and assistant school-age workers; however, these decreases were not statistically significant.

Although teachers and assistant teachers saw their average hourly wage increase in 2011, once the Consumer Price Index (CPI) ["The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services" It's frequently called the "cost-of-living index." From "Consumer Price Index: Frequently Asked Questions" (http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_1), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was calculated to factor in for rate of inflation, the 2011 average wage of $12.53 for teachers had the same buying power as $11.95 did in 2009; the 2011 average wage of $9.91 for assistant teachers had the same buying power as $9.45 in 2009. [The calculations were made using the CPI Inflation Calculator in (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=13.12&year1=2011&year2=2009) Thus, the increases in these average hourly wages were not equitable to the rising cost of living. Only the average hourly wage for directors/teachers saw any real increase over the CPI. Yet, once the rate of inflation was factored in to compare it to 2009 monetary values, the 2011 average hourly wage increase of $1.05 dropped to 36¢.

Table 25. Hourly Wage by Position

Position Average Hourly Wage 2009 Average Hourly Wage 2011 Median Hourly Wage 2009 Median Hourly Wage 2011 n
Administrative Director $18.48 $17.48 $17.00 $16.09 219
Director/Teacher $13.89 $14.94 $12.50 $13.12 356
Teacher $12.29 $12.53 $11.00 $11.50 1,439
Assistant Teacher $9.49 $9.91 $8.70 $9.00 742
School-Age Worker $10.71 $10.20 $9.71 $9.38 88
Assistant School-Age Worker $9.05 $9.01 $8.25 $8.75 29

Table 25 also indicates that assistant teachers and assistant school-age workers 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 remuneration to match. The median hourly wages earned by assistant teachers and assistant school-age workers were $9.00 and $8.75 respectively (the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25). [From "State of Illinois-Department of Labor: Hourly Minimum Wage Rates by Year (pdf)" (http://www.state.il.us/agency/idol/News/PDFs/mw.pdf), Illinois Department of Labor]

Comparison of Hourly Wages from FY07-FY11

Title FY07 FY09 FY11
Director/Teacher $13.45 $13.89 $14.94
Teacher $13.16 $12.29 $12.53
Assistant Teacher $976 $9.49 $9.91

In the table above, the mean hourly wages for the positions of director/teacher, teacher and assistant teacher are compared over time. These figures have not been adjusted for inflation. The average hourly wage for Director/Teachers shows a steady increase since FY07. The average hourly wages for Teachers and Assistant Teachers have fluctuated since 2007; however, in 2011, wages for both settled above their respective 2009 figures. Still, as far as the consumer price index goes, teachers would need to earn $13.59 and assistant teachers $10.75 per hour in 2011, to have the same buying power as $12.53 and $9.91 had back in 2007. [Comparisons were obtained using the CPI Inflation Calculator (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl)]

The salary data supplied by directors can be compared to the most current Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). [From "May 2010 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Illinois" (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm#25-0000), Bureau of Labor Statistics]. 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 embrace the array of child care positions. The categories are listed below, along with the descriptions provided on the BLS website. The mean hourly wages specified by the BSL have been included, followed in parenthesis by the mean hourly wages from Table 25. [Comparison of median hourly wages are not available. The BLS does not include information on median wages that are exclusive to the field of "child care".]

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, 2010, the mean hourly wage for this position was $21.07 ($17.48).

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, 2010, the mean hourly wage for a Preschool Teacher was $12.27 ($12.53).

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 2010, the mean hourly wage for an Assistant Teacher was $10.03 ($9.91). [The annual mean wage listed in BLS was used to derive the hourly mean wage for Teacher Assistants.]

Category 4 (39-9011): Child Care Workers. 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, 2010, the mean hourly wage for a child care worker was $9.30 ($9.91).

Hourly Wage by Full- versus Part-time Status

Summing across all staff positions, Directors reported hourly wages to be more for full-time compared to part-time employees (n=2,873 employees), with the exception of teachers and assistant teachers (who made more as part-time employees than full-time employees). Full-time employees averaged $12.46 per hour compared to $12.30 per hour for part-time staff. The median hourly wage for both full- and part-time staff was $11.00 per hour (f=119.06, p<001). This pattern is distinctly different when compared to findings from 2007 and 2009 where part-time employees made more than full-time employees across almost all positions. However, one consistent finding emerges through all 3 survey years: teachers averaged notably more per hour and assistant teachers slightly more when employed on a part-time vs. full-time status. The difference in hourly wage may lie in the type of centers which typically employ part-time classroom personnel vs. full-time staff (e.g., nursery schools). Table 26 shows the breakdown of hourly wages by position and employment status.

Table 26. Hourly Wages by Position by Full- vs. Part-Time Status

Position Employment Status
Full-Time Part-Time
Mean N Median Mean N Median
Administrative Director $17.58 171 $16.09 $16.94 46 $15.90
Director/Teacher $15.15 246 $13.18 $14.40 108 $13.12
Teacher $11.74 819 $11.00 $13.54 610 $12.24
Assistant Teacher $9.80 324 $9.00 $9.94 414 $9.00
School-Age Worker $10.57 32 $10.18 $9.86 55 $9.20
Assistant School-Age Worker $9.72 8 $9.57 $8.74 21 $8.50

Staff Experience and Education

Table 27 depicts the impact of years of experience on hourly wage, across all center positions.

Table 27: Hourly Wages by Years of Experience by Position n=2824

Years of Experience Director Director/ Teacher Teacher Assistant Teacher School-Age Worker Asst. School-Age Worker
0-2 Mean $14.20 $10.23 $10.74 $8.96 $10.16 $8.58
0-2 Median $14.00 $10.00 $10.00 $8.50 $9.23 $8.50
0-2 n 5 24 224 233 28 16
3-5 Mean $14.48 $12.78 $11.63 $9.60 $9.86 $9.46
3-5 Median $12.60 $12.00 $10.75 $9.00 $9.20 $9.14
3-5 n 17 50 345 203 27 5
6-9 Mean $16.89 $12.44 $12.65 $10.58 $10.41 $9.23
6-9 Median $15.00 $12.65 $11.50 $9.25 $9.92 $9.00
6-9 n 17 49 252 95 20 3
10-15 Mean $16.82 $14.76 $12.74 $10.95 $9.21 -
10-15 Median $16.00 $13.75 $12.00 $10.47 $9.00 -
10-15 n 63 99 311 123 4 -
16-20 Mean $17.24 $16.48 $14.12 $10.79 $10.30 -
16-20 Median $16.52 $14.20 $13.17 $10.45 $10.50 -
16-20 n 38 49 146 37 4 -
20+ Mean $18.77 $18.70 $15.03 $11.71 $12.08 -
20+ Median $17.00 $16.00 $13.99 $11.83 $11.95 -
20+ n 72 79 133 26 5 -

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

Table 27 (n=2824; f=111.185, p<.001) reveals that higher wages accompany increased years of experience. Comparison of 2009 and 2011 data show an overall decrease in the mean and median hourly wages reported for directors in 2011. Conversely, once director/teachers, teachers, and assistant teachers reached 3 years of service, their reported median hourly earnings were higher in 2011 than 2009. The wages for school-age workers were generally consistent from survey year to survey year. While the sample size for assistant school-age workers was small, once employees worked over 5 years, their 2011 average hourly wage exceeded that of 2009.

Both Tables 27 and 28 demonstrate that a logical pattern between hourly wage, education, and experience exists. Specifically, increased education and experience typically lead to higher hourly wages. In Table 28 (n=2823; f=111.185, p<.001) educational levels are defined by degree earned and the major field of study. Across almost all positions, those who hold a degree (Associate, Bachelor, Master's) in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Child Development (CD) earn significantly more than those who hold the same degree but in a non-ECE/CD major (p <.001). Employees with a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) enjoy a higher mean and median hourly wage than staff with "some college in early childhood education or child development, but no degree." IDCFS Licensing Standards deem individuals who hold a CDA Credential to be teacher qualified. [To obtain a CDA credential, candidates need to complete 120 hours of formal education in the area of child development and growth, as well as other requirements. From Council for Professional Recognition website (http://www.cdacouncil.org/the-cda-credential).

Table 28: Hourly Wages by Education by Position

Level of Education Director Director/Teacher Teacher Assistant Teacher School-age Worker Asst. School -Age Worker All Positions
High School/ GED - Mean - - $10.81 $9.18 $9.82 $8.90 $9.28
High School/ GED - Median - - $10.03 $8.63 $9.00 $8.63 $8.75
High School/ GED - n - - 10 297 14 16 340
Child Development Associate - Mean $15.30 $14.14 $10.46 $10.24 $9.75 - $11.01
Child Development Associate - Median $15.80 $13.25 $10.17 $10.00 $9.25 - $10.50
Child Development Associate - n 6 14 84 27 3 - 135
Some College in ECE or CD, no degree - Mean $15.90 $13.39 $10.76 $9.70 $9.40 $9.28 $10.58
Some College in ECE or CD, no degree - Median $15.31 $13.37 $10.23 $9.00 $9.00 $9.00 $9.75
Some College in ECE or CD, no degree - n 14 28 238 182 21 7 491
Approved Community College Early Childhood Certificate - Mean $17.43 $13.99 $10.62 $9.45 - - $11.48
Approved Community College Early Childhood Certificate - Median $16.50 $14.10 $10.65 $9.22 - - $10.65
Approved Community College Early Childhood Certificate - n 4 7 27 9 - - 47
AA Degree with ECE/CD Major -Mean $15.75 $12.76 $11.58 $11.23 $10.36 - $12.09
AA Degree with ECE/CD Major - Median $15.00 $12.40 $11.00 $11.29 $10.50 - $11.50
AA Degree with ECE/CD Major - n 40 94 310 40 10 - 497
AA Degree with non ECE/CD Major - Mean $16.52 $12.72 $10.86 $9.85 $9.00 - $11.26
AA Degree with non ECE/CD Major - Median $15.00 $11.65 $10.00 $9.21 $8.65 - $10.15
AA Degree with non ECE/CD Major - n 13 30 98 44 4 - 192
BA with ECE/CD Major - Mean $18.90 $14.68 $13.90 $12.08 $11.13 - $14.24
BA with ECE/CD Major - Median $16.99 $13.43 $13.50 $10.54 $11.00 - $13.24
BA with ECE/CD Major - n 27 54 208 20 8 - 319
BA with non ECE/CD Major - Mean $16.43 $15.93 $12.99 $11.71 $10.53 - $13.51
BA with non ECE/CD Major - Median $15.75 $14.35 $11.85 $11.00 $10.00 - $12.00
BA with non ECE/CD Major -n 59 79 316 72 21 - 548
MA in ECE/CD Major - Mean $21.12 $19.78 $19.27 - - - $19.74
MA in ECE/CD Major - Median $19.26 $22.50 $17.16 - - - $18.00
MA in ECE/CD Major - n 29 22 64 - - - 116
MA in non ECE/CD program - Mean $19.74 $23.74 $16.48 $12.63 $12.46 - $17.63
MA in non ECE/CD program - Median $19.11 $15.40 $14.91 $11.05 $11.63 - $15.00
MA in non ECE/CD program - n 18 17 58 11 4 - 108

The Child Development Associate category (above) also includes Child Care Professional Certificate or Montessori (American Montessori or Association Montessori International) credential. 

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

Center Characteristics and Hourly Wage

Hourly wages were evaluated in relation to program duration, accreditation status, the Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) status, legal status (not-for-profit vs. for-profit), center size, CCAP enrollment, and region.

Across all positions where data is reported for both full- and part-time employees, the hourly wages earned in part-year programs were higher than those earned in full-time programs (f=111.186, p < .001). Part-year program employees, earned on average $15.19 (median=$13.50) per hour; while full-year program employees averaged $11.60 per hour (median=$10.29). Table 29 presents the mean and median hourly wage by position and program duration. Please note that no part-year school-age positions were reported in this year's survey.

Table 29. Hourly Wages by Position and Program Duration

Position Program Duration
Full-Year Part-Year
Mean Median N Mean Median N
Administrative Director $16.75 $16.00 181 $22.13 $21.00 31
Director/Teacher $13.85 $12.50 258 $18.20 $16.53 82
Teacher $11.46 $10.74 1,090 $16.12 $14.60 325
Assistant Teacher $9.43 $8.75 544 $11.30 $10.72 190
School-Age Worker $10.11 $9.25 75 -- -- --
Assistant School-Age Worker $8.97 $8.50 21 -- -- --

Using information from NACCRRAware, variables were created to indicate the Accreditation and QRS rating status of Center programs participating in the salary and staffing survey. These variables were then used to examine wage data to determine whether significant differences in wages were observed in participating and non-participating programs.

Table 30. Hourly Wages by Position by Accreditation Status

Position Accreditation Status
Not Accredited Accredited
Mean Median N Mean Median N
Administrative Director $16.60 $15.47 186 $22.42 $20.43 33
Director/Teacher $14.46 $13.00 319 $18.97 $16.09 37
Teacher $11.70 $11.00 1093 $15.16 $13.99 346
Assistant Teacher $9.61 $9.00 597 $11.14 $10.25 145
School-Age Worker $10.20 $10.00 71 $10.17 $9.18 17
Assistant School-Age Worker $9.03 $8.75 26 $8.75 $8.50 3

Table 30 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=$14.63; median=$13.00) than non-accredited centers (mean=$11.86; median=$10.73), (f=115.53, p < .001).

Table 31. Hourly Wages by Position by QRS Participation Status

QRS Participation Position
Admin Director Director/Teacher Teacher Assistant Teacher
Mean Median N Mean Median N Mean Median N Mean Median N
Not participating $17.32 $16.00 183 $15.19 $13.50 307 $12.75 $11.50 1075 $10.00 $9.00 550
Star Level 1 $15.53 $15.17 4 NR NR NR $11.12 $10.33 26 $8.53 $8.46 11
Star Level 2 $14.92 $15.00 13 $11.61 $10.87 22 $10.62 $10.04 134 $9.25 $8.50 66
Star Level 3 $21.14 $21.36 19 $14.90 $13.90 25 $12.83 $12.24 204 $9.98 $9.42 115

Note: in position categories with N of less than 3, the results are not reported (NR)

Overall, as shown in Table 31, there was a significant difference in the wages paid by QRS participating versus non-QRS participating Centers (f=115.53). However, the pattern observed was not a linear association between increased Star Levels in the QRS rating system and increased or decreased wages by Star Level. Overall, higher wages were paid in programs not participating in the QRS program and in programs rated at a Star Level 3. We note that the limited size of the group of respondents participating in QRS in the survey sample may not have been sufficient to adequately describe the effect of QRS participation status upon hourly wage. It is also possible that other factors, such as location of the QRS participating centers, the overlap between accreditation status and star level 3 status, and the characteristics of programs opting to participate in the QRS program represented in the survey, may also account for some of the variance we see in wages by QRS participation status.

With the exception of school-age care (where sample size was relatively low), not-for-profit programs paid a significantly higher hourly wage than for-profit programs. Not-for-profit staff averaged $13.15 (median=$11.50) per hour as compared to for-profit staff who averaged $11.32 per hour (mean=$10.25), (f=114.739, p<.001). Table 32 depicts hourly wage by position and legal status (for profit vs. non-profit).

Table 32. Hourly Wages by Position by Center Profit Status

Position Profit Status
For Profit Not For Profit
Mean Median N Mean Median N
Administrative Director $15.73 $15.00 98 $18.93 $17.00 118
Director/Teacher $13.24 $13.00 177 $16.58 $13.95 176
Teacher $11.14 $10.71 539 $13.38 $12.24 899
Assistant Teacher $9.27 $8.75 289 $10.32 $9.54 452
School-Age Worker $10.02 $9.23 46 $10.39 $9.63 42
Assistant School-Age Worker $9.26 $9.00 12 $8.83 $8.50 17

No correlation was found to exist between center size and hourly wage (r=.022, non-significant). Similarly, no significant correlation was found between the hourly wage paid to employees and the number of children enrolled in the center whose parent(s) received Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) assistance (r=.028, non-significant).

One of the primary functions of the survey is to calculate the mean and median hourly wage by region. CCR&R Service Delivery Areas (SDA's) are being used to define the word "region". The mean and median hourly wages earned by Administrative Directors, Directors/Teachers, Teachers, and Assistant Teachers are presented in Table 33 by SDA. (The positions of school-age worker and assistant school-age worker are excluded due to small sample sizes.)

Table 33. Child Care Wages by Service Delivery Area (SDA) by Position (n=3331)

CCR&R Office Location Position
Admin. Director Director/ Teacher Teacher Assistant Teacher
Mean Median N Mean Median N Mean Median N Mean Median N
Rockford $17.72 $14.88 8 $14.86 $13.75 19 $10.79 $10.30 67 $9.23 $8.50 40
DeKalb $17.02 $16.00 8 $12.78 $12.50 20 $11.54 $11.43 90 $9.69 $9.00 46
Waukegan $16.22 $16.25 13 $18.64 $14.63 20 $14.89 $14.21 78 $11.23 $10.20 31
Glendale Heights $18.29 $16.84 18 $14.47 $13.62 42 $12.39 $12.00 164 $9.65 $9.16 74
Joliet $19.13 $18.95 20 $14.16 $13.00 32 $12.16 $11.75 98 $9.92 $10.00 43
Chicago $19.77 $19.00 55 $16.39 $14.90 77 $14.85 $13.50 350 $11.11 $10.05 168
Davenport $16.55 $15.38 6 $12.81 $11.12 14 $11.51 $10.50 87 $9.48 $8.64 57
Peoria $14.86 $14.78 15 $11.30 $11.13 27 $10.34 $10.00 79 $8.72 $8.75 32
Bloomington $17.38 $17.06 9 $13.81 $14.00 17 $13.92 $13.71 32 $11.35 $11.40 23
Urbana $17.63 $18.00 10 $12.38 $12.72 11 $12.61 $12.00 95 $9.45 $9.27 47
Charleston $10.22 $10.00 8 $ 8.72 $ 8.75 3 $9.51 $8.40 32 $8.84 $8.38 16
Quincy -- -- -- $19.46 $12.69 3 $9.10 $9.18 9 $8.67 $8.69 3
Springfield $16.48 $18.00 11 $11.94 $10.65 8 $10.70 $9.75 56 $9.32 $8.91 39
Granite City $15.42 $15.00 17 $14.21 $10.50 30 $11.31 $9.75 111 $9.30 $8.75 68
Mt Vernon $11.85 $11.25 9 $11.83 $10.50 13 $9.42 $9.05 39 $8.55 $8.50 33
Carterville $16.01 $15.00 7 $12.02 $11.68 14 $9.63 $9.08 46 $9.78 $8.50 21

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

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

"It is practically impossible to remain competitive with regards to salaries and wages. Our jobs compete for every other minimum wage job in our community…"

"The hourly wage for early childhood teachers is an embarrassment! These teachers work incredibly hard for very little pay which is a reason that few pursue this career. We need well-educated teachers but that is not happening under the current conditions. The early years are vital to life-long learning and poor teaching takes much away from the children. Early childhood teachers should be paid the same as elementary teachers - if not more!"

Benefits

Information was gathered on the types of benefits available to center employees. For each employee, directors were asked to delineate whether the benefit was paid for by the center (either partially or fully), was available through the center but paid for by the employee, or was not available through the center. As Table 34 indicates, over 70 percent of responding centers offered paid holidays and vacation benefits to employees. Approximately two-thirds offered sick-leave. More than half of centers offered reduced/free child care to their employees; two-thirds of all centers offered educational stipends (educational stipends as a center paid benefit increased from 41.2% in 2009 to 61.1% in 2011). [Professionalizing the early childhood field and workforce is supported by various state initiatives (e.g., the Quality Counts Quality Rating System and the Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development System). 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 a QRS star level. Some educational opportunities can be paid initially by the center; the center can subsequently be reimbursed through Professional Development and Improvement Funds. Money is also available through the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program to help center staff meet their educational goals.] However, the majority of centers did not offer health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance or pensions as part of their benefit package.

Table 34. Benefits by Availability and Funding Source

Benefit % Paid by Center
(Full or Partial)
% Employees Paying Benefit % Benefit Not Provided N
Health Insurance 37.1% 3.3% 59.6% 2,818
Dental Insurance 23.0% 10.0% 67.0% 2,752
Life Insurance 28.3% 4.7% 67.0% 2,739
Pension 33.8% 4.4% 61.8% 2,748
Sick Leave 65.7% 0.5% 33.8% 2,870
Vacation 74.9% 0.6% 24.5% 2,905
Holidays 77.5% 0.6% 21.9% 2,910
Reduced/Free Child Care 52.4% 1.4% 46.2% 2,519
Educational Stipends 61.1% 1.4% 37.5% 2,583

This table should be read "Out of the 2,818 employees for whom directors provided benefits information, 37.1% receive paid health insurance from their employer."

Employer-paid benefits were broken down by staff position and full-time vs. part-time employee status. Table 35 shows the breakdown of employee benefits by full-time staff position. Across all positions, centers offer employees paid sick leave, vacation and holidays more than other benefits.

Table 35. Percent of Full-Time Staff Who Receive (Full or Partial) Center-Paid Benefits by Position

Benefit Admin. Director Director/Teacher Teacher Assistant Teacher
Health Insurance 59.2% 41.3% 55.6% 46.8%
Dental Insurance 40.3% 24.4% 38.9% 27.9%
Life Insurance 41.2% 32.4% 42.4% 36.7%
Pension 43.2% 34.2% 44.8% 38.0%
Sick Leave 78.4% 72.4% 80.1% 70.5%
Vacation 92.3% 88.0% 95.1% 91.3%
Holidays 93.4% 89.2% 93.6% 89.6%
Reduced/Free Child Care 62.1% 56.5% 53.4% 52.5%
Educational Stipends 39.6% 33.6% 38.8% 32.7%

This table should be read "Out of all Full-Time Administrative Directors for whom health insurance information was provided, 59.2% received health insurance paid by their employer."

Table 35 and Table 36 show the benefits provided to full-time vs. part-time staff, respectively. A comparison of the tables shows that for each employer-provided benefit, a smaller percentage of part-time employees received it than full-time employees except for educational stipends. Chi-square analyses conducted for each benefit indicated that part-time staff as a whole were significantly ( p < .001) less likely to receive all benefits with the exception of life insurance, reduced/free child care, and holidays, for which there was no statistically significant difference by work status. Table 36 illustrates the relatively lower rate of benefits for part-time staff.

Table 36. Percent of Part-Time Staff Who Receive (Full or Partial) Benefits by Position

Benefit Admin. Director Director/ Teacher Teacher Assistant Teacher
Health Insurance 28.9% 15.7% 17.6% 17.5%
Dental Insurance 15.9% 8.8% 6.5% 8.9%
Life Insurance 17.8% 14.3% 14.2% 13.6%
Pension 24.4% 29.1% 24.1% 22.2%
Sick Leave 59.1% 44.8% 56.3% 49.4%
Vacation 52.3% 54.6% 49.1% 50.1%
Holidays 55.6% 61.1% 56.5% 59.7%
Reduced/Free Child Care 44.4% 43.3% 31.5% 33.3%
Educational Stipends 40.5% 37.6% 40.0% 38.9%

This table should be read "Out of all Part-Time Administrative Directors for whom health insurance information was provided, 28.9% received health insurance paid by their employer."

Overall, paid vacations and holidays were the most common benefits offered to employees regardless of employment status (at least 49.1 percent of part-time and 88% of full-time employees received these benefits). With the exception of part-time director/teachers and assistant teachers, over 50% of all other full- and part-time employees received paid sick leave. Combining all employee positions, a little over 50% of full-time personnel received health insurance benefits compared to approximately 20% of part-time employees. Almost 56% of full-time and 38% of part-time personnel received reduced/free child care. Irrespective of employment status, almost 4 out of every 10 employees received educational stipends as part of their benefits package. The least offered benefits to all staff were dental and life insurance. On average, dental insurance was a covered benefit for only one-third (32.8%) of full-time and one-tenth (10.0%) of part-time employees; life insurance for only 38.1% of full-time and 15% of part-time employees. In addition, only 4 out of every 10 full-time and 2 out of every 10 part-time employees were offered a pension plan.

Many directors advocated the importance of benefits to professionals in the child care industry:

"It would be great if there was a state-wide health insurance plan for child care workers…"

"If medical benefits were standard in the child care field, I believe the profession would be much more attractive to others…"

"It's getting hard to find Lead Teachers to work for low pay and no benefits. If I do get an opportunity to interview for a Lead Teacher, when they find out that we do not offer any benefits, they do not stay…"

"It appears that our staff does not have health, dental, life or insurance benefits. Each person is given an amount of benefit money to be used each year for their choice of benefits, such as health, dental, insurance, child care or they use it for an IRA for retirement. The amount ranges from $900 for a person that has just been employed and it goes up with years…[c]urrently the longest employed person earns $2200 per year."

Profile of Family Child Care Home Providers: Key Findings

A total of 10,339 IDCFS licensed child care home and group home providers were invited to complete the Salary and Staffing Survey. A total of 1392 surveys (for a response rate of 13.46%) were completed: 1,226 surveys were completed online; 167 were completed in the form of a paper-and-pencil document. Table 37 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 37. Survey Return Rates by Service Delivery Area: Family Child Care Home Providers

Service Delivery Area CCR&R Main Office Location Number of Providers Number of Surveys Completed Percentage of Surveys Completed
SDA 1 Rockford 644 93 14.40%
SDA 2 DeKalb 483 90 18.63%
SDA 3 Waukegan 594 44 7.40%
SDA 4 Glendale Heights 516 72 13.95%
SDA 5 Joliet 622 78 12.54%
SDA 6 Chicago 3,832 468 12.21%
SDA 7 Davenport 387 73 18.86%
SDA 8 Peoria 344 49 14.24%
SDA 9 Bloomington 263 37 14.06%
SDA 10 Urbana 657 108 16.43%
SDA 11 Charleston 155 33 21.29%
SDA 12 Quincy 368 51 13.85%
SDA 13 Springfield 469 63 13.43%
SDA 14 Granite City 540 57 10.55%
SDA 15 Mt. Vernon 281 46 16.37%
SDA 16 Carterville 184 30 16.30%
Totals 10,339 1,392 13.46%

Demographics

Gender

Nearly 100% of all the family child care practitioners who completed this item on the survey were female (99.2%; 1106 of 1115 respondents).

Age

Family child care practitioners were asked to identify their age (Table 38). 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 13.5 percent of all respondents.

Table 38. Respondents' Age (N = 1091)

Age Range (The question asked was "How old are you?") N Percentage
Under 20 years 0 0%
20-29 Years 49 4.3%
30-39 Years 244 21.5%
40-49 Years 328 28.8%
50-59 Years 363 31.9%
60 Years or over 153 13.5%

Ethnicity

Practitioners were asked to self-identify their race/ethnicity. According to Table 39, 56.4 percent of family child care providers self-identified as "White", 31.8% as "African-American", and 8.7% self-identified as "Hispanic/Latino." When compared to population data in Illinois, African-Americans are over-represented among licensed family child care home practitioners and Latino-Hispanic providers are under-represented. (According to data from the Census Bureau (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17000.html) 14.5% of the state population self-identified race/ethnicity as African-American. According to data from the Census Bureau (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17000.html), 15.8% of the state population self-identified race/ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino.)

Table 39. Respondents' Race/Ethnicity (N = 1137)

Race/Ethnicity N Percentage
White/Caucasian 647 56.4%
African-American 361 31.8%
Hispanic/Latino 91 8.7%
Native American 5 0.4%
Asian/Pacific Islander 7 0.6%
Other 20 1.7%
Multi-racial 6 0.5%

Respondents were also asked to identify their primary language. The majority of respondents indicated that their primary language was English. As to the extent of other primary languages reported, 5.6 percent of providers indicated their primary language was Spanish (N = 78 out of 1287), and 0.6 percent of providers indicated their primary language was another language (N = 9 out of 1350 respondents). The additional languages providers listed included Hindi, Gujarti, Polish, French, and German.

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 12.1 years (n=1135; median=10.0 years; range= 0 to 45 years).

Because there is often movement within the field of child care, practitioners were asked whether they were previously employed in other child care settings (i.e., child care center or public school). Out of the 1086 responding practitioners, 29.37 percent (n=319) answered "yes", and had worked in those settings for an average of 6.6 years (median = 4.00 years; range = 0 to 40 years).

Education

Providers were asked: "What is the highest level of education you have completed?" In Table 40, ECE = Early Childhood Education and CD = Child Development.

Table 40. Respondents' Education Level (N = 1263)

Education Level N Percentage
Some High School 49 3.9%
High School Diploma/GED 361 28.6%
Some College-ECE/CD 311 24.6%
Approved Community College ECE Certificate 44 3.5%
Associate's Degree - ECE/CD 159 12.6%
Associate's Degree - Other 119 9.4%
Bachelor's Degree - ECE/CD 39 3.1%
Bachelor's Degree - Other 137 10.8%
Master's Degree or higher - ECE/CD 12 1.0%
Master's Degree or higher - Other 32 2.5%

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 1/1/11. According to the survey, 3.9% of practitioners indicated that they only had "Some High School." Over 65 percent of respondents reported an education level beyond a High School diploma or GED, 22% reported they had an Associate's degree, 13.9% indicated they had a Bachelor's degree, and 3.5% indicated that they had a Master's degree or higher. Out of 1305 participants, 31 (2.4%) individuals stated that they had earned their Illinois State Board of Education Type 04 or 02 (early childhood) teaching certificate. [A Type 04 (early childhood) teaching certificate 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 8. A Type 02 certificate is the old ISBE early childhood teaching certificate which signified an individual was certified to teach pre-K - grade 3.]

Accreditation and Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) Status

Utilizing information in NACCRRAware, variables were created to indicate the accreditation and QRS status of family day care home providers who participated in the Salary and Staffing Survey. In FY 2011, 3.7 percent (52) of family child care providers responding to the Salary and Staffing Survey were accredited through the National Association for Family Child Care Providers (NAFCC), the primary national accrediting body for family child care homes. [Per direct contact with NAFCC, there are 1840 NAFCC Accredited providers and 210 (11.41% are from Illinois)].

In addition, 5.2 percent (73 out of 1392) of family child care providers responding to the Salary and Staffing Survey participated in the QRS Program, 0.9% (12) had earned a Star Level 1, 0.2% (3) had earned a Star Level 2, and 4.2% (58) had earned a Star Level 3.

According to the survey sample, participation in QRS was significantly associated with achievement of NAFCC Accreditation (?2 = 500.18, p < .001) such that 2.6% of non-accredited providers were also participating in QRS whereas 73.1% of NAFCC accredited providers were participating in QRS.

Demographics of Children Served

For the 2011 survey, providers were asked to report upon the demographics of the children and families they serve. Providers were asked to estimate the number of children from each ethnic group and the number of second language learners in their care. Table 41 presents the mean proportions of children from each ethnic group reported by respondents.

Table 41: Demographics of Children Served by Race/Ethnicity

Child Race/Ethnicity N Mean Median Range
White/Caucasian 894 77.1% 99.0% 0-100%
African-American 695 59.7% 90.0% 0-100%
Hispanic/Latino 415 28.9% 10.0% 0-100%
Native American 218 1.85% 0.0% 0-100%
Asian/Pacific Islander 248 4.02% 0.0% 0-80%
Other 207 2.97% 0.0% 0-100%
Multi-Racial 399 11.0% 2% 0-90%

Practitioners were asked to report whether or not they had English language learners (ELL) enrolled in their programs. Of 1155 respondents to this question, 16.1 percent (n = 186) indicated they had second language learners enrolled in their programs. Of those with ELLs, 7.5 percent (n= 14) 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 10 providers serving children who are ELL of a particular language. Languages included: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Polish, Russian, German, Farsi, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, French, Italian, Turkish, Mongolian, Yoruba, and other Indian dialects.

Professional Development

Program Awareness and Participation

Providers were asked about their awareness of and participation in professional development opportunities and programs available in Illinois.

  • More than 80 percent of respondents (81.7%; n=925 of 1132) had heard of the Great START Program.
  • Just under three quarters of respondents (72.6%; n=815 of 1122) had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program.
  • More than 60 percent of respondents (63.6%; n=701 of 1103) had heard of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials.
  • Nearly half of all respondents (49.5%; n=540 of 1092) had heard of the Professional Development Advisor Program.
  • More than 80 percent of all respondents (85.3%; n=955 of 1119) had heard of the Quality Counts Quality Rating System.
  • More than three quarters of participants (75.2%; n=841 of 1119) had heard of the consultant/specialist (e.g. Mental Health Consultant, Child Care Nurse Consultant, QRS Specialist, Infant-toddler Specialist) services offered by the CCR&Rs.
  • Over half of participants (58.1%; 639 out of 1100) had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry.
  • 23.4% of providers (n=325 of 1388) had at least one Great START recipient in the past two years. Those 325 programs had a total of 332 recipients.
  • 7.2% (n=97 of 1388) of family child care programs had at least one Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship recipient for a total of 102 recipients.

One provider remarked in the survey: "I am thankful for the Great START program and it gives me incentive to do more. I am also thankful for grant programs, such as the Quality Counts grants in Illinois to help improve my program."

Training and Training Opportunities

Licensing standards require family child care home practitioners to have a minimum of fifteen training hours per year. Generally, respondents exceeded this minimum, devoting 21.9 hours to workshops or conference training (N = 1181; median = 17.0 hours).

The content of training can vary in its relevance to early childhood education (ECE). Family child care providers were asked where they received their training within the past year. Table 42 reports the results. As with center staff, Child Care Resource and Referral workshops seem to be the principal source of training for family child care practitioners.

Table 42. Sources of Training (N=1392)

Training Sources N Percentage
Child Care Resource and Referral Workshops 1,014 72.8%
Local Community Workshops 520 37.4%
Professional Meeting or Conference Workshops 473 34.0%

Note: Multiple responses were possible

Four-fifths (80.0%) of all respondents expressed that they thought there were adequate training opportunities offered. In order to determine what might hinder an individual's ability to attend trainings, providers were presented with a list of potential difficulties, and asked to check all that applied.

  • 32.9% checked the item: "I am unable to take time away from my work to take more training";
  • 29.0% checked the item: "Most opportunities are during the day so it is difficult for me to attend"
  • 18.7% endorsed the item: "I am unable to take time away from my family to take more training";
  • 18.6% checked the item: "My community does not have enough courses or workshops";
  • 17.2% checked the item: "Cost of training is too high";
  • 6.3% endorsed the item: "There is no reason to pursue more training"; and
  • 3.7% checked the item "Quality of training is not good."

Practitioners were posed the question, "Have you completed any ECE or CD coursework within the past two years?" Of the 1292 practitioners who responded to the survey question, 246 (19.0%) reported "yes."

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 license capacity of the sample was approximately 9 children. The average license capacity of all family child care providers on the database (10,339) was also approximately 9 children. [Licensed 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.]

On a normal basis, providers reported caring for an average of 7.4 (N=1348; median = 7) children (excluding their own) per week. Over 80 percent of providers (81.3%) indicated that they accept children whose families receive IDHS or IDCFS financial assistance. Providers also responded that they have an average of 4.0 (N = 1117; median=3.00) children in their program whose child care is being funded through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) or IDCFS vouchers. An average of 40.4 percent (N = 1079; median = 33%) of all client families were reported to receive financial assistance (from government, employers, local agencies) to subsidize the cost of their child care.

A greater proportion of respondents participating in QRS also served Child Care Assistance Program families in their programs. Participation in QRS was significantly associated with serving CCAP families (?2 = 11.85, p < .01) with 98.6% of QRS participating providers serving CCAP families versus 1.4% of QRS rated providers not serving CCAP families in their programs. [Data derived from NACCRRAware was used to obtain the QRS status of all providers who participated in the Staffing and Salary Survey.]

Family child care providers were 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 1346 providers answering this question, 38.5 percent of family child care providers felt that there were rarely or never vacancies in their homes, 29.5% felt that there were sometimes vacancies, and 31.0% felt that there were always or often vacancies in their programs. Results from this survey when compared to the 2009 survey results, show a slight increase in the percentage of providers who felt there was "sometimes to always" vacancies in their programs; and correspondingly, a slight decrease in the percentage of providers who replied that they "never or rarely" had vacancies. The frustration of inconsistent enrollment is reflected in the following comment from a practitioner.

"In the last 2 weeks, I have been notified that I will be losing 3 children because of financial problems. Family will be doing the child care for these children. Unfortunately, as child care providers, we cannot control the fluctuation of our clientele. These fluctuations cause child care providers to stress because of the financial uncertainty of their business…"

Assistants

While family child care home providers may be typically thought of as independent, lone practitioners, out of 1262 practitioners, 32.4 percent indicated hiring paid assistants. Out of 1152 respondents, 31.8 percent reported using unpaid 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 GED certificate and be at least 18 years of age if an on-site supervisor is present. If not, staff must be 21. [From Part 403 IDCFS Licensing Requirements for Group Homes, part 403.18 (http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/089/089004030000180R.html). For 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 (http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=172179,00.html).

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 5 years older than any child for which they provide care. (From Part 406 IDCFS Licensing Requirements for Day Care Homes, part 406.10.)

Paid family child care assistants received an average of $8.58 per hour (N = 402; median=$8.50). Their typical work week averaged 22.6 hours (N = 451; median=20.0).

There is a huge discrepancy in the range of hourly wages reported for assistants. Because a minor can work in a family day care home, family child care providers, can hire their own children. According to Tom Copeland (For a biography on Tom Copeland, see Redleaf Press: Exceptional Resources for Early Childhood Professionals (http://www.redleafpress.org/cw_contributorinfo.aspx?ContribID=35&Name=Tom+Copeland)), when a provider's child or family member is hired to work in the day care home, wages must be reasonable. [From: Tom Copeland, "Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business: Hiring Family Members" (http://www.tomcopelandblog.com/hiring-family-members.html) a handout from his blog. In the blog, Mr. Copeland also states "Wages paid to your children to do work for your business are 100% deductible. If you hire your own children who are over age 18 or if you hire your own spouse, wages paid to them are subject to Social Security taxes and federal income taxes." Conversely, wages by the provider to their "child under age 18 aren't subject to Social Security, Medicare or federal unemployment taxes… a child who earns less than $5000 doesn't have to file a tax return." From: Tom Copeland, Family Child Care 2005 Tax Workbook and Organizer (Minneapolis: Red Leaf Press, 2006), 139. As of 2011, the amount a child can earn without filing a return is $5,800 (Tom Copeland, per email-message, March 16, 2012).] Although minimum wage for youths under the age of 18 is $7.45, (From "State of Illinois - Department of Labor Hourly Minimum Wage Rates by Year (pdf)" (http://www.state.il.us/agency/idol/News/PDFs/mw.pdf), Illinois Department of Labor) 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 immediate family, Minimum Wage Law requires an employer to pay an employee who is 18 years of age or older, at least minimum wage ($8.25 per hour). (From "Illinois Compiled Statutes (820 ILCS 105/) Minimum Wage Law" (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2400&ChapterID=68), Illinois General Assembly)

Family child care practitioners were asked to provide additional thoughts about staffing in the comments section of the survey. Two themes dominated their remarks: they could not afford to pay an assistant and it was difficult to find an assistant. Below are a couple of representative comments.

"I think that Family Child Care Providers should get more funding to help pay for any staff they may need. Since our capacity to care for children keep our wages low, it's a hardship to pay any assistant we may need. I need an assistant, but can't afford one."

"It's very difficult to find quality assistants or just find assistants to help…"

"…My net income is affected by my payroll but if I don't have good staff, I cannot manage this business alone. Choosing quality staff comes with experience."

Business Characteristics

Hours

Respondents (n=1030) indicated that they get paid to work an average of 52.5 hours per week (median=52.0 hours) taking care of children, and that their child care home operates an average of 49.8 weeks per year (n=1118; median=51.0 weeks).

In addition to hours spent directly with children, providers reported spending an average of 16.8 hours per week 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 (n =1141; median=12.0 hours).

Practitioners were also asked whether they ever closed for holidays, vacation, sick days, training or any other occasion. Out of 1170, 91.6 percent (n = 1072) responded affirmatively. The average number of days closed per year was 10.77 days (Median = 10 days, n = 1028).

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 $16,834 (median=12,000) for the 938 providers who responded to this question.

Licensed family child care home providers were asked to report their gross and net annual earnings. The average annual gross earning was $29,800 (n=1068; median= $25,000). FY11 reported earnings are slightly higher than FY09, which reported average gross annual earnings of $28,621, with a median of $25,000. Reported annual net earnings (n=926) averaged $12,548 (median = $11,085). In FY09, respondents reported average net earnings of $11,257, with a median of $10,000.

In FY11:

  • 25% of family child care providers netted less than $4,000;
  • 50% of family child care providers netted less than $11,085; and,
  • 75% of family child care providers netted less than $20,000.

The 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 number of weeks worked per year).

In FY11, the hourly wage was $4.60 (compared to the state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour). 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 (16.8 hours) are factored into the equation, child care providers work on average 69.3 hours per week and average $3.48 per hour.

As independent business owners, family child care home 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 FY11, providers were asked to provide more 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 1113 respondents, 23.2 percent of providers (N = 258) reported charging families more than their CCAP copay, 76.8% (N = 855) of providers reported charging families their CCAP copay only. Out of 1125 practitioners who rated the difficulty of collecting copays, 49.5 percent reported that collecting copays was "easy or somewhat easy," 15.1% responded that it was "neither easy nor difficult", and 35.4% 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 1112 respondents, 19.2 percent responded that collecting copays had become "much easier or somewhat easier", 56.2% responded the difficulty in collecting copays had "not changed", and 24.6% responded that collecting copays had become "somewhat or much more difficult."

Providers were 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 1149 providers responding to the question, 17.1 percent said their gross income had decreased greatly, 21.2% said their gross income had decreased somewhat, 33.9% stated their gross income remained about the same, 20.9% said their gross income had increased somewhat, and 2.4% responded that their gross income had increased greatly.

In response to changes about their net annual earnings, out of 1136 providers, 19.6 percent said their net income had decreased greatly, 30.3% responded that their net income had decreased somewhat, 31.9% stated their net income had remained about the same, 16.4% responded that their net income had increased somewhat, and 1.8% responded that their net income had increased greatly.

In response to changes in their annual expenses, out of 1140 providers, 18.9% responded that their annual expenses had increased greatly, 41.9% stated their annual expenses had increased somewhat, 22.2% said their annual expenses remained about the same, 10.6% stated their annual expenses decreased somewhat, and 6.4% stated their annual expensed had decreased greatly.

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 (9.3%) reported having a second paid job. Somewhat less than two-thirds of providers (63.8%) indicated that there was at least one other adult who contributed to their household income. In addition, the Child and Adult Food Care Program , was an income source identified by a majority of the providers (86.3%).

Fee Policies

Family child care homes are considered small businesses and as such, fee policies are decided by the owner(s). As Table 43 shows, the majority of family child care providers chose to be paid when children are absent due to sickness. In addition, 50.2 percent of providers require parents to pay when the child care home is closed for holidays. The preponderance of providers do not require parents to pay for days when the family child care home is closed due to provider illness, vacation, or workshop attendance. Less than 40 percent (39.6%) of providers require parents to pay for days the child is on vacation. When day care homes are closed due to family emergencies, bereavement, jury duty or inclement weather, less than 10 percent (9.4%) 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:

"As far as payment issues, salaried parents like teachers always pay me for holidays and their child's sick days even if I don't ask them to. Some parents don't get paid if they don't work. I take that into consideration."

"In today's economy, it's very difficult to ask for more income from parents. The parents that are on the assistant care program from the state; they tell me that if they have a $0 co-pay, they feel they don't have to pay for my holidays off or vacations…"

Table 43. Fee Policies

Provider is Paid When… N Percentage
Children are absent because they are sick 1,175 64.3%
Children are on vacation 1,169 39.6%
You are closed for holidays 1,177 50.2%
You are closed for vacation days 1,170 22.8%
You are closed for sick days 1,168 17.3%
You are closed for training days 1,150 15.5%
Other reasons 1,165 9.4%

Note: Multiple responses possible.

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 1168 respondents, 51.8 percent of practitioners charged a late-fee (or early drop-off fee). The late fee averaged $2.12 (median = $1) per minute for family child care providers who stated their fee (n=591).

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?" Over one-fifth (22.8%) of practitioners, down from one-third (33.9%) in 2009, checked one or more of the boxes. Specifically:

  • 0.4% checked "TANF/AFDC";
  • 11.1% checked "Medicaid/Medicare for yourself";
  • 8.8% checked "Medicaid for your children";
  • 1.2% checked "Subsidized housing/Section 8";
  • 6.2% checked "Food stamps/SNAP";
  • 2.5% checked "FamilyCare for yourself"; and,
  • 8.1% checked "KidCare for your (child)ren".

Benefits

Practitioners were asked whether they were currently covered by any health insurance or medical plan. In response, 81.7 percent (n=1177) of child care practitioners reported having health care coverage. Further breakdown shows that 10.8 percent received full coverage and 23.7% received partial coverage through their spouse's employer, 14.6%, purchased health insurance on their own, and 11.9% reported that they were eligible for Medicaid/Medicare. Over one-fifth (20.7%) of respondents who had paid health care coverage received it through a variety of other sources, including as retirement benefits from previous employers, community health services, and through SEIU.

Almost 60 percent (59.2%) of practitioners 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," barely a quarter of the respondents (25.9%) said they had.

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

"I need to get out of daycare due to the fact I have no real retirement, I have to pay $435.00 monthly on health insurance. That is more than my house note, a car note or any other expenses. I can't afford to get a newer vehicle due to cost of living. My parents can't afford to pay me any more than they do at this time. I would like to take a day off but can't afford to close."

Professional Support

Family child care practitioners often work alone and have no other adults within close proximity. Research confirms that feelings of isolation are common in the field and can contribute to burn-out. Researchers also point to the importance of networking and peer support in combatting feelings of isolation. A predominance of home-based practitioners (85.6%) 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. Slightly under half (45.2%; n=518 of 1147) of respondents reported that they were members of a child care association. Just under 70 percent (69.8%; n = 816 of 1169) indicated that they utilized their Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) as a professional support in the past two years. Local CCR&R's provide various services to child care professionals.

Turnover

Practitioners were asked to identify the length of time they would continue to operate their day care home. Over half (68.8%; n=753) of providers responded "I don't know." The remainder of the providers (n=342) indicated they would continue to provide child care in their homes for an average of slightly over 10 years (median = 10.00 years, mean = 10.2 years).

To gauge potential turnover, providers were asked the question, "In the past two years, have you ever considered no longer providing care?" Nearly thirty-five percent (34.6%, n = 401 of 1,160) 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 - 5; 1 = "not important" to 5 = "very important." Table 44 presents the means, and number of respondents who rated each reason.

Table 44: Reasons Considered For No Longer Providing Care

Reason Mean Median N Percentage Rating Item
as Very Important
Dissatisfied with salary 3.7 4.00 386 41.5%
Dissatisfied with benefits 3.8 5.00 387 50.9%
Returning to school 2.2 1.00 379 14.5%
Working hours are too long 3.5 4.00 382 34.6%
Not enough work hours 1.5 1.00 377 3.7%
Enrollments are too low 2.9 3.00 380 29.7%
Enrollments are too high 1.5 1.00 370 2.7%
Frustration with parents 3.1 3.00 382 25.9%
Too little respect for child care providers 3.6 4.00 381 38.3%
Moving/relocating 1.5 1.00 375 5.3%
Health problems 1.9 1.00 374 5.9%
Too much stress 3.1 3.00 383 22.5%
Too little time off 3.4 4.00 381 33.3%
Isolation 2.8 3.00 376 19.4%
Retirement 2.8 3.00 379 29.3%
Other personal reasons 2.3 1.00 334 18.6%

According to Table 44, "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 7th lowest out of 31 occupations listed under the category Personal Care and Service Occupations. Only locker room, coatroom and dressing room attendants, personal care aides; personal care and service workers (all other); amusement and recreation attendants, shampooers; and, ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers made less. (From "Occupation Employment Statistics: May 2010 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Illinios" (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm#00-0000), Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dissatisfaction with salary has real consequences as demonstrated in the comment below.

"Last year I had 15 children and a full-time assistant. I now have 2 full-time children and 3 part-time children. I am struggling with finances. The children I care for have some special needs and I don't feel I can add any more to my group. I can't let the child go because I can't afford to lose the income. I have been applying for positions outside my home. As soon as I am able to obtain a different job, I will be discontinuing my child care. I am a licensed, accredited, 3 STAR rated home."

Practitioners were asked to rank in order of importance a number of items that might influence them to continue providing child care in their homes (scale of 1 - 5; 1= "Not Important" and 5 = "Very Important".) Participants rated higher pay and better benefits as the factors that would most entice them to continue providing child care. "More time off" was also rated as "very important" to almost half of all respondents (mean = 3.8). (Again, family child care homes are only closed an average of 10.77 days per year.) Table 45 displays the results.

Table 45: Reasons to Continue Offering Care

Reason Mean Median N Percentage Rating Item
as Very Important
Help with problem solving 2.7 3.00 378 19.6%
More contact with other providers 2.6 3.00 376 15.4%
Help finding substitute caregivers 3.2 3.00 380 32.6%
Being part of a professional organization 2.6 2.00 375 16.0%
Family child care training 2.7 3.00 373 16.6%
Lower enrollments 1.8 1.00 371 6.7%
Higher enrollments 3.0 3.00 380 31.6%
Higher pay 4.3 5.00 384 61.5%
Better Benefits 4.2 5.00 381 63.8%
More time off 3.8 4.00 376 48.4%
More work hours 1.8 1.00 360 4.4%

In order to assess turnover rate, we compared the total number of family child care providers listed in the provider database on June 30, 2009 (the end of IDHS's fiscal year) to the number of providers listed in the same database on June 30, 2011. Through comparison of both downloads, 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 46 presents the information.

Table 46. Provider Turnover, June 30, 2009 to June 30, 2011: Family Care

Active 2009 Still Active 2011 Percent Change New Providers 2011 Percent Change Active 2011 Percent Change
Number of Active Providers 10,718 8,434 -21.3% 1,749 20.8% 10,183 -5%
Total Licensed Capacity 94,243 79,068 -16.1% 13,519 17.1% 92,587 -1.8%

Motivations and Perceptions about Providing Child Care

In order to (1) grasp what motivates family child care practitioners to provide child care in their home and (2) capture their perceptions about their work, they were given a series of statements and asked to rate each statement on a scale of 1 -5 (1 = "Strongly Disagree", 2 = "Disagree", 3 = Neither Disagree nor Agree", 4 = "Agree", and 5 = "Strongly Agree"). Some of the statements focused on motivation and others on perception.

As Table 47 reveals, practitioners reported several factors that motivated them to be in the child care business. The most enthusiastically endorsed (rated as "Strongly Agree" by approximately 60% of the respondents) were: "Enjoy teaching children" and "Want 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 25% of the respondents).

Table 47. Reasons for Providing Child Care

Reason Mean Median N Percentage of providers
who rated item "Strongly Agree"
Enjoy teaching children 4.5 5.00 1,136 60.0
Want to be in business for self 4.4 5.00 1,138 59.1
Earn an income 4.0 4.00 1,131 37.0
Stay at home with own children 3.2 3.00 1,119 26.4

Table 48 reflects the responses to questions that pertain to a practitioner's perceptions about their work. 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. The mean and median, number of respondents, and the percentage of respondents who rated the statement as a "5" (strongly agreed) are presented in the table below.

Table 48. Perceptions about Providing Child Care

Statement Mean Median N Percentage of providers who rated item as "Strongly Agree"
I consider myself an early childhood professional 4.2 4.00 1,134 46.5
I consider myself a small business owner 4.5 5.00 1,144 59.5
I do not provide child care for the money 3.0 3.00 1,131 16.6
Getting more training helps me become more professional 4.2 4.00 1,134 45.4
Because I am my own boss, I can set my own rates and policies 3.7 5.00 1,130 22.9

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 1059 respondents, over half (52.8%) replied that opportunities over the past two years had "stayed the same", 25.8 percent indicated they had become better, and 21.2% responded that they had become worse.

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

"It is becoming increasingly difficult to provide quality care during these economic times. It is hard to ask struggling families for pay raises, yet the cost of everything has gone up. It is hard to find families at all because lots of families are doing anything to find inexpensive care for their children (family members, neighbors, unlicensed providers, etc.). It is hard to think about retirement without a pension, 401K, etc.…"

"Working with children is one of the most rewarding professions I've ever done. But over the past few years, it has become more and more difficult to concentrate on that area of this business. In the last 3 years, I've obtained my CDA, Food Handling License, Accreditation, and received my level 3 QRS rating. I am vice-president of my family child care association. I attend as many conferences as I can financially afford. I have also sent my assistant to obtain her CDA last year. I do all these things to stay on top of my chosen field and to be sure that I am providing the best quality child care that is humanly possible. I have 2 boys of my own who are in College and for the most part, I am not able to help them much financially. This is very difficult for me as a mother, to provide the best I have for other peoples' children and can't really provide what my own children need. The constant fluctuation in enrollment and uncertainty of our payment through the state leaves a constant situation of stress that really does not promote my desire to continue in this field…"

Practitioners who felt that opportunities for family child care providers had gotten better focused solely on educational and professional development.

"I feel that it is extremely important to tie programs from INCCRRA and CCR&R programs in with quality programs. I can see how QRS is slowly raising the bar and appreciate that. Over the past two years, my income and enrollment has gone down tremendously, and more recently, back up to the highest it has ever been. I attribute this to the programs mentioned above."

"The scholarship and wage supplement program are critical to this field. Per developmentally appropriate practices, one cannot be an excellent teacher without constant education and updated research in the field. Trainings and college courses are so important towards this end. As a business owner, I rely on the wage supplement program to help pay and retain quality teachers on staff. Without such funds, I fear I would not be able to keep the educated teachers we need to work with children and have a quality program."

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. Other comments voiced concerns about the rules and regulations that must be complied with in order to maintain a day care home license (conversely, some providers claimed the rules were not strict enough and were not adequately enforced). Some of the practitioners voiced concern over apparent illegal day care homes that exist. Many practitioners shared the various financial difficulties they experienced due to later payments from the state or late payments from parents. A majority expressed their frustration at the amount of reimbursement a provider receives for the type of work performed. And some commented about the way the profession is still seen by some of the public as in the example below.

"We all would like to be recognized as professional workers and not just babysitters. I have never sat on a baby…"

Many of the comments seemed to relay the love and compassion that numerous practitioners feel for the children in their programs.

"This recession has certainly taken a toll on my business. However, I still enjoy what I am doing and feel I make a difference. I have visitors come to see me who were children that I have taken care of in the past that are now adults and on their own and still ask me if I have any homemade cookies. That makes you really feel warm inside and brings back so many good memories. This is what makes what I do important to me."

"I think Child Care is a wonderful profession. It's rewarding in that we are involved in preparing our future leaders for generations to come. I think we provide the children the foundation for their future which includes their eating habits, social skills, as well as education… Although the days are long, the benefits to the child are so rewarding. I started child care when my first grandchild was born. It's a pleasure to alleviate the stress of working parents to know their children are loved and nurtured. Child care is not a business for me, but a service for betterment of the future."

Conclusion

Child care is an important foundational service that allows employment and economic betterment for families. Without affordable quality care options, parents are less likely to effectively function at their jobs and children do not experience the developmentally stimulating environments that are potentially available. Research has shown high quality child care contributes to young children's social competence and cognitive development. 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, with minimal requirements for education and a national turnover rate among child care practitioners at between 25% and 40% (NACCRRA) (http://www.naccrra.org/randd/child-care-workforce/cc_workforce.php), high quality care is challenging to achieve and maintain. The continuing economic downturn of the last two years has impacted the low-wage, minimal benefit field of child care. Data is needed to inform the judicious distribution of resources that support child care providers and families. The 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 centers and in family child care homes.

A majority of the child care workforce in Illinois has attained formal education beyond high school. Most practitioners in centers and homes had some college education. In addition, almost 75 percent (74.7%) of early childhood teachers and almost 40 percent (39.4%) of family day care home practitioners had earned an associate, bachelor or master's degree. Further, 41.2 percent of early childhood teachers earned their degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Child Development (CD); 16.7 percent of family day care providers earned their degree in CD/ECE.

As is the case at the national level, job turnover among child care providers in Illinois is a continuing problem. The past two years showed a turnover rate of 24.6 percent for early childhood teachers and a 36.2 percent turnover rate for early childhood teacher assistants. The primary reason reported for early childhood teacher departure was "terminated/fired"; which when compared to the predominant reasons cited in past surveys, represents an anomaly. Since there has been a 1.2 percent net loss in center staff over the past two years, termination of employment for some employees may have been due to financial constraints; not job performance. Other principle reasons reported for staff departure included dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, and "found a new job", either in another center, a public school or in another field. As many of these reasons were endorsed at a similar rate by directors, it suggests that the reasons for turnover are usually complicated. 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, over one in three family child care practitioners considered closing their child care home; one in five did. Dissatisfaction with salary and benefits, and "too little time off", were the predominant reasons reported.

Compensation patterns for center positions were mixed. Directors, School-Age Workers, and Assistant School-Age Workers saw a decline in their hourly wages from 2009. Conversely, Directors/Teachers, Early Childhood Teachers and Assistant Early Childhood Teachers saw their hourly wages increase. Nonetheless, while the cost of living rose, real earnings fell. Hence, the increases in hourly wages were either completely or partially nullified by the rate of inflation. For instance, the monetary value of the $1.05 hourly wage increase seen by directors/teachers in 2011, shrank to 36¢ once the Consumer Price Index was computed.

The median hourly wage for an early childhood teacher in 2011 was $11.50, up from $11.00 in in 2009; down from $12.00 in 2007. Assuming a full-time early childhood teacher position equals 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, gross annual salary would equal $23,920. This represents more than twice the median net earnings of licensed family child care providers whose 2011 reported earnings were only $11,085, up from $10,000 in 2009; down from $12,000 in 2007.

Wages differ substantially in centers around the state. Early childhood teachers employed in Mt. Vernon (located in southern Illinois) earned a median hourly wage of $9.05 per hour vs. early childhood teachers in Waukegan (located in northern Illinois) who earned a median hourly wage of $14.21 (a difference of over $5.00 per hour). Early childhood teachers earned higher hourly wages in not-for-profit programs vs. for-profit programs. Part-year/part-time early childhood teachers earned more than Full-year/full-time teachers. Level of education also mattered as teachers in full-year programs with more education, earned more than those without degrees. Teachers who majored in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD) and obtained an Associate, Bachelor, or Master's degree, earned more than teachers with a non- ECE or CD major.

The child care workforce has low wages and benefits are also meager. Although 75 percent of center staff were reported to receive paid vacation, holidays and sick leave, barely one-third received health insurance, dental insurance or a pension plan. Life insurance was also rare, received by approximately one in four employees. Whereas, centers may provide benefits to employees as part of their compensation, family child care practitioners must pay for their own. As a result, benefits are modest for family child care providers who reported being closed only a median of 10 days per year. Only 50 percent charged when closed for holidays and only one in five charged when closed for vacation. Even fewer charged when closed for sick days or training days. Providers comments concerning why they did not charge when closed included: they were sensitive to their clients' financial situations, they did not think their clients would pay, and they did not know that they could. Although 82 percent of family child care providers were covered by a health plan, many received coverage through their spouse's employer.

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. 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. The fact that salaries varied according to individual and program factors suggests that there are resources and options that some centers and providers are able to access that provide some compensation for lower wages and benefits in the field of child care. As in years past, access to professional development opportunities does not seem to be a barrier to remaining in the field.

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). The Quality Counts Quality Rating System enhances the income of programs which provide 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.

Another program, the Professional Development Advisor (PDA) Program, is an example of a systematic effort to reach out to providers and positively impact professional development. A recent evaluation demonstrated that the program contributes to more qualified child care practitioners by helping them reach professional objectives.

Such programs can help improve the compensation possibilities of practitioners, thus leading to lower turnover and ultimately higher quality of child care in Illinois.

Appendix A: Survey Instruments

Appendix A Survey for Child Care Centers with Instructions (pdf)

Appendix B: Child Care Resource and Referral Systems Map

SDA 1 - YWCA Child Care Solutions
Boone, JoDavies, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties
Rockford (888) 225-7072
www.ywca.org/Rockford

SDA 2 - 4-C Community Coordinated Chidl Care
Carroll, DeKalb, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, and Whiteside Counties
DeKalb (800) 848-8727 & McHenry (866) 347-2277
www.four-c.org

SDA  3- YWCA Lake County CCR&R
Lake County
Waukegan (800) 244-5376
www.ywcalakecounty.org

SDA 4 - YWCA CCR&R
DuPage and Kane Counties
Glendale Heights (630) 790-3030
www.ywcachicago.org

SDA 5 - Joliet CCR&R
Grndy, Kankakee, Kendall, and Will Counties
Joliet (800) 552-5526
www.childcarehelp.com

SDA 6 - Ilinois Action for Children
Cook County
Chicago (312) 823-1100
www.actforchildren.org

SDA 7 - Community Child Care CCR&R
Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Rock Island, and Warren Counties
Davenport (866) 324-3236
www.iacommunityaction.org

SDA 8 - SAL Child Care Connection
Bureau, Fulton, LaSalle, Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties
Peoria (800) 421-4371
www.salchildcareconnection.org

SDA 9 - CCR&R
DeWitt, Ford, Livingston, and McLean Counties
Bloomington (800) 437-8256
www.ccrrn.com

SDA 10 - Child Care Resource Service, University of Illinois
Champaign, Dougals, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt, and Vermilion Counties
Urbana (800) 325-5516
crrs.illlinois.edu

SDA 11 - CCR&R, Eastern Illinois University
Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Edgar,Moultrie, and Shelby Counties
Charleston (800) 545-7439
www.eiu.edu/-ccrr/home/index/php

SDA 12 - West Central Child Care Connection
Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Pike, and Schuyler Counties
Quincy (800) 782-7318
www.wccc.com

SDA 13 - Community Child Care Connection
Christian, Logan, Macoupin, Macon, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sanagamon, and Scott Counties
Springfield (800) 676-2805
www.cccconnect.org

SDA 14 - Children's Home & Aid
Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington Counties
Granite City (800) 467-9200
www.chasiccrr.org

SDA 15 - Project CHILD
Caly, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Richland, Wabash and Wayne Counties
Mt. Vernon (800) 362-7257
www.rlc.edu/projectchild

SDA 16 - CCR&R, John Logan College
Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamitlon, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, White, and Williamson Counties
Carterville (800) 232-0908
www.jalc.edu/ccrr

Appendix C: Licensing Standards for Center Staffing

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

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)

Source: 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 (pdf). (http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/docs/rules/rules_407.pdf)

Appendix D: Acknowledgements

Child care providers are essential to the well-being of Illinois children and families and to the viability of the state's economy. I would like to thank the center staff and family home child care providers who generously gave their time and energy responding to this survey.

Our partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services and its Bureau of Child Care and Development makes it possible for us to take the pulse of the Illinois child care workforce every other year. I am grateful for their support. In particular I want to thank Holly Knicker and Cindy Wall for meticulously proofreading drafts of this report and making the editorial comments that have significantly improved this document.

The Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, especially Joellyn Whitehead and Kelley Jacobs, provided the contact information for all licensed child care programs listed with the regional child care resource and referrals agencies, assisted with construction, and hosted the survey. I would also like to thank them for helping with the transcription and administration of the online versions of the Salary and Staffing Survey.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the Child Care Resiliency program staff in the Department of Human and Community Development who are responsible for the data cleaning and analyses, particularly Rebecca Swartz (doctoral candidate) and Jackie Farber (CCR&R staff member in SDA 10). Samantha King managed some of the data cleaning and analyses.

Finally, I would like to thank my predecessors, Dawn Ramsburg, Dale Montanelli, Emily Rouge, and Philip Garnier for providing me with the exemplary template from which to work.

Angela Wiley, Ph.D.
Director, Child Care Resiliency Program
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL