Illinois Salary and Staffing Survey of Licensed Child Care Facilities FY2015

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

For: Illinois Department of Human Services

Prepared By:

Joellyn Whitehead and Kevin Anderson, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies

Johnna Darragh Ernst and Deborah Presley, Heartland Community College

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Child Care Centers - Highlights and Key Findings
  3. Family Child Care Homes - Highlights and Key Findings
  4. Introduction
  5. Methods
    1. Survey Development
    2. Respondents
    3. Administration of Surveys
    4. Survey Data
  6. Profile of Child Care Centers: Key Findings
    1. Respondent Role
      1. Types of Centers
      2. Accreditation & ExceleRate Illinois Status
    2. Center Program Revenue
    3. Capacity and Enrollment Patterns
    4. Ethnicity of Children in Programs
    5. Staffing Patterns
      1. Male Staff
      2. Non-English Fluency of Staff
    6. Professional Development
      1. Illinois State Professional Development Programs
      2. Professional Development Plan
    7. Peer Support
    8. Staff Turnover
      1. Turnover Rates
      2. Turnover Reasons
      3. Applicants for Vacant Positions
      4. Hires for Vacant Positions
      5. Male Applicants
      6. Non-English Fluency of Applicants
      7. Attraction to Child Care Careers and Employment
    9. Center Turnover
    10. Staff Demographics
      1. Education and Credentials
      2. Duration of Employment with Current Employer
    11. Salary and Wages
      1. Salary Scale
      2. Hourly Wage by Position
      3. Comparison of Hourly Wages from FY 2011-FY 2015
      4. Hourly Wage by Full- Versus Part-Time Status
      5. Staff Experience and Education
      6. Center Characteristics and Hourly Wage
    12. Benefits
  7. Profile of Family Child Care Home Providers: Key Findings
    1. Completed Surveys
    2. Demographics
      1. Gender
      2. Age
      3. Ethnicity
      4. Experience
      5. Education
    3. Accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois Status
    4. Demographics of Children Served
    5. Professional Development
      1. Program Awareness and Participation
      2. Training and Training Opportunities
    6. Capacity and Enrollment
    7. Assistants
    8. Business Characteristics
      1. Hours
      2. Earnings and Operating Expenses
      3. Other Income Sources
      4. Fee Policies
      5. Financial Assistance
      6. Benefits
    9. Professional Support
    10. Turnover
    11. Motivations and Perceptions about Providing Child Care
  8. Conclusion
  9. Appendix A: Survey Instruments
  10. Appendix B: Child Care Resource and Referral System Map
  11. Appendix C: Licensing Standards for Center Staffing
  12. Appendix D: Acknowledgements

Executive Summary

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

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

Collection of survey data began with the list of 12,190 licensed child care programs in Illinois (3,166 licensed child care centers and 9,024 licensed day care homes) obtained through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). On May 11th, 2015, all providers were sent a request to participate in the survey. The survey was available in two formats: on-line and a paper document. Out of the 12,190 licensed programs, 683 center programs (response rate = 21.6 percent) and 1,154 family child care home providers (response rate = 12.8 percent) completed the survey.

In addition, the 2015 report includes for the first time administrative data from the Gateways to Opportunity Registry. Because of the substantial population of licensed child care center staff and licensed family child care providers in the Registry, these administrative data are the best source for analysis of staff qualifications and salaries.

The findings of this 2015 survey and analysis of administrative data profile the qualifications, salary and benefits, and turnover rates from the sample of licensed child care programs operating in Illinois as of December 31, 2014.

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

Child Care Centers - Highlights and Key Findings

Capacity and Staffing

  • The average licensed capacity of centers was reported as 85 children.
  • The 683 responding directors reported a total of 10,039 employees in their programs, including:
    • 1,272 administrative directors and director/teachers,
    • 6,998 classroom teaching staff,
    • 496 food service staff,
    • 278 building support staff,
    • 287 administrative support staff,
    • 708 other types of staff.

Accreditation

  • Out of responding centers, 19.3 percent (n = 132) were accredited by a national accrediting organization:
    • 106 (15.5 percent) were accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC);
    • 22 (3.2 percent) were accredited by the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP).
    • 4 (0.6 percent) were accredited by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA); and,
    • None were accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).

ExceleRate Illinois QRIS

  • All of the responding centers were ExceleRate rated:
    • 430 (63.0 percent) of programs had received the Licensed Circle of Quality.
    • 5 (0.7 percent) of programs had earned a Bronze Circle of Quality.
    • 114 (16.7 percent) of programs had earned a Silver Circle of Quality.
    • 134 (19.6 percent) of programs had earned a Gold Circle of Quality.

Education Level of Staff

  • Out of 15,590 early childhood teachers in the Gateways Registry,
    • 84.3 percent were reported to have some form of college education,
    • 74.3 percent had completed a college degree (Associate's or higher),
    • 28.5 percent had completed their degrees in early childhood education or child development, and
    • 3.0 percent had completed a Child Development Associate (CDA) or Child Care Professional (CCP) credential.
  • 9.6 percent of early childhood teachers with a bachelor's degree or higher were reported to have a Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.

Salary

  • The median hourly wage for a full-time administrative director was $15.00 per hour, which is approximately equal to $31,200 per year.2
  • The median hourly wage for a full-time early childhood teacher was $12.00 per hour, which is approximately equal to $24,960 per year.
  • The median hourly wage for a full-time early childhood assistant teacher was $9.50 per hour, which is approximately equal to $19,760 per year.

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

Benefits

  • Most centers did not offer insurance to most of their staff:
    • 46.2 percent of centers offered health insurance for their staff.
    • 39.3 percent of centers offered dental insurance.
    • 34.7 percent of centers offered disability insurance.
    • 39.2 percent of centers offered life insurance.
    • 43.1 percent of centers offered retirement/pension coverage for their employees.
  • Most centers did provide time off benefits:
    • 87.4 percent of centers provided paid vacation leave to personnel.
    • 83.0 percent of centers provided paid holiday leave for staff.
    • 75.1 percent of centers provided paid sick leave for employees.

Turnover

  • The turnover rate for early childhood teachers over the last two years increased from 26.0 percent in 2013 to 27.2 percent in 2015.
  • The turnover rate for early childhood assistant teachers over the last two years increased from 33.1 percent in 2013 to 34.2 percent in 2015.
  • Administrative directors had been employed at their current program an average of 8.1 years and early childhood teachers had been employed an average of 4.4 years.
  • The top reason for early childhood teachers to leave their jobs willingly was dissatisfaction with pay. "Found a new job in child care" and "found a new job in public schools" were tied as the second most endorsed reasons. "Personal" was given as the third highest reason and dissatisfaction with benefits was the fourth reason for early childhood teachers leaving their jobs willingly.
  • The least important reason for an early childhood teacher to leave their job willingly was dissatisfaction with professional development opportunities. Dissatisfaction with the schedule was the second least important reason for leaving.
  • Directors reported that it took 3-4 weeks to fill IDCFS positions; there was very little difference by type of position being filled.

Family Child Care Homes - Highlights and Key Findings

Capacity and Enrollment

  • The average license capacity reported for family child care was 9.7 children, with providers reporting that they care for an average of 8.0 children in a typical week.

Accreditation

  • 5.0 percent (n = 58 out of 1,154) of family child care providers were accredited through the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC).

ExceleRate Illinois QRIS

  • All responding family child care providers participated in ExceleRate.
    • 92.5 percent (n = 1,068) had received the Licensed Circle of Quality.
    • None had earned the Bronze Circle of Quality.
    • 7.2 percent (n = 83) had earned the Silver Circle of Quality.
    • 0.3 percent (n = 3) had earned the Gold Circle of Quality.

Education Level

  • Data from the Gateways to Opportunity Registry show that of all licensed family child care providers in the registry:
    • 41.6 percent had some form of college education.
    • 32.3 percent had an Associate's degree or higher.
    • 9.5 percent had an Associate's degree or higher in either early childhood education or child development.
    • 0.5 percent 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 $14,999 per year:
    • 25 percent of family child care providers make less than $5,024.
    • 50 percent of family child care providers make less than $13,000.
    • 75 percent of family child care providers make less than $21,750.
  • 57.4 percent of family child care providers required payment when closed for holidays, 34.8 percent required payment when closed for vacation, 21.9 percent when closed for sickness, and 12.6 percent when closed for training.
  • 93.1 percent of family child care providers were covered by some form of health insurance.
  • 60.6 percent of family child care providers contributed to Social Security and 27.8 percent set aside money for retirement.
  • 34.2 percent 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 14.5 years of experience taking care of children in their homes.
  • 31.5 percent of licensed family child care providers reported that they had been previously employed in a child care center or public school.
  • 39.0 percent of family child care providers considered quitting providing care in the preceding two years. Dissatisfaction with benefits was the primary reason endorsed.
  • 35.8 percent of family child care providers report they plan to leave child care within an average of 9 years.

Working Hours

  • On average, family child care providers were paid to care for children 50.0 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 Child Care

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

Introduction

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

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

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

The Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA), on behalf of IDHS, contracted with researchers from the Health and Human Services Division at Heartland Community College to conduct the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015) survey.

Methods

Survey Development

One version of the Salary and Staffing Survey was constructed for licensed child care centers, and a separate version was used for licensed family child care providers. To allow for the comparison of 2015 survey results with those from past survey years, questions from past surveys were retained with some minor changes in formatting and wording.

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

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

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

Respondents

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

Local CCR&Rs list these IDCFS licensed child care facilities on a provider database called NACCRRAware. INCCRRA maintains this database for Illinois. All 12,190 facilities in Illinois (3,166 licensed child care centers and 9,024 licensed family child care homes listed in the database as providing care as of December 31, 2014) were invited to participate in the survey.

Administration of Surveys

On April 27, 2015, an email blast was sent to 8,375 providers whom had emails listed in the database (6,076 family child care providers, 2,299 centers) inviting them to participate in the Salary and Staffing Survey. On May 11, 2015, a letter was mailed to all centers (n = 3,166) in care of the center director and all family home providers (n = 9,024), including those who had already been sent an email. Both notifications delineated the purpose of the study and invited the providers to participate in it, either by completing the survey online or via a mailed paper questionnaire.3

On June 8, 2015, reminder postcards were sent to 10,909 providers (8,239 family child care home providers, 2,670 centers). These postcards thanked providers who had completed the survey, reminded providers of the survey's availability both online and as a paper document, and provided the contact information necessary for providers to obtain the paper copy of the survey if so desired. On June 11, 2015, a reminder letter was sent to 56 providers who had requested a paper survey to be mailed to them, but had not yet completed and returned (45 family child care homes, 11 centers). Analyses were based on all completed surveys returned by August 1, 2015.

A total of 9,024 IDCFS licensed family child care home and group home providers and 3,166 centers were invited to complete the Salary and Staffing Survey. Out of these, 1,154 family child care/group home providers (1,034 online; 120 paper) and 683 center directors (668 online and 15 paper) completed and returned the survey. The response rates for each type of program were 12.8 percent and 21.6 percent respectively.

3 Copies of both surveys are included in Appendix A

Survey Data

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

STATISTICAL NOTES 

STATISTICAL NOTES

Using this data set as an example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Profile of Child Care Centers: Key Findings

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

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

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

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

From the 3,166 invitations sent to child care centers, 668 online surveys were completed and an additional 15 paper surveys were completed. Thus, 683 center surveys were completed out of 3,166 delivered invitations, for a response rate of 21.6 percent. Table 1 presents the response rates by CCR&R service delivery area (SDA) (see Appendix B).

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

Service Delivery Area CCR&R Office Location Centers Surveys Completed Percentage of Surveys Completed
SDA 1 Rockford 70 22 31.40%
SDA 2 DeKalb 138 39 28.30%
SDA 3 Gurnee 220 35 15.90%
SDA 4 Glendale Heights 329 82 24.90%
SDA 5 Joliet 202 44 21.80%
SDA 6 Chicago 1,375 211 15.30%
SDA 7 Davenport 77 25 32.50%
SDA 8 Peoria 123 46 37.40%
SDA 9 Bloomington 56 15 26.80%
SDA 10 Urbana 90 31 34.40%
SDA 11 Charleston 30 11 36.70%
SDA 12 Quincy 30 7 23.30%
SDA 13 Springfield 91 26 28.60%
SDA 14 Granite City 188 49 26.10%
SDA 15 Mt Vernon 65 17 26.20%
SDA 16 Carterville 82 23 28.00%
Totals 3,166 683 21.60%

Respondent Role

Respondents were asked to provide basic information about their programs. Out of 683 centers responding to the survey, 43 (6.3 percent) were completed by owners, 110 (16.1 percent) by owner/directors, 402 (58.9 percent) by administrative directors (including CEO and executive director), 82 (12.0 percent) by director/teachers, 32 (4.7 percent) by support staff, and 14 (2.0 percent) by other personnel including program coordinators, principals, and teachers. Since the majority of respondents to the licensed child care center survey were directors in some form (87.0 percent), all respondents will henceforth be referred to as "directors".

Types of Centers

Directors were queried about their programs, specifically: (1) hours of operation/program type;

(2) whether it is sponsored by a faith-based organization; and (3) whether it exists as a single or multi-site program. Data from the NACCRRAware database provided information as to whether the center was an accredited program and whether it has been awarded a Circle of Quality in the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS).

Directors were asked to identify their center's schedule of operation based on hours open and center type. The 683 surveys yielded the following results:

  • 51.5 percent (n = 352) of centers were defined as full-day/full-year only (open at least eight hours per day for a minimum of 49 weeks per year);
  • 16.4 percent (n = 112) were full-day/full-year programs with a separate part-day option;
  • 15.5 percent (n = 106) were part-day only (nursery school, preschool, Head Start);
  • 0.7 percent (n = 5) were defined as part-day only before- and/or after-school programs;
  • 3.7 percent (n = 25) identified their center as operating on an "other" schedule; and,
  • 12.2 percent (n = 83) 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, 442 directors (64.7 percent) responded "No", 158 (23.1 percent) answered "Yes", and 83 (12.2 percent) did not answer the item.

Directors were also asked whether their program was a single-site program or part of a multi-site program. Nearly three-quarters (70.1 percent, n = 479) indicated that their program was a single-site program; 17.6 percent (n = 120) were part of a multi-site program, and 12.3 percent (n = 84) did not report whether or not their center was single or multi-site. .

Accreditation & ExceleRate Illinois Status

Accreditation demonstrates a center's commitment to high quality in early care and education by meeting voluntary guidelines and standards established by national accrediting organizations. The ExceleRate Illinois Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS) is "designed to make continuous quality improvement an everyday priority among early learning providers."4 Providers who care for children eligible for the IDHS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) also receive a quality bonus above the standard payment rate if they achieve an ExceleRate Illinois Circle of Quality above the Licensed Circle of Quality. Using information from INCCRRA's databases, variables were created to indicate the accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois rating status of licensed centers participating in the salary and staffing survey.

Of all 683 programs responding to the FY 2015 survey, 19.3 percent (n = 132) were accredited:

  • 15.5 percent (n = 106) of programs were accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC);
  • 3.2 percent (n = 22) were accredited by the National Accreditation Commission (NAC) under the auspices of the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP);
  • 0.6 percent (n = 4) of programs were accredited through NECPA (National Early Childhood Program Accreditation); and,
  • No centers were accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).5

In FY 2015, all 683 centers responding to the survey participated in ExceleRate Illinois, with 63.0 percent (n = 430) being at the Licensed Circle of Quality and 37.1 percent (n = 253) having a higher Circle of Quality. Of those 254 programs, 2.0 percent (n = 5) of programs earned a Bronze Circle of Quality, 44.9 percent (n = 114) of programs earned a Silver Circle of Quality, and 52.8 percent (n = 134) of programs earned the Gold Circle of Quality.6

Please note that centers can simultaneously hold a Circle of Quality and be nationally accredited. Of the 253 centers that had achieved a rating above the Licensed Circle of Quality, 43.3 percent (n = 110) were also nationally accredited.

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

5 To further identify the prevalence of accredited centers in Illinois, data were accessed from NACCRRAware in July 2015 and showed that: 325 (10.1 percent of all Illinois centers) are NAEYC accredited, 78 (2.4 percent of all Illinois centers) are NAC accredited, 34 (1.1 percent of all Illinois centers) are NECPA accredited, and 3 (0.1 percent of all Illinois centers) are COA accredited. Overall, 13.5 percent of all center programs in Illinois have been accredited by national organizations and meet nationally recognized standards for high quality.

6 According to data retrieved from INCCRRA's Data Tracking Program (DTP), on July 1, 2015: 72 percent of centers were at the Licensed Circle of Quality, less than 1 percent were at Bronze, 12 percent were at Silver, and 16 percent were at the Gold Circle of Quality.

Center Program Revenue

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

First, directors were asked to delineate the legal status of their program (profit or non-profit). The legal status of a program influences the types of revenue available to the program as well as a host of other factors that define or affect the program. Of the 683 centers who participated in the survey:

  • 261 (38.2 percent) reported their centers as for-profit enterprises:
    • 19.8 percent (n = 135) reported their center as a for-profit corporation or chain;
    • 18.0 percent (n = 123) reported their center as a for-profit private proprietary or partnership;
    • 0.4 percent (n = 3) reported their center as a for profit corporate sponsored;
  • 245 (35.9 percent) described their centers as a private non-profit:
    • 29.4 percent (n = 201) described their center as an independent private non-profit;
    • 6.4 percent (n = 44) described their center as a private non-profit affiliated with a social service agency or hospital;
  • 67 (9.8 percent) identified their centers as a public non-profit- sponsored by federal, state, or local government;
  • 24 (3.5 percent) identified their centers as college or university affiliated;
  • 3 (0.4 percent) identified their centers as a public school; and
  • 83 (12.2 percent) of center directors did not respond to this item.

Next, center directors were provided a list of funding sources and asked to indicate which ones their center currently received. Table 2 identifies each revenue source and the percentage and number of centers who reported receiving it. As Table 2 reveals, 81.6 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 (59.0 percent).

Table 2. Type of center program revenues (n = 683)

Type of Program Revenue Percentage1 n
Tuition-Based (Parent Fees) 81.60% 557
Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) vouchers or certificates 59.00% 403
Chicago Department of Family Support Services (DFSS) 3.70% 25
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) vouchers or certificates 39.40% 269
Head Start 10.10% 69
State Board of Education (ISBE)/Preschool for All (PFA) 11.30% 77
Child and Adult Care Food Program 43.50% 297
Private Donations, grants (e.g., foundations, United Way), or fundraising 26.80% 183
Corporate/employer subsidies 4.00% 27
Other (fundraisers, church sponsorship, grants…) 5.10% 35

Table should be read: "81.6 percent of licensed child care centers received tuition-based revenues."

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

Not only were directors asked to identify the various sources of funding which comprised their center's revenue base, but they were also asked to estimate the percentage that each funding source contributed to their general revenue. Tuition and parent fees were reported to be the most common source of funding for centers (81.6 percent), with tuition and fees comprising an average of 60.4 percent (n = 565, median = 75.0 percent) or slightly less than two-thirds of center revenue.

The average and median percentages for each additional funding source for the 565 centers who answered the question are provided below.

  • Head Start funds comprised 6.6 percent of the total revenue base (median = 0.0 percent).
  • Preschool for All funds made up 2.5 percent of the revenue base (median = 0.0 percent).
  • Public funding (state, federal, or local) comprised 26.0 percent of the overall revenue base (median = 10.0 percent).
  • Private donations and gifts were 2.9 percent of the funding base (median = 0.0 percent).
  • Corporate/employer subsidies were 0.7 percent of total revenue (median = 0.0 percent).

Directors were asked to approximate both the annual operating costs and annual income for their centers. A wide range of budgets emerged. Annual operating expenses averaged $480,923 (n = 396), with a median of $360,000. Annual revenues averaged $495,954 (n = 396) with a median of $363,320. 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 $15,032 (n = 396). As stated previously, the term "child care center" encompasses an array of programs and facilities such as public and private or for-profit and not-for-profit. To report a single figure for revenues or expenses that represents the fiscal experience of child care centers in Illinois obscures the varied nature of child care. Table 3 presents the operating costs, revenues, and profits of licensed Illinois child care centers by profit/nonprofit status and affiliation. The table documents that fiscal outcomes of child care centers are as varied as the centers themselves. Not surprisingly, as with the findings from 2013, corporate for-profit centers generally yield a profit, but public and private nonprofit centers make considerably less.

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

Revenues Operating Costs Profit
Legal Status of Center Mean n Mean n Mean n
For Profit: private proprietary or partnership $494,041 78 $431,793 78 $62,248 78
For Profit- corporation or chain $636,095 76 $554,672 76 $81,422 76
For Profit- corporate sponsored - - - - - -
Private nonprofit- independent $399,021 154 $391,403 154 $7,618 154
Private nonprofit- affiliated with a social service agency or hospital $528,845 30 $588,414 30 -$59,569 30
Public nonprofit- sponsored by federal, state, or local government $566,857 35 $643,293 35 -$76,435 35
College or university affiliated $523,155 19 $628,719 19 -$105,564 19

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

The 2015 survey was conducted during a time of continuing recovery from one of the most severe economic downturns in United States history. The employment picture has continued to improve with the unemployment rate decreasing from 9.2 percent in August 20137 to 5.6 percent in August 20158. INCCRRA data indicates that 6.3 percent of all child care centers that closed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015 did so for financial reasons. This is down from the 12.6 percent reported between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013 and even further down from the 17.1 percent reported between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011. This suggests that there has been some economic recovery realized in the child care industry over the last few years.

As with the 2011 and 2013 survey, questions were asked to ascertain whether the general economy was perceived to have affected either the operating costs and/or revenues of centers. Directors were asked to rate these changes on a scale from 1 ("Decreased greatly") to 5 ("Increased greatly"). Directors rated the average change in operating costs as 3.7 (n = 535; median = 4.0) and the average change to revenue as 3.0 (n = 512; median = 3.0). Half of the directors that indicated revenues "stayed about the same" noted that operating costs had increased in the last two years.

If centers charge private-paying parents more for child care than the child care subsidy program reimburses, the center can ask the parent to pay the difference between the rates (if not a contracted site provider). Slightly more than one-third of the reporting centers (37.4 percent; n = 165 out of 441) enrolling subsidized children charge parents more than the amount reimbursed by the subsidy program.

Directors were also asked to rate the ease of collecting the parent's share of subsidized child care (parent co-pay plus any difference between state reimbursement and center rate). On a scale of 1 ("Very easy") to 5 ("Very difficult"), responding centers (n = 479) reported an average rating of 3.3 (median = 4.0), indicating that the task was "Neither easy nor difficult." Directors were further asked whether collecting the parent share had gotten easier or more difficult in the past two years (again on a scale from 1 ("Much easier") to 5 ("Much more difficult"). The average rate reported was 3.3 with a median of 3.0, indicating that it had "stayed the same."

7 "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 20, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/laus_09202013.htm

8 "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) New Release", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 18, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/laus_09182015.pdf

Capacity and Enrollment Patterns

Licensed capacity is defined as the maximum number of children permitted in the child care facility at any one time. The ages of children that can be enrolled in a licensed center varies between six weeks - 12 years of age and are stipulated on the center's IDCFS license. Of the 683 responding centers, the mean total licensed capacity was 85.4 children, with a median licensed capacity of 77.0. The average total capacity of reporting centers was somewhat higher than the average licensed capacity of all 3,166 active licensed centers (77.3 children).

When asked to recount their current total enrollment (how many children attended their program), directors (n = 528) reported an average current total enrollment of 95.0 children, with a median current total enrollment of 77.0. Please note that enrollments can exceed total licensed capacity as counts may be made across multiple shifts and/or include children who attend programs on a part-time basis.

Directors were asked whether they had children enrolled whose families receive Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Chicago Department of Family Support Services (DFSS), and/or Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) financial assistance (subsidized child care). A preponderance (80.4 percent; n = 463) of centers have children enrolled whose families receive IDHS, DFFS, and/or IDCFS assistance. These centers enrolled an average of 34.0 children (median enrollment of 22.0) whose child care was subsidized by the aforementioned types of assistance.

To calculate the percentage of subsidized children enrolled in a center, the number of subsidized children enrolled was divided by the center's current total enrollment (n = 401). On average, 38.9 percent (median = 29.6 percent, with a range of from 0 to 100 percent) or, four out of every ten children enrolled in licensed child care centers, had child care paid through IDHS, CYS, and/or IDCFS public financial assistance. This was 3.9 percent lower than the FY 2013 Salary and Staffing Survey report of 42.8 percent.

To further explore the enrollment patterns of centers, directors were asked how frequently their programs had vacancies over the past two years. On a scale of 1 ("There are always vacancies") to 5 ("There are never vacancies"), directors (n = 542) reported an average of 2.6 (with a median of 3.0). A rating of 3 means directors observed "there are sometimes vacancies" in their centers. Table 4 displays enrollment patterns.

Table 4. Enrollment patterns (n = 542)
Enrollment Pattern Percentage n
1 (There are always vacancies) 20.70% 112
2 (There are often vacancies) 21.60% 117
3 (There are sometime vacancies) 36.50% 198
4 (There are rarely vacancies) 18.60% 101
5 (There are never vacancies) 2.60% 14

As Table 4 demonstrates, 78.8 percent of all directors rated their vacancy pattern as "There are always vacancies" to "There are sometimes vacancies". This is approximately 3 percent lower than FY 2013's report, indicating that center directors have experienced vacancies to have decreased slightly in the past two years. It is interesting to note that per the NACCRRAware database, 9.9 percent of all contacted Illinois child care centers that closed their doors between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, closed due to "insufficient enrollment." This is an increase from the 4.4 percent reported in the FY 2013 report.

Directors were also asked to reflect on how enrollment had changed over the past two years. On a scale from 1 ("Decreased greatly") to 5 ("Increased greatly"), directors indicated that on average the change of enrollment was 3.1 (n = 538; median = 3.0). The number 3 on the scale designates that the current enrollment "stayed about the same". A comparison of the data in 2013 and 2015 indicates little change in perceived enrollment patterns.

Ethnicity of Children in Programs

The 509 center directors responding to the item estimated that, on average, 19.3 percent (median = 5 percent; range = 0 to 100 percent) of the children in their programs were African-American, 60.1 percent (median = 72.0 percent; range = 0 to 100 percent) were Caucasian/White, 11.1 percent (median = 2.0 percent; range = 0 to 100 percent) were Hispanic/Latino, 0.1 percent (median = 0.0 percent; range = 0 to 5 percent) were Native American, 3.1 percent (median = 0.0 percent; range = 0 to 90 percent) were Asian/Pacific Islander, 4.9 percent (median = 2.0 percent; range = 0 to 70 percent) were multi-racial, and 1.3 percent (median = 0.0 percent; range = 0 to 38 percent) were of other racial/ethnic groups.

Over half (53.3 percent; n = 290) of directors indicated that there were children in their programs whose primary language was not English. Directors who reported children in their programs who spoke a language other than English also reported on the other languages spoken by the children in their center. In descending order, the following languages were reported to be spoken by the children. The percent shown in parenthesis represents the frequency of children who speak the indicated language in the 683 centers represented in the 2015 Salary and Staffing Survey.

  • Spanish (33.7 percent)
  • Polish (13.3 percent)
  • Chinese Dialect of either Cantonese or Mandarin (13.0 percent)
  • Hindi/Urdu (10.4 percent)
  • Arabic (8.8 percent)
  • Russian (6.4 percent)
  • Korean (6.1 percent)
  • Farsi (4.4 percent)
  • Japanese (4.4 percent)
  • French (3.5 percent)
  • Vietnamese (3.4 percent)
  • German (3.2 percent)
  • Hebrew (1.6 percent)
  • Other (9.1 percent)

Spanish (33.7 percent) was the predominant non-English primary language spoken by children in the responding centers.

Staffing Patterns

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

Table 5. Breakdown of center staff by position

Position Employees Centers 1 Mean Employees per Center Median Employees per Center
IDCFS-Defined Positions
Administrative Director 572 422 1.4 1
Director/Teacher 2 700 361 1.9 1
Early Childhood Teacher 4,041 500 8.1 6
Early Childhood Assistant 2,376 452 5.3 4
School-Age Worker 412 178 2.3 1
School-Age Assistant 169 81 2.1 1
Other Staff Positions
Curriculum Coordinator 89 64 1.4 1
Family Support/ 214 62 3.5 1
Parent Educator
Cook 496 292 1.7 1
Administrative Support/Secretary 287 177 1.6 1
Building Support Staff 278 186 1.5 1
Other 405 86 4.7 1.5

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

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

The average child care center employs 18.9 staff members, the majority (82.4 percent) in IDCFS-defined positions. Early childhood teachers represented the single largest category of child care staff (40.3 percent of all staff and 48.9 percent of all IDCFS-defined instructional positions).

Directors were also asked to report on how many of their staff were lead teachers.9 Lead teachers were defined as follows:

The lead teacher is the individual with the highest educational qualifications assigned to teach a group/classroom of children and who is responsible for daily lesson planning, parent conferences, child assessment, and curriculum planning.

  • Depending on the program, this individual may be called a head teacher, master teacher, or teacher.
  • Each group/classroom will have one, and only one, lead teacher.

Five-hundred and twelve (n = 512) centers provided information about lead teachers. Child care centers averaged 6.0 lead teachers, with a median of 5.0. This figure remains consistent with findings from 2013 (mean = 6.3; median = 5.0) and from 2011 (mean = 5.9; median = 5.0).

Table 5 indicates that on average most centers employ one cook and one building support person in their program; however, not all centers have these employees on their regular staff. Of the 683 directors who responded to the survey, 25.5 percent indicated that they contracted for food service, 28.3 percent contracted for building cleaning, 27.4 percent contracted for grounds maintenance, and 10.2 percent indicated that they contracted for other services such as pest control, accounting, and office equipment.

To further explore staffing patterns, directors were asked to identify the number of instructional staff with a second-paying job outside of their center. Out of 530 responses to this question, 213 directors answered "I don't know" and 317 (59.8 percent) indicated that at least one member of their instructional staff had a second paying outside job. These directors reported that on average, two (mean = 2.2; median = 2.0; range = from 0.0 to 23.0) of their instructional staff had a second-paying job outside their center. The average number of staff reported to have an outside paying job is consistent with the findings from the last several surveys.

9 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 child care center and/or Preschool for All program.

Male Staff

Men continue to be underrepresented when it comes to employment in the field of early care and education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2014 national percentage of men employed as child care workers was 4.5 percent, employed as teacher assistants was 9.7 percent and employed as preschool or kindergarten teachers was 2.8 percent.10 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 23.4 percent of centers employed one or more male staff members in an instructional capacity (all positions except administrative director in Table 6), only 3.0 percent (n = 228) out of 7,698 of instructional staff were male. This percentage decreased only slightly from the 2013 report.

Table 6. Male center staff by position

Position All Employees Male Employees Percent of Male Employees All Centers1 Centers with Male Staff2 Percent of all Centers with Male Staff3
Administrative Director 572 38 6.60% 422 28 6.60%
Director/Teacher 700 18 2.60% 361 13 3.60%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,041 57 1.40% 500 44 8.80%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,376 89 3.70% 452 56 12.40%
School-Age Worker 412 42 10.20% 178 28 15.70%
School-Age Assistant 169 22 13.00% 81 15 18.50%
All Positions 8,270 266 3.20% 530 138 26.00%

Table should be read: "Of the 422 centers who had administrative directors, 28 or 6.6 percent had a male administrative director."

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

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

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

Note: See Note on Table 5

10Figures were calculated by comparing the number of women in the position to the total number of workers in the position. This produced the number of males in the position. The BLS combines the positions of kindergarten and preschool teachers in their data. Data from, "Household Data Annual Averages", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/cps/aa2014/cpsaat11.htm

Non-English Fluency of Staff

As previously reported, over half of responding centers reported caring for at least one child whose primary language was other than English. In order to gauge staff capacity to speak a language other than English effectively, we asked directors to indicate how many of their staff were fluent in a non-English language. Table 7 presents the results of this inquiry. Nearly 16 percent of the 8,270 instructional staff were reported to be fluent in a language other than English (this is an increase from the 14.1 percent reported in 2013 and 10.5 percent reported in 2011). Almost half of all centers (48.9 percent) had at least one staff member who was fluent in a non-English language. This is a significant decrease compared to the 2013 Staffing and Salary Survey result of 67.6 percent of centers with a staff member fluent in a non-English language; however, it is more in line with the 2011 data of 55.6 percent.

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

  • Spanish (30.7 percent)
  • Hindi/Urdu (6.0 percent)
  • Polish (5.7 percent)
  • French (3.1 percent)
  • German (2.9 percent)
  • Arabic (2.2 percent)
  • Russian (2.0 percent)
  • Farsi (1.9 percent)
  • Korean (1.3 percent)
  • Chinese dialect of either Cantonese or Mandarin (1.0 percent)
  • Hebrew (0.9 percent)
  • Japanese (0.7 percent)
  • Vietnamese (0.4 percent)
  • Yoruba (0.3 percent)

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

Position All Employees Employees with non-English Fluency Employees with Non-English Fluency All Centers1 Centers with Non-English Fluent Staff2 Percent of Centers who Employ Non-English Fluent Staff3
Administrative Director 572 77 13.50% 422 57 13.50%
Director/Teacher 700 114 16.30% 361 68 18.80%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,041 602 14.90% 500 197 39.40%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,376 449 18.90% 452 156 34.50%
School-Age Worker 412 60 14.60% 178 31 17.40%
School-Age Assistant 169 14 8.30% 81 10 12.30%
All Positions 8,270 1,316 15.90% 530 259 48.90%

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

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

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

Table should be read: "Of the 422 centers who had administrative directors, 57 or 13.5 percent had an administrative director who is fluent in a language other than English."

Note: See Note on Table 5

Professional Development

Illinois State Professional Development Programs

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

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

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

  • 99.2 percent (n = 525) of the 529 responding centers knew of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry;
  • 84.5 percent (n = 447) of the 529 responding center directors reported knowing of the Great START Program;
  • 89.2 percent (n = 472) of the 529 responding centers reported they had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program;
  • 94.7 percent (n = 501) of the 529 responding centers had heard of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials;
  • 63.5 percent (n = 336) of the 529 responding center directors reported they had heard of the Professional Development Advisor Program;
  • 95.1 percent (n = 503) of the 529 responding centers knew of the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS);
  • 83.9 percent (n = 444) of the 529 responding center directors knew of the consultants/specialists available through their local Child Care Resource & Referral agency.
  • 80.2 percent (n=424) of the 529 responding center directors knew of the online training opportunities available through the Gateways i-learning System.
  • 53.0 percent (n = 362) of all 683 responding centers had at least one Great START recipient in the past two years. Those 362 programs had a total of 1,255 recipients.
  • 28.8 percent (n = 197) of all 683 responding centers had at least one Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship participant for a total of 425 participants.

There was a notable increase in the percentage of center directors indicating awareness of Gateways Credentials, from 85.9 percent in 2013 to 94.7 in 2015. This increase may be attributed to the implementation of ExceleRate Illinois, which requires a certain portion of staff have Gateways Credentials in order to successfully meet the staff qualifications criteria.

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

  • "The [Great START] wage supplement program has been very beneficial in keeping staff interested in staying employed here."
  • "Great START and ExceleRate are wonderful programs that allow us to retain staff and raise awareness of quality professionals and programs."

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. An interesting finding is that there were notable increases in the percent of directors reporting they have staff professional development plans for their center and for their teaching/instructional staff. The 2013 report revealed 71.0 percent had professional development plans for their center and 56.7 percent had professional development plans for their staff. Compare to the 80.3 and 67.1 percent, respectively, in this report. One potential reason for this jump is the increased attention on the role of professional development planning as part of continuous quality improvement. In addition to being a primary focus within ExceleRate Illinois, there have been several efforts in Illinois over the last two years to bring greater awareness to continuous quality improvement through regional meetings, training opportunities, and technical assistance.

Professional Development Plan for Staff

  • 80.3 percent (n = 425) of the 529 directors who responded to the question reported they have a staff professional development plan for their center.
  • 67.1 percent (n = 355) of the 529 directors who responded reported they have an individual staff professional development plan for their teaching/instruction staff.
  • 95.3 percent (n = 504) of the 529 directors who responded to the question reported they have in-service training opportunities for their instructional staff.
  • 85.1 percent (n = 450) of the 529 directors who responded to the question reported they pay for conference training or registration.

Training Received

Of the 516 directors who responded to the question concerning training in early childhood education, child development, or health education:

  • 75.8 percent (n = 391) reported their staff had received training from a Child Care Resource and Referral agency;
  • 60.9 percent (n = 314) reported their staff had received training from a local community training; and
  • 66.5 percent (n = 343) reported their staff had received training at a professional association meeting or conference.
  • 86.6 percent (n=447) reported their staff had received training through an online training source.

Of the 528 directors who responded, 79.2 percent believe there are adequate training opportunities available to them and their staff. This is a large increase over the 60.7 percent who had responded favorably to this question in 2013. A possible explanation may be an increase in the amount of online training that has been made available and/or the use of it. For example, several new trainings were made available in the past 2 years through the Gateways to Opportunity i-learning System.

Peer Support

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

When asked, "Approximately how many other child care professionals in addition to your immediate staff did you speak to last week?", 56.4 percent (n = 339) of the 525 responding directors reported that in the past week they spoke to no more than two additional child care professionals in addition to their immediate center staff, 25.5 percent (n = 134) reported that they spoke to between three and five additional child care professionals, and 18.1 percent (n = 95) reported that they spoke to six or more additional child care professionals.

Directors were also asked to indicate how many other center professionals they know personally, in addition to their immediate center staff. Of the 525 directors who responded:

  • 61.5 percent (n = 323) reported knowing at least six other child care professionals;
  • 22.7 percent (n = 119) reported knowing three to five child care professionals; and
  • 15.8 percent (n = 83) directors reported knowing two or fewer child care professionals.

Staff Turnover

Turnover Rates

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

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

Table 8. Two-year center level turnover rate by position
Position Centers Employing Staff1 Centers who had Staff Leave in Past 2 Years1 Center Turnover Rate
Administrative Director 422 78 18.50%
Director/Teacher 361 102 28.30%
Early Childhood Teacher 500 339 67.80%
Early Childhood Assistant 452 280 61.90%
School-Age Worker 178 63 35.40%
School-Age Assistant 81 30 37.00%

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

Table should be read: "18.5 percent of centers employing administrative directors had one or more administrative director(s) leave their position in the past two years."

The percentage of centers experiencing staff turnover in the past two years increased significantly with regard to turnover in the administrative director and director/teacher positions (18.5 percent and 28.3 percent in 2015 compared to 11.8 percent and 19.4 percent in 2013). Centers experiencing turnover in the other positions remained fairly consistent with the previous survey.

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

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

Position Employees1 Staff Who Left in Past 2 Years1 Employee Turnover Rate
Administrative Director 572 94 16.40%
Director/Teacher 700 161 23.00%
Early Childhood Teacher 4,041 1,099 27.20%
Early Childhood Assistant 2,376 813 34.20%
School-Age Worker 412 102 24.80%
School-Age Assistant 169 55 32.50%

1From Table 5

Table should be read: "16.4 percent of administrative directors left their position within the two years preceding the survey."

As noticed in the percentage of centers experiencing turnover, the individual turnover rates for administrative directors and director/teacher positions were higher (16.4 percent and 23.0 percent) in this report compared to 2013 (9.5 percent and 15.9 percent).

Data regarding the two-year turnover rate by position has been collected since the FY 1997 Staffing Salary Survey (although the turnover rates were referred to as "replacement rates" in all surveys prior to FY 2003). Table 10 offers a comparison of these rates from FY 2005-FY 2015.

Table 10. Two-year turnover rate (individual position level) by position: FY 2005-FY 2015

Position FY 2005 FY 2007 FY 2009 FY 2011 FY 2013 FY 2015
Administrative Director 15% 12% 14% 12% 10% 16%
Director/Teacher 23% 19% 18% 20% 16% 23%
Early Childhood Teacher 32% 28% 28% 25% 26% 27%
Early Childhood Assistant 53% 41% 39% 36% 33% 34%
School-Age Worker 31% 37% 36% 30% 28% 25%
School-Age Assistant 18% 24% 44% 38% 34% 33%

Table should be read: "For every 100 administrative directors working in FY 2015, 16 administrative directors left in the two years preceding the survey."

Turnover rates appear to have increased for administrator/director positions and slightly increased across teacher/assistant positions since FY 2013. School-age positions saw a slight decrease.

Turnover Reasons

Center directors were given a list of reasons why employees might leave and were asked to rate the importance of each reason for each employee who left on a scale of 1 ("Not important" to 5 ("Very important"). Broken down by position, Table 11 represents the percentage of directors who ranked a given reason of leaving a position as 4 ("Important") or 5 ("Very important").

Table 11. Percentage of directors reporting importance of reason for leaving as "Important" or "Very Important" by position

Reason for Leaving Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
Took another position within our agency 21.60% 13.00% 17.40% 16.70% 11.10% 0.00%
Found a new job in child care 17.00% 25.00% 27.80% 15.20% 8.70% 0.00%
Found a new job in public schools 11.10% 21.10% 27.80% 6.00% 12.50% 5.00%
Found a new job outside of ECE 14.60% 17.20% 25.80% 23.30% 7.10% 0.00%
Dissatisfied - pay 23.10% 34.50% 47.20% 33.30% 16.70% 5.30%
Dissatisfied - benefits 15.80% 25.50% 26.80% 22.20% 4.80% 0.00%
Dissatisfied -professional development opportunities 2.90% 2.30% 4.80% 1.40% 5.00% 5.30%
Dissatisfied - schedule 14.30% 6.80% 9.90% 13.80% 0.00% 0.00%
Terminated / Fired 21.70% 12.70% 24.30% 24.40% 24.10% 14.30%
Laid off 6.50% 4.90% 9.70% 10.80% 5.00% 5.30%
Retired 14.60% 10.90% 13.40% 4.50% 15.80% 11.80%
Personal 19.20% 17.50% 27.70% 31.00% 16.00% 14.30%

Table should be read: "21.6 percent of responding centers indicated that the employee 'found a new job in child care' was an important/very important reason why administrative directors left their job within the past two years."

It is apparent from Table 11 that the least significant reason for staff exit was dissatisfaction with professional development opportunities. Consistent with the FY 2013 report, the most predominant reason acknowledged by directors for staff departure among most positions was dissatisfaction with pay. It is important to note that staff members that left were not directly asked about their reasons for leaving. Data in Table 11 represents directors' perceptions of reasons for exits.

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

  • "I think that it is sad that McDonald's workers make more than teachers and assistant teachers in this field. There has been a higher turnover rate due to the lack of security and compensation…"
  • "I feel our salary range is excellent, but it is difficult to pay what the public school system is paying."
  • "It is definitely more difficult to find qualified people for teaching positions. Many employees leave their positions because of low pay and lack of benefits."

Applicants for Vacant Positions

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

For each job position, directors were asked to report the number of IDCFS qualified applicants, program qualified applicants (e.g., met qualifications to work in Head Start), and non-qualified applicants who had applied for advertised vacancies within the past two years. Table 12 shows the number of applicants who applied for each position and the percentage of applicants qualified (either IDCFS or program qualified) for the position as reported by the 683 center directors participating in the survey. Comparing these results from those of the 2013 survey, the percentage of non-qualified applicants remained relatively constant, but increased significantly for the early childhood teacher position. This was not mirrored as dramatically in the percentage of applicants that were program-qualified. The percentage of IDCFS qualified applicants across all positions decreased from those reported in the FY 2013 survey. In FY 2015, 39.7 percent of early childhood teacher applicants were IDCFS-qualified, down 13.6 percent from 2013. The number of qualified assistant teachers increased nearly ten percent from FY 2013. More unqualified applicants may be applying to try to gain employment wherever possible. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of "unemployed persons per job opening" ratio was 2.0 in September 2014 compared to 6.2 in June 2009.11

Table 12. Percentage of applicants by position and qualifications

Qualification Status Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
IDCFS-qualified applicants 50.00% 45.40% 39.70% 59.50% 41.60% 52.10%
Program-qualified applicants 15.70% 12.30% 9.30% 9.20% 13.10% 12.40%
Non-qualified applicants 34.30% 42.20% 51.00% 31.40% 45.30% 35.50%
Total applicants 1,007 819 4,807 3,649 411 169

Table should be read: "50.0 percent of applicants for administrative director openings were IDCFS-qualified."

To document the length of time needed to fill vacant positions, directors were asked to respond to a four-point rating scale of 1 ("Less than one week") to 4 ("More than four weeks"). Directors (n = 455) reported an average time of three to four weeks for filling vacancies in all positions: administrative director (mean = 2.9; n = 91), director/teacher (mean = 3.0; n = 130), early childhood teacher (mean = 3.0; n = 350); early childhood assistant (mean = 2.7; n = 297), school-age worker (mean = 2.9; n = 90), and school-age assistant (mean = 2.6; n = 62).

Directors were also asked, "Has the length of time to fill a vacancy changed over the last two years?" For each staff category, directors were asked to rate any change using a five-point scale.12 The mean rating directors reported are as follows: 3.3 (n = 107) for administrative directors; 3.6 (n = 138) for director/teachers; 3.8 (n = 335) for early childhood teachers; 3.5 (n = 293) for early childhood assistants; 3.5 (n = 122) for school-age workers; and, 3.4 (n = 97) for school-age assistants. Across nearly all positions, directors reported that the length of time to fill a vacancy over the last two years had stayed the same.

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

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

Position Mean Rating
Admin. Director 3.8 (n = 84)
Director/Teacher 4.1 (n = 145)
Early Childhood Teacher 4.1 (n = 329)
Early Childhood Assistant 3.4 (n = 237)
School-Age Worker 3.9 (n = 96)
School-Age Assistant 3.3 (n = 69)

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

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

  • "Being able to hire qualified staff has become next to impossible. The candidates that are applying are either not qualified at all or if they are qualified, they are not willing to work for the pay that is available in the field."
  • "We are a very small school looking to expand with time. I have yet to find a director qualified teacher that wishes to work in my program. It is very discouraging for the future of my business."

11"Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey: Highlights", U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 13, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/jlt/jlt_labstatgraphs_september2014.pdf

12 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"

Hires for Vacant Positions

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

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

Met IDCFS Qualifications Exceeded IDCFS Qualifications Did Not Meet IDCFS Qualifications
Position Responding Centers Number of Hires Percent Responding Centers Number of Hires Percent Responding Centers Number of Hires Percent
Administrative Director 79 102 51.00% 78 94 47.00% 4 4 2.00%
Director/Teacher 94 186 55.50% 89 140 41.80% 6 9 2.70%
Early Childhood Teacher 225 734 52.70% 219 627 45.00% 17 32 2.30%
Early Childhood Assistant 223 774 65.90% 129 344 29.30% 27 56 4.80%
School-Age Worker 68 102 54.80% 37 71 38.20% 6 13 7.00%
School-Age Assistant 38 68 61.30% 15 32 28.80% 6 11 9.90%

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

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

Position Responding Centers Mean1 Median
Administrative Director 157 3.4 3
Director/Teacher 184 3.4 3
Early Childhood Teacher 359 3.3 3
Early Childhood Assistant 324 3.2 3
School-Age Worker 146 3.1 3
School-Age Assistant 121 3.1 3

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

Male Applicants

From providing a male role model for children to helping fathers become more involved in their child's care, males serve a myriad of important functions in early care and education. Directors (n = 381) indicated the number of males who applied for advertised positions within the past two years. Table 16 shows the results.

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

Position Responding Centers Male Applicants in Past Two Years Proportion of Male Applicants per Open Position
Administrative Director 253 37 3.70%
Director/Teacher 252 20 2.40%
Early Childhood Teacher 335 154 3.20%
Early Childhood Assistant 309 156 4.30%
School-Age Worker 141 27 6.60%
School-Age Assistant 136 21 12.40%
Total -- 415 3.80%

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.13 Overall, the number of male applicants for all positions decreased from 4.5 percent in FY 2013 to 3.8 percent as of this report.

Directors were further requested to specify the number of males they had hired within the past two years. Results displayed in Table 17 indicate that at least 40 percent of males who applied for each position were hired, with the exception of administrative director; however, less than one percent of all applicants hired for the position of administrative director were male and only one to two percent of director/teacher, early childhood teacher, and early childhood assistants were male. Overall, less than two percent (1.7 percent) of all new hires were male. The proportion of male hires per open position remained fairly consistent. The only increase or decrease greater than one percent was for school-age workers who went from a proportion of 5.6 percent in 2013 to 4.4 percent in 2015.

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

Position Responding Centers Male Applicants Hired in Past Two Years Percent of Male Hires out of Total Male Applicants Proportion of Male Hires per Open Position
Administrative Director 274 3 8.10% 0.30%
Director/Teacher 279 10 50.00% 1.20%
Early Childhood Teacher 313 62 40.30% 1.30%
Early Childhood Assistant 319 80 51.30% 2.20%
School-Age Worker 158 18 66.70% 4.40%
School-Age Assistant 155 17 81.00% 10.10%
Total -- 190 45.80% 1.70%

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

Non-English Fluency of Applicants

As expressed previously in this report, the diversity of languages spoken by children in child care centers suggests that centers have staff with which children can effectively communicate in their primary language. Directors were asked to identify primary language information for applicants and hired employees in the past two years, and the results are displayed in Table 18. More than 89 percent of the non-English fluent applicants applied for the position of early childhood teacher or assistant. There was not much change in the overall number of applicants fluent in another language between FY 2013 and this report.

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

Position Responding Centers Applicants Fluent in Other Language in Past 2 Years Proportion of Applicants Fluent in Other Language in Past 2 Years
Administrative Director 238 34 3.40%
Director/Teacher 250 43 5.30%
Early Childhood Teacher 319 422 8.80%
Early Childhood Assistant 293 314 8.60%
School-Age Worker 131 29 7.10%
School-Age Assistant 128 3 1.80%
Total -- 845 7.80%

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

  • 151 reported applicants who were fluent in Spanish
  • 23 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Polish
  • 22 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Hindi/Urdu
  • 11 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Arabic
  • 10 directors reported applicants who were fluent in Russian
  • Less than ten directors reported applicants who were fluent in the following languages: Chinese dialect, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, German, Farsi, French, Hebrew, and Yoruba.

Directors were then asked to indicate how many applicants fluent in a non-English language that had been hired as shown in Table 19. The percent of applicants fluent in other languages that were hired increased to 57.3 percent compared to 39.2 percent in FY 2013. The overall proportion of applicants fluent in another language hired out of all applicants also increased (3.1 percent in FY 2013).

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

Position Responding Centers Applicants Fluent in Other Language Hired in Past Two Years Percent of Applicants Fluent in Other Language Hired out of All Applicants Fluent in Other Language Proportion Applicants Fluent in Other Language Hired out of All Applicants
Administrative Director 252 13 38.20% 1.30%
Director/Teacher 264 31 72.10% 3.80%
Early Childhood Teacher 310 229 54.30% 4.80%
Early Childhood Assistant 303 198 63.10% 5.40%
School-Age Worker 147 10 34.50% 2.40%
School-Age Assistant 147 3 100.00% 1.80%
Total -- 484 57.30% 4.50%

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

  • 128 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Spanish
  • 16 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Polish
  • 19 directors reported hiring applicants who were fluent in Hindi/Urdu
  • Less than ten directors reported hiring individuals who were fluent the following languages: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Russian, German, Farsi, Hebrew, Arabic, French, and Yoruba.

Attraction to Child Care Careers and Employment

In order to explore why many are disinclined 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"). "Low Salaries" and "Inadequate Benefits" (both with a median of 5.0 and a mean greater than 4.0) were listed as the top two reasons that deterred people from the field of early care and education. Other reasons which yielded a mean or median of 4.0 or higher were: "Better Career Opportunities in Other Child Care Professions," "Child Care Not Seen as Professional Career", and "Child Care Not Respected as Profession." These results are consistent with previous Salary and Staffing Survey reports.

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

Reason Responding Centers Mean Median
Career Opportunities Not Known 476 3.06 3
Better Career Opportunities in Other Child Care Professions 477 3.95 4
Child Care Not Seen as Professional Career 476 3.93 4
Low Salaries 476 4.67 5
Inadequate Benefits 475 4.43 5
Openings Not Advertised 477 2.99 3
Child Care Not Respected as Profession 476 3.89 4

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

  • "With the financial problems facing child care workers due to loss of program funding, I am saddened that I am unable to reward my staff with a pay increase as we have done in the past for cost of living and salary increases based on educational advancement. I must wonder how long my efficient, qualified staff will be able to work under these conditions."
  • "This issue has long been a factor in the child care field. We've lost several teachers to the local school districts due to higher pay and better employee benefits."

Other directors addressed how child care is not respected as a profession:

"Early childhood education is not seen as a professional field. Career opportunities in centers are not generally known by people…this career…is not respected as a professional and salaries are low, therefore it is not an attractive field to enter."

Center Turnover

Center turnover was measured by drawing data from the statewide provider database on two separate occasions. The number of practitioners actively providing care on June 30, 2013 (June 30 represents the end of a fiscal year) was compared to the number in that same category on June 30, 2015. Table 21 displays the number of providers who are currently providing care, the number of new providers who were added to the database during 2015 and the number of providers who were active in the provider database as of June 30, 2015. As Table 21 shows, there was a slight increase in the number of center providers for the two-year period and a slightly greater increase of total licensed capacity.

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

Active 2013 Still Active 2015 Percent Change New Providers 2015 Percent Change Active 2015 Percent Change
Active Providers 3,173 2,879 -9.30% 340 11.80% 3,219 1.40%
Total Licensed Capacity 243,106 229,522 -5.60% 18,917 8.20% 248,439 2.20%

Staff Demographics

In previous surveys, in order to assess staff demographics and understand the effects of the economy on the child care industry, directors were supplied with a supplemental worksheet14 and asked to complete it for all staff members who were employed either full- or part-time in an IDCFS defined position (director and classroom personnel). These data were the best available information at the time. The launch of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry in July 2009 provided Illinois with a workforce data system that could answer many of these same questions. In September 2012, IDCFS mandated that all licensed child care center and family child care home staff/providers join and maintain current membership in the Gateways Registry. This policy helped to ensure that nearly the entire licensed child care workforce is in the data system. For that reason, the FY 2015 report is the first where the supplemental worksheet was discontinued and administrative data from the Gateways Registry were used to provide results about staff demographics, education, and wages.

According to the Gateways Registry, there are 38,657 individuals working in licensed child care centers in Illinois and 35,290 in IDCFS defined positions.

Table 22. Number of employees per IDCFS defined position (n = 35,290)

Position Employees Percentages
Administrative Director 4,341 12.30%
Director/Teacher * *
Early Childhood Teacher 16,458 46.60%
Early Childhood Assistant 11,998 34.00%
School-Age Worker 1,673 4.70%
School-Age Assistant 820 2.30%
Total 35,290 100.00%

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

For the purposes of this survey full-time employment was defined as 40 hours per week.15 (Neither the Illinois Department of Labor nor the federal Fair Labor Standards Act16 distinguishes between part-time and full-time employees.) When completing the Gateways Registry membership form, individuals were asked to indicate the number of hours worked per week. Results indicate that overall, 59.4 percent of listed employees were defined as full-time and 40.6 percent as part-time.

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

Position Full-Time Part-Time n
Administrative Director 76.60% 23.40% 3,917
Director/Teacher * * *
Early Childhood Teacher 64.10% 35.90% 14,101
Early Childhood Assistant 47.60% 52.40% 10,216
School-Age Worker 43.20% 56.80% 1,520
School-Age Assistant 23.60% 76.40% 749
Total 58.10% 41.90% 35,290

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

Table should be read: "76.6 percent of administrative directors were full-time whereas 23.4 percent were part time."

14The staff worksheet requested detailed information about each employee: position, age, primary language, education, certification, age group worked with, hourly wage, hours worked per week, start date, and benefits.

15The work week was defined as 40 hours because the survey delineates a full-day as 8 hours/day.

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

Education and Credentials

Individuals report their educational achievements in the Gateways Registry and can update their record as they gain more education. In addition, they can also report credentials and certifications they have earned, such as the Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.17 The educational requirements necessary to be director or teacher-qualified (see Appendix C) are stipulated in the IDCFS licensing standards for day care centers. In summary, directors can qualify through 60 semester hours of coursework from an accredited college or university [18 semester hours must be directly related to child care (ECE) or child development (CD)], or can qualify through a combination of education and work experience. Similarly, early childhood teachers can either complete 60 hours of coursework from an accredited college or university (six semester hours must be directly related to ECE or CD) or qualify through a combination of education and work experience. Directors of school-age programs and school-age workers are required to have coursework directly related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping, or other related fields.

Table 24 shows that over 90 percent of all directors attained some level of college education. A large percent (61.4 percent) had earned their bachelor or master's degree, which are educational milestones that exceed IDCFS licensing standards. Over 84 percent of early childhood teachers attained some level of college education; moreover, 23.8 percent had achieved an associate degree and 50.5 percent a bachelor's degree or higher (which also exceeds licensing standards for that position). Of early childhood teachers with a bachelor's degree or higher, 9.6 percent reported having a Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.

More than one quarter of early childhood teachers (28.5 percent) had earned a degree in early childhood education or child development (ECE/CD)18. Close to half (43.3 percent) of early childhood assistants and 35.6 percent of school-age assistants had received education beyond a high school or GED degree.

There are also a number of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials that may be earned by individuals working in the field of ECE, as shown in Table 25. These credentials recognize the education, experience, and professional contributions of early childhood practitioners. Gateways Credentials are also a key component of ExceleRate Illinois, the state's Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS). The ExceleRate Circles of Quality, above the Licensed Circle, require that a percentage of personnel have achieved a Gateways Credential19.

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

Education Level Admin. Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant All Positions
High School Diploma/GED 7.80% * 12.70% 56.70% 21.90% 64.40% 28.30%
CDA, CCP1 or Montessori credential2 1.50% * 3.00% 2.20% 1.20% 1.20% 2.40%
Some College in ECE/CD3, no degree 4.90% * 5.30% 3.50% 2.70% 1.20% 4.50%
Some College in other field, no degree 0.80% * 1.80% 3.20% 2.10% 4.10% 2.20%
Approved Community College ECE Certificate 2.00% * 2.90% 2.10% 1.50% 0.70% 2.40%
Associate's in ECE/CD 12.40% * 13.40% 6.30% 3.90% 1.70% 10.20%
Associate's in other field 9.20% * 10.40% 8.00% 10.70% 7.00% 9.40%
Bachelor's in ECE/CD 12.00% * 12.40% 2.40% 6.00% 1.20% 8.50%
Bachelor's in other field 29.60% * 28.90% 13.40% 39.40% 15.30% 24.00%
Master's in ECE/CD 6.00% * 2.70% 0.40% 1.30% 0.10% 2.20%
Master's in other field 13.80% * 6.50% 1.80% 9.30% 2.90% 5.90%
N 4,110 * 15,590 10,975 1,577 725 32,977

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

Table should be read, "Out of 4,110 administrative directors for whom education and credential information is available, 13.8 percent had a Master's degree in a field other than early childhood education or child development."

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

2American Montessori Society or Association Montessori International

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

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

Position ECE Credential Infant/Toddler Credential Illinois Director Credential
Administrative Director 18.80% 21.30% 76.80%
Director/Teacher * * *
Early Childhood Teacher 62.90% 60.80% 19.60%
Early Childhood Assistant 16.10% 16.30% 2.60%
School-Age Worker 2.10% 1.50% 1.10%
School-Age Assistant 0.10% 0.20% 0.00%
N 1,149 541 271

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

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

17Known previously as a Type 04 (early childhood) teaching certificate, the PEL with an early childhood endorsement is granted by the Illinois State Board of Education to educators who have earned a BA degree in early childhood and passed all state exams and requirements to teach in a publicly funded program serving children birth through age eight.

18This figure is likely under-reported as records that did not have a major listed were coded as "other" for purposes of this analysis.

19At the time when this survey was conducted, there was beginning to be a strong increase in the number of Gateways Credentials earned, but the majority of the increase came after the date on which data for this report were pulled.

Duration of Employment with Current Employer

In previous salary and staffing surveys, directors were asked to record the number of years of paid experience each staff member had in the field of early care and education. With the change to using administrative data from the Gateways Registry for staff-related data in this report, a corresponding data field is not available. The Gateways Registry does collect information on how long individuals have been employed in their current place of employment, based on capturing their start date of employment. Table 26 shows that among all child care practitioners, the average years employed by their current employer was 4.4 years (median = 2.0 years). Administrative directors have been employed in the same program for longer than early childhood teachers and school-age workers, who in turn have been employed longer than early childhood and school-age assistants.

Table 26. Number of years employed by current employer

Position Mean Median n Range
Administrative Director 8.1 5 4,283 1.0-49.0
Director/Teacher * * * *
Early Childhood Teacher 4.4 2 16,373 1.0-47.0
Early Childhood Assistant 3.1 1 11,883 1.0-42.0
School-Age Worker 3.9 2 1,657 1.0-40.0
School-Age Assistant 2.6 1 808 1.0-30.0
Total 4.4 2 35,004 1.0-49.0

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

Salary and Wages

Salary Scale

As part of the main survey instrument (online and paper), directors were asked "Do you have a salary scale that you share with your staff?" Of the 529 directors who responded to this item, 38.5 percent (n = 263) indicated that they did. When asked how salary scales were differentiated:

  • 44.2 percent (n = 234) of 529 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by level of education,
  • 38.4 percent (n = 203) of 529 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by level of experience,
  • 10.8 percent (n = 57) of 529 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated by additional or supplemental training, and
  • 6.8 percent (n = 36) of 529 respondents reported a salary scale differentiated on some other basis. Other salary scales were based on length of employment/years of service, union contracts, pay grades set by campus/college human resources, job title/position description, minimum wage, responsibility, salary ranges based on position, and seniority.

Hourly Wage by Position

As part of the Gateways Registry, individuals have the option to report their hourly wages and/or annual salary with their employment data. The average hourly wage for all employees (n = 22,847 employees) was $11.74 (median = $11.00) (f = 2079.78, p < .001). Table 27 depicts hourly wages by position. Previous reports also collected wage data, but it was provided by the director completing the survey on behalf of their staff. Caution should be exercised if comparing data from previous reports to the current report for this reason. In most cases, there is a decrease in the average hourly wage across nearly all positions which is most likely due to the analysis being based on a much larger population than previous surveys.

Table 27. Hourly wage by position

Position Mean Median n
Admin. Director $15.71 $15.00 2,379
Director/Teacher * * *
Early Childhood Teacher $12.36 $12.00 10,365
Early Childhood Assistant $9.98 $9.50 8,311
School-Age Worker $11.80 $11.00 1,174
School-Age Assistant $9.64 $9.00 618

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

Table 27 also indicates that early childhood assistants and school-age assistants received lower wages than staff in other positions. Typically, these are positions in early childhood that require less education and experience to enter and yield compensation to match. The median hourly wages earned by early childhood assistants and school-age assistants were $9.50 and $9.00 respectively (the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25).20

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

Comparison of Hourly Wages from FY 2011-FY 2015

In Figure 1, the mean hourly wages for the positions of director/teacher, early childhood teacher, and early childhood assistant are compared over time. These figures have not been adjusted for inflation. The average hourly wage for early childhood teachers and assistants remain fairly constant since 2011. The average hourly wages for administrative directors have fluctuated21. Still, as far as the consumer price index goes, administrative directors would need to earn $18.42 per hour, early childhood teachers $13.20 per hour, and early childhood assistants $10.44 per hour in 2015 to have the same buying power as $17.48, $12.53, and $9.91 had back in 2011.22 Overall, child care center staff wage increases are generally not keeping up with inflation.

Figure 1. Comparison of mean hourly wages: FY 2011 - FY 2015

Figure 1 Comparison of mean hourly wages FY2011-FY2015

Administrative Director Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant
FY 2011 $17.48 $12.53 $9.91
FY 2013 $20.06 $12.55 $10.05
FY 2015 $15.71 $12.36 $9.98

The salary data from the Gateways Registry can be compared to the most current Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)23. Although the data may not be strictly comparable, the national figures provide some context for interpreting the hourly wage of child care personnel in Illinois.

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

Category 1 (11-9031): Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Center/Program. Description of position: "Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic and non-academic activities of preschool and child care centers or programs." As of May

2014 the mean hourly wage for this position was $24.86 and the median was $22.21 (mean = $15.71; median = $15.00).

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 2014 the mean hourly wage for a preschool teacher was $14.67 and the median was $13.16 (mean = $12.36; median = $12.00).

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 2014, the mean hourly wage for an assistant teacher was $12.96.24

Category 4 (39-9011): Child Care Workers. Description of position: "Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and child care institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play." As of May 2014 the mean hourly wage for a child care worker was $11.10 and the median was $10.49 (mean = $9.98; median = $9.50).

21The decreases in hourly wage noticed in 2015 are likely due to the fact that the 2015 analysis is based on administrative data from the Gateways Registry, which is a considerably larger population than what was represented by previous surveys.

22CPI Inflation Calculator: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

23From "May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Illinois", Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm

24The annual mean wage listed in BLS was used to derive the hourly mean wage for Teacher Assistants. Comparison of median hourly wages are not available.

Hourly Wage by Full- Versus Part-Time Status

Summing across all staff positions with wage data available (n = 22,848 employees), hourly wages are higher for full-time compared to part-time employees. Full-time employees averaged $12.17 per hour compared to $11.24 per hour for part-time staff. The median hourly wage for full-time staff was $11.37 and part-time staff was $10.25 per hour (f = 412.4, p < .001). Table 28 shows the breakdown of hourly wages by position and employment status. The findings across all positions show that staff make more per hour when employed on a full-time versus part-time basis. This is a notable shift from the trend seen in the FY 2007 through FY 2013 reports which found just the opposite for early childhood teachers and assistants. One explanation may be that certain centers (e.g., nursery schools) that typically employ part-time staff may have been overrepresented in the survey population. Using data from the Gateways Registry may be more reflective of the population as a whole.

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

Employment Status
Full-Time Part-Time
Position Mean Median n Mean Median n
Administrative Director $16.06 $15.00 1,743 $14.89 $14.00 586
Director/Teacher * * * * * *
Teacher $12.39 $12.00 6,400 $12.29 $11.54 3,581
Assistant Teacher $10.07 $9.50 3,774 $9.92 $9.25 4,050
School-Age Assistant $12.47 $12.00 464 $11.40 $10.55 648
School-Age Worker $9.66 $9.50 137 $9.63 $9.00 437

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

Staff Experience and Education

Table 29 (n = 22,659; f = 71.89, p < .001) reveals that higher wages accompany increased years of employment with the same employer. Table 30 shows wages typically increase as level of education increases.

Table 29. Hourly wages by years employed with current employer by position (n = 22,659)

Admin. Director Director/ Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School- Age Worker School-Age Assistant
Years Employed Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n
0-2 years $14.57 $13.50 823 * * * $11.93 $11.50 5782 $9.74 $9.00 5864 $11.24 $10.50 724 $9.49 $9.00 468
3-5 years $15.14 $14.47 500 * * * $12.23 $11.75 2054 $9.96 $9.50 1184 $12.30 $11.78 220 $9.97 $9.15 79
6-9 years $15.73 $15.00 428 * * * $12.81 $12.25 1345 $10.69 $10.25 644 $12.25 $11.93 113 $10.17 $9.50 37
10-15 years $16.85 $15.98 300 * * * $13.76 $13.08 665 $11.40 $11.00 343 $13.37 $13.05 66 $10.95 $10.17 16
16-20 years $17.60 $17.29 160 * * * $14.30 $14.00 278 $12.53 $12.25 119 $14.23 $13.07 18 $10.50 $10.25 7
20 + years $19.40 $19.09 140 * * * $15.87 $14.77 186 $12.82 $11.93 72 $15.97 $13.34 22 - - -

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

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

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

Admin. Director Director/ Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School- Age Worker School-Age Assistant
Level of Education Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n
High School/GED $13.58 $12.50 209 * * * $10.98 $10.50 1,320 $9.43 $9.00 4,505 $9.35 $9.00 360 $9.90 $9.25 6,654
Child Development Associate** $14.65 $13.85 37 * * * $11.38 $11.07 280 $10.10 $9.80 158 $9.68 $9.88 6 $11.20 $10.75 496
Some College in ECE/CD, no degree $14.43 $14.00 99 * * * $11.25 $11.00 494 $10.26 $10.00 231 $9.47 $9.50 8 $11.33 $11.00 862
Approved Community College ECE Certificate $14.59 $13.50 45 * * * $11.57 $11.25 298 $10.28 $10.00 165 $9.95 $10.00 3 $11.39 $10.95 529
Associate's in ECE/CD $14.14 $13.09 321 * * * $11.92 $11.75 1,410 $11.55 $11.50 418 $10.62 $10.48 10 $12.16 $12.00 2,204
Associate's in other field $13.94 $13.50 225 * * * $11.43 $11.00 1,074 $10.29 $10.00 586 $9.95 $9.50 41 $11.30 $10.75 2,046
Bachelor's in ECE/CD $16.92 $16.00 287 * * * $13.90 $13.24 1,138 $11.83 $11.50 173 $11.35 $10.50 6 $14.17 $13.50 1,670
Bachelor's in other field $16.35 $15.04 665 * * * $12.83 $12.15 2,821 $11.18 $11.00 1,001 $10.70 $10.50 72 $12.89 $12.00 4,994
Master's in ECE/CD $19.83 $19.71 99 * * * $16.51 $15.35 209 $12.94 $13.00 25 - - - $17.15 $16.00 349
Master's in other field $18.05 $17.17 238 * * * $14.30 $13.40 589 $12.06 $11.09 123 $10.40 $10.00 18 $14.82 $13.75 1,057

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

**Category also includes Child Care Professional Certificate or Montessori (American Montessori or Association Montessori International) credential.

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

Just as Table 29 demonstrates a logical pattern between hourly wage and number of years employed at the same program (generally, the longer one is employed at a site, the more one will get paid), Table 30 displays the logical pattern between hourly wage and education. Specifically, increased education and experience typically lead to higher hourly wages. In Table 30 (n = 21,337; f = 697.79, p < .001), educational levels are defined by degree earned and the major field of study. For early childhood teachers and assistant teachers, those who hold a degree (associate, bachelor's, master's) in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD) earn significantly more than those who hold the same degree but in another field or major (p < 0.001).

Center Characteristics and Hourly Wage

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

Accredited centers could hold accreditation from one of several early care and education associations: the National Association for the Education of Young Children Accreditation, the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation, the National Association of Child Care Professionals, and the Council of Accreditation for School-Age Care. A center was considered accredited if they had one or more of the former accreditations. Table 31 demonstrates that, overall, without regard to position, there was a significant difference in the wages paid by accredited versus non-accredited centers. Accredited centers paid staff significantly more (mean = $12.71; median = $12.00) than non-accredited centers (mean = $11.64; median = $11.00) (f = 202.112, p < .001).

Table 31. Hourly wages by position by accreditation status

Accreditation Status
Not Accredited Accredited
Position Mean Median n Mean Median n
Administrative Director $15.54 $14.90 2,214 $18.00 $17.00 165
Director/Teacher * * * * * *
Early Childhood Teacher $12.23 $11.75 9,286 $13.48 $12.50 1,079
Early Childhood Assistant $9.90 $9.25 7,542 $10.74 $10.15 769
School-Age Worker $11.75 $11.00 1,043 $12.26 $12.00 131
School-Age Assistant $9.58 $9.00 567 $10.32 $9.75 51

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

The ExceleRate Illinois QRIS recognizes program quality achievements of child care providers. The system has Circles of Quality which providers can achieve by meeting required criteria for each circle. Licensed child care centers who have earned the Gold Circle of Quality have reached the highest level of ExceleRate.25 Hourly wage and position of employees in the Gateways Registry were compared to the level of ExceleRate participation the employee's center had reached. The comparisons can be seen in Table 32.

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

Administrative Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant
ExceleRate Circle of Quality Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n
Licensed $15.57 $14.90 1,971 * * * $12.43 $12.00 7,655 $10.04 $9.50 6,145
Bronze - - - * * * - - - - - -
Silver $15.01 $14.50 176 * * * $11.13 $10.80 1,068 $9.17 $8.85 981
Gold $17.46 $16.42 232 * * * $12.85 $12.22 1,642 $10.36 $10.00 1,185

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

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

As shown in Table 32, there was an overall significant difference in the wages paid by ExceleRate participating versus non-ExceleRate participating licensed child care centers (f = 41.83, p < .001), with wages being highest in programs with a Gold Circle of Quality.

Not-for-profit programs paid a significantly higher hourly wage than for-profit programs. Not-for-profit staff averaged $12.28 (median = $11.25) per hour as compared to for-profit staff who averaged $11.24 per hour (mean = $10.50) (f = 111.66, p < .001). Table 33 depicts hourly wage by position and legal status (for profit vs. non-profit).

Table 33. Hourly wages by position by center profit status (n = 5,206)

Profit Status
For Profit Not For Profit
Position Mean Median n Mean Median n
Administrative Director $15.93 $15.00 286 $17.73 $17.31 93
Director/Teacher * * * * * *
Early Childhood Teacher $11.83 $11.40 1737 $13.19 $12.50 710
Early Childhood Assistant $9.58 $9.05 1385 $10.38 $9.93 555
School-Age Worker $11.55 $11.06 234 $12.02 $11.17 89
School-Age Assistant $9.56 $9.39 75 $10.57 $10.17 42

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

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

Table 34. Hourly wages by position by Service Delivery Area (SDA) (n = 20,289)

Position
Administrative Director Director/Teacher Early Childhood Teacher Early Childhood Assistant School-Age Worker School-Age Assistant
SDA Number with CCR&R Office Location Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n Mean Median n
1. Rockford $15.78 $15.00 48 * * * $12.09 $11.02 213 $9.39 $8.75 138 $11.31 $11.00 28 $8.93 $8.40 9
2. DeKalb $15.22 $14.78 30 * * * $11.09 $10.42 178 $8.90 $8.50 185 $9.44 $9.30 21 $8.90 $9.00 5
3. Gurnee $17.35 $16.50 171 * * * $13.40 $13.00 693 $10.39 $10.00 469 $12.75 $12.50 81 $10.42 $10.00 51
4. Glendale Heights $16.06 $15.39 104 * * * $12.77 $12.50 441 $9.87 $9.97 310 $12.41 $12.00 66 $9.81 $9.60 26
5. Joliet $15.10 $14.00 185 * * * $11.91 $11.75 910 $9.69 $9.25 537 $11.72 $11.00 134 $9.36 $9.00 56
6. Chicago $16.20 $15.00 1021 * * * $13.18 $12.50 3935 $10.50 $10.00 3638 $12.60 $12.00 427 $9.87 $8.25 287
7. Davenport $13.56 $13.00 38 * * * $10.52 $10.00 222 $9.00 $8.50 158 $9.65 $9.68 6 $8.35 $8.20 5
8. Peoria $14.48 $13.94 88 * * * $11.02 $10.45 487 $9.19 $8.75 345 $10.01 $10.00 42 $9.21 $8.88 16
9. Bloomington $15.32 $15.00 53 * * * $11.63 $11.00 187 $9.06 $8.75 240 $10.68 $10.50 27 $8.83 $8.55 18
10. Urbana $15.19 $14.53 76 * * * $11.40 $10.81 418 $9.68 $9.25 385 $10.28 $9.50 28 $9.14 $9.00 15
11. Charleston $12.31 $11.64 13 * * * $9.87 $9.25 58 $9.07 $8.59 41 $9.06 $9.00 8 $8.83 $8.75 3
12. Quincy $13.53 $12.18 12 * * * $10.59 $10.71 78 $8.63 $8.43 25 $10.19 $9.72 10 - - -
13. Springfield $13.74 $13.00 56 * * * $10.70 $10.25 319 $9.11 $8.79 295 $10.44 $10.00 30 $9.08 $8.70 13
14. Granite City $13.87 $13.00 144 * * * $10.16 $9.85 609 $8.95 $8.50 524 $9.69 $9.50 71 $8.76 $8.50 43
15. Mt Vernon $12.67 $11.20 32 * * * $11.19 $9.50 107 $9.28 $8.50 115 $9.19 $9.00 11 - - -
16. Carterville $13.94 $13.94 37 * * * $10.10 $9.40 190 $8.73 $8.50 170 $9.00 $9.00 13 $8.59 $8.35 7

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

*Director/Teacher role was included within the overall Administrative Director category in the 2015 Gateways Registry dataset.

Several directors commented about the inadequate salaries offered to child care personnel with one offering the following comment.

"I feel that the salary I can afford to offer to my employees is not comparable to what is expected of them to perform. They are expected to provide young children the nurturing and learning experiences that are needed to help them achieve their highest potential. I feel like the first five years of a child's life are the most important years in which their life foundation is laid. Yet the pay for those people that are providing for them is not nearly comparable to their importance…the funds that parent tuition brings in cannot cover these costs."

25See the ExceleRateTM Illinois website for more information: http://www.excelerateillinois.com/about/what-is-excelerate-illinois

Benefits

Directors where asked about the types of benefits available to their employees. This FY 2015 survey included an expanded list of benefits to get a more complete picture of what is offered in licensed center-based settings. As Table 35 shows, over 80 percent of responding centers offered paid holidays and vacation to its employees. Additionally, three-fourths offered paid sick days. In terms of wage increases, two-thirds of centers offered periodic increases in wages based on performance and educational attainment, while less than half offered yearly cost-of-living increases. More than eighty percent of centers offered free or reduced fee child care to their employees and over 80 percent offered payment or reimbursement for educational or training expenses.26 Less than half of the responding centers offer health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance or retirement plans/pensions.

Table 35. Benefits offered to staff

Benefit Programs Responding Programs Offering Benefit % Programs Offering Benefit
Health Insurance 403 186 46.20%
Dental Insurance 402 158 39.30%
Disability Insurance 401 139 34.70%
Life Insurance 401 157 39.20%
Retirement or Pension Plan 406 175 43.10%
Paid Sick Days 402 302 75.10%
Paid Personal/Vacation Days 406 355 87.40%
Paid Holidays 406 337 83.00%
Paid Time Off for Trainings 405 277 68.40%
Free Child Care 398 64 16.10%
Reduced Child Care Fees 407 270 66.30%
Performance-Based Wage Increases 407 270 66.30%
Cost-of-Living Wage Increases 403 190 47.10%
Wage Increase for Educational Advance 406 259 63.80%
Payment/Reimbursement for Educational or Training Expenses 407 332 81.60%

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

  • "It is very difficult to offer all the benefits [listed in the survey] in a smaller center."
  • "It is hard to offer exceptional salaries and benefits because parents are not willing to pay the tuition prices needed to cover those expenses."
  • "Tuition fees alone cannot support the current requirements for what is expected to be considered even an adequate child care facility. By that I include staff benefits because those in turn benefit the children by attracting high quality staff."

26Professionalizing the early childhood field and workforce is supported by various state initiatives. Center-paid educational stipends help staff meet their IDCFS requirement of 15 training hours per calendar year as well as assist centers to meet qualifications for an ExceleRate Circle of Quality. Some educational opportunities can be reimbursed through Professional Development and Improvement Funds. Money is also available through the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program to help child care practitioners meet their educational goals. 

Profile of Family Child Care Home Providers: Key Findings

A total of 9,024 IDCFS licensed family child care and group providers were invited to complete the FY 2015 Salary and Staffing Survey. A total of 1,154 surveys (for a response rate of 12.8 percent) were completed: 1,034 surveys were completed online; 120 were completed in the form of a paper document. Table 36 presents the response rates by CCR&R service delivery area (SDA) (see Appendix B).

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

Completed Surveys

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

Service Delivery Area CCR&R Main Office Location Providers Surveys Completed Percentage of Surveys Completed
SDA 1 Rockford 521 80 15.40%
SDA 2 DeKalb 411 70 17.00%
SDA 3 Gurnee 623 60 9.60%
SDA 4 Glendale Heights 425 49 11.50%
SDA 5 Joliet 487 64 13.10%
SDA 6 Chicago 3,516 416 11.80%
SDA 7 Davenport 355 44 12.40%
SDA 8 Peoria 259 30 11.60%
SDA 9 Bloomington 239 34 14.20%
SDA 10 Urbana 547 62 11.30%
SDA 11 Charleston 107 21 19.60%
SDA 12 Quincy 309 41 13.30%
SDA 13 Springfield 384 64 16.70%
SDA 14 Granite City 421 55 13.10%
SDA 15 Mt. Vernon 258 43 16.70%
SDA 16 Carterville 162 21 13.00%
Totals 9,024 1,154 12.80%

Demographics

Gender

Nearly all of the family child care practitioners who completed this item on the survey were female (99.3 percent; 947 of 954 respondents).

Age

Family child care practitioners were asked to identify their age. As seen in Table 37, the preponderance of respondents were 30 years or older. The most frequently reported range of age was 50-59 years. The least frequently reported range of age was "under 20 years" (IDCFS requires all "caregivers" in a day care home to be 18 or older) and was closely followed by the age range of 20-29 years of age. The category "60 years or over" accounted for 22.2 percent of all respondents.

Table 37. Respondents' age (n = 955)

Age Range* n Percentage
Under 20 years 1 0.10%
20-29 years 19 2.00%
30-39 years 164 17.20%
40-49 years 250 26.20%
50-59 years 309 32.40%
60 years or over 212 22.20%

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

Ethnicity

Practitioners were asked to self-identify their race/ethnicity. As Table 38 displays, 50.2 percent of family child care providers self-identified as "White", 31.5 percent as "African-American", and 14.9 percent self-identified as "Hispanic/Latino." When compared to population data in Illinois, African Americans are over-represented among licensed family child care home practitioners.27

Table 38. Respondents' race/ethnicity (n = 953)

Race/Ethnicity n Percentage
African American 300 31.50%
Asian/Pacific Islander 10 1.00%
Caucasian/White 478 50.20%
Hispanic/Latino 142 14.90%
Native American 2 0.20%
Multi-Racial 7 0.70%
Other 14 1.50%

Respondents were also asked to identify their primary language. The majority of respondents (86.4 percent; n = 821) indicated that their primary language was English. As to the extent of other primary languages reported for the 13.6 percent of providers who spoke a language other than English, the primary language spoken was Spanish. Out of the 950 reporting providers, 11.8 percent (n = 112) indicated their primary language was Spanish, and 1.3 percent (n = 12) indicated their primary language was another language. The additional languages providers listed included Assyrian, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindu/Urdu, Kyrgyz, and Polish. There were an additional 0.5 percent that did not specify a primary language.

27According to 2014 data from the Census Bureau http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17000.html, 14.7 percent of the state population self-identified race/ethnicity as African American and 16.7 percent of the state population self-identified race/ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino.

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 14.5 years (n = 945; median = 13.0 years; range = 1 to 44 years).

There is often movement within the field of child care; therefore, practitioners were asked whether they were previously employed in other child care and education settings (i.e., child care center or public school). Out of the 957 responding practitioners, 31.5 percent (n = 301) had worked in another child care and education setting for an average of 7.8 years (median = 5.0 years; range = 1 to 38 years).

Education

In the 2015 survey, providers were not asked about their highest level of education. Instead, administrative data were pulled from the Gateways to Opportunity Registry at the time when the survey was administered in order capture the education level of licensed family child care providers. Table 39 displays the frequency of educational attainment by the licensed family child care providers active in the Gateways Registry as of March 1, 2015. (When referring to Table 39, please note: ECE = Early Childhood Education and CD = Child Development.)

Table 39. Education level of licensed family child care providers (n = 4,244)

Educational Level n Percentage
High School Diploma/GED 2320 54.70%
Child Development Associate 153 3.60%
Some college in ECE/CD*, no degree 118 2.80%
Some college in other field, no degree 179 4.20%
Approved Community College ECE Certificate 97 2.30%
Associate's in ECE/CD 294 6.90%
Associate's in other field 352 8.30%
Bachelor's in ECE/CD 86 2.00%
Bachelor's in other field 473 11.10%
Master's or higher in ECE/CD 27 0.60%
Master's or higher in other field 145 3.40%

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

After January 1, 2011, all new licensed family child care providers were required to have proof of a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate. This mandate is waived for family child care providers already licensed prior to the first day of 2011. Almost half of respondents reported an education level beyond a high school diploma or GED; 15.2 percent reported they had an Associate's degree, 13.1 percent indicated they had a Bachelor's degree, and 4.0 percent indicated that they had a Master's degree or higher. Out of the 4,867 family child care providers in the dataset, 0.5 percent reported to the Gateways Registry that they had earned their Professional Educator License (PEL) with an early childhood endorsement.28

28Known previously as a Type 04 (early childhood) teaching certificate, the PEL with an early childhood endorsement is granted by the Illinois State Board of Education to educators who have earned a BA degree in early childhood and passed all state exams and requirements to teach in a publicly funded program serving children birth through age eight.

Accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois Status

Utilizing information from NACCRRAware and the Data Tracking Program (DTP), variables were created to indicate the accreditation and ExceleRate Illinois status of family child care home providers who participated in the Salary and Staffing Survey. In FY 2015, 5.0 percent (n = 58) of family child care providers responding to the Salary and Staffing Survey were accredited through the National Association for Family Child Care Providers (NAFCC),29 the primary national accrediting body for family child care homes.

In addition, 7.5 percent (86 out of 1,154) of family child care providers responding to the Salary and Staffing Survey participated in the Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) Program. Effective July 2015, all licensed family child care programs transitioned to the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS) and the Circles of Quality represented by survey respondents were:

  • 92.5 percent (n = 1,068) were at the Licensed Circle of Quality
  • 7.2 percent (n = 83) were at the Silver Circle of Quality
  • 0.3 percent (n=3) were at the Gold Circle of Quality

According to the survey sample, participation in ExceleRate at a level higher than the Licensed Circle of Quality was significantly associated with achievement of NAFCC Accreditation (p < .001, Fisher's exact test) such that 3.7 percent of non-accredited providers were also participating in ExceleRate whereas 77.6 percent of NAFCC accredited providers were participating in ExceleRate.

29Per the online search tool at http://www.nafcc.org, there are 1,395 NAFCC Accredited providers and 214 (15.3 percent) are from Illinois.

Demographics of Children Served

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

Table 40: Demographics of children served by race/ethnicity (n = 1,099)

Child Race/Ethnicity n Mean Median Range
African-American 1,099 31.30% 0.00% 0-100%
Asian/Pacific Islander 1,099 1.10% 0.00% 0-100%
Caucasian/White 1,099 46.70% 46.70% 0-100%
Hispanic/Latino 1,099 15.20% 0.00% 0-100%
Native American 1,099 0.20% 0.00% 0-100%
Multi-Racial 1,099 4.70% 0.00% 0-100%
Other 1,099 0.70% 0.00% 0-100%

Practitioners were asked to report whether or not they had English language learners (ELL) enrolled in their programs. Of 1,121 respondents to this question, 17.9 percent (n = 201) indicated they had second language learners enrolled in their programs. Of those with ELLs, 76.1 percent (n= 153) reported having children whose primary language was Spanish as ELLs in their programs. Many other languages were represented in the sample, each with less than ten providers serving children who are ELLs of a particular language such as: Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese dialects, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mongolian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Yoruba.

Professional Development

Program Awareness and Participation

Providers (n = 960) were asked about their awareness of professional development opportunities and programs available in Illinois.

  • Nearly all (97.8 percent; n = 939) knew of the Gateways to Opportunity Registry.
  • Nearly 80 percent (79.3 percent; n = 761) knew of the Great START Program.
  • More than three quarters of respondents (81.8 percent; n = 785) had heard of the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program.
  • Almost 80 percent (77.1 percent; n = 740) knew of Gateways to Opportunity Credentials, a notable increase from 67.4 in FY 2013.
  • Half (50.1 percent; n = 481) knew of the Professional Development Advisor Program.
  • Nearly 80 percent (79.9 percent; n = 767) knew of the Quality Counts Quality Rating System. This is a decrease from the 87.9 percent reported in FY 2013.30
  • Almost two-thirds of participants (65.8 percent; n = 632) had heard of the consultant/specialist (e.g. Mental Health Consultant, Child Care Nurse Consultant, Quality Specialist, Infant-Toddler Specialist) services offered by the CCR&Rs.
  • More than half (59.1 percent; n = 567) knew of the online training opportunities available through the Gateways i-learning System.
  • 23.3 percent of family child care homes (n = 269 of 1,154) had at least one Great START recipient in the past two years. Those 269 programs had a total of 281 recipients.
  • 5.5 percent (n = 63 of 1,154) of family child care programs had at least one Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship participant for a total of 68 participants.

30A possible explanation is that ExceleRateTM Illinois for family child care was implemented in July 2015, after the survey was closed. While marketing had been directed to family child care before implementation and the survey question also referenced the Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS), it is possible providers did not understand that notation. 

Training and Training Opportunities

Licensing standards require family child care practitioners to have a minimum of fifteen training hours per year. Generally, respondents exceeded this minimum. Family child care providers reported devoting 23.0 hours to workshops or conference training in the last year (n = 968; median = 18.0 hours; range = 0-170 hours).

The content of training can vary in its relevance to early care and education (ECE). Family child care providers were asked where they received their training within the past year. Table 41 reports the results. As with center staff, Child Care Resource and Referral workshops seem to be the principal source of training for family child care practitioners, though there was a notable decrease from 81.7 percent in FY 2013 to 66.3 percent in FY 2015. A possible explanation for this dip may be the increased availability of online training opportunities. Over half of the providers took online trainings to fulfill their required fifteen training hours per year and/or meet requirements for programs such as ExceleRate Illinois.

Table 41. Sources of training (n = 1,074)

Training Sources n Percentage
Child Care Resource and Referral Workshops 712 66.30%
Local Community Workshops 325 30.30%
Professional Meeting or Conference Workshops 342 31.80%
Online Training 591 55.00%

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

Nearly 90 percent (88.6 percent) of all respondents expressed that they thought there were adequate training opportunities offered; however, that does not mean that all providers are able to attend those training opportunities. In order to determine what might hinder an individual's ability to attend trainings, providers were presented with a list of potential barriers to attending trainings and were asked to select all that applied.

  • 33.0 percent (n = 381) selected: "Most opportunities are during the day so it is difficult for me to attend";
  • 29.4 percent (n = 339) selected: "I am unable to take time away from my work to take more training";
  • 20.5 percent (n = 237) chose: "My community doesn't have enough courses/workshops";
  • 18.9 percent (n = 218) selected: "I am unable to take time away from my family to take more training";
  • 17.3 percent (n = 200) selected the item: "Cost of training is too high";
  • 7.4 percent (n = 85) chose: "There is no reason to pursue more training"; and
  • 4.9 percent (n = 57) selected the item "Quality of training is not good."

One provider expressed their participation in the various Gateways programs:

"Without the Great START Wage Supplement, I most likely could not help the parents that really need child care so they can work…with the supplement my child care business is always open to help in any way possible."

Additionally, 17.5 percent (n = 202) selected the "Other" option and specified the following items as barriers to attending trainings. Of the 202 providers that selected "Other", 46.0 percent indicated that the availability of trainings (location, timing of trainings, topic offerings, language barriers, and enrollment capacity) was problematic. The remaining providers provided personal opinions or experiences which detailed their problems in attending the required training hours. The majority of providers who selected "Other" were most concerned with the location of trainings, as many reported having to travel far distances to attend trainings.

Professional development is also available by taking coursework in early care and education at higher education institutions. Practitioners were posed the question, "Have you completed any ECE or CD coursework within the past two years?" Of the 1,099 practitioners who responded to this survey question, 166 (15.1 percent) reported "yes" and reported an average of 23.8 credit hours (median = 16.0 credit hours) completed in the last two years.

Capacity and Enrollment

One aim of the Salary and Staffing Survey is to characterize the care environment of family child care home practitioners. According to NACCRRAware, the average total licensed capacity of the sample was approximately 9.7 (median = 8.0) children. The average licensed capacity of all 9,024 family child care providers on the database was also approximately 9 children.31

During a typical week, providers cared for an average of 8.0 (n = 1,095; median = 8.0) children (excluding their own). Over 85 percent of providers (85.2 percent) indicated that they accept children whose families receive IDHS or IDCFS financial assistance. Providers also responded that they have an average of 5.7 (n = 707; median = 5.0) children in their program whose child care is being funded through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) or IDCFS vouchers.32 Providers reported serving an average of 4.6 of all client families (n = 645; median = 4.0) who receive financial assistance (from government, employers, local agencies) to subsidize child care costs.

A greater proportion of respondents participating in ExceleRate Illinois at a level higher than the Licensed Circle of Quality also served CCAP families in their programs. Participation in higher levels of ExceleRate was significantly associated with serving CCAP families (?2 = 7.46, p = .006) with 95.3 percent of providers higher than the Licensed Circle of Quality serving CCAP families versus 4.7 percent of those providers not serving CCAP families in their programs.33

Family child care providers were also asked to rate the vacancies in their program on a scale from 1 ("There are always vacancies") to 5 ("There are never vacancies"). Out of 1,124 providers answering this question, 42.3 percent of family child care providers felt that there were rarely or never vacancies in their homes, 31.0 percent felt that there were sometimes vacancies, and 26.8 percent felt that there were always or often vacancies in their programs. Results from

this survey when compared to the 2013 survey results show a slight increase in the percentage of providers who felt there were "never to rarely" vacancies in their programs, and correspondingly, a slight decrease in the percentage of providers who replied that they "sometimes to always" had vacancies. The inconsistency in enrollment was expressed by many providers and is reflected in the following comment from a practitioner:

* "For over 20 years we were licensed as a Group Day Care Home but because of the [low] enrollment we had to drop down to just a Day Care Home license."

31Licensed 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.

32About 15.3 percent of providers indicated that they accepted children/families on CCAP, but did not have any children on CCAP currently. For this analysis, those providers were excluded from the average.

33Data from the Data Tracking Program (DTP) was used to obtain the ExceleRateTM Illinois status of all providers who participated in the Staffing and Salary Survey.

Assistants

IDCFS licensing requirement for staff in group homes and child care homes differ. Staff employed in group homes must have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years of age if an on-site supervisor is present. If not, staff must be 21.34,35 Staff working in day care homes are required to be at least 14 years of age, work under the direct supervision of the family child care provider and be at least five years older than any child for which they provide care.36 In the 2015 Salary and Staffing Survey group family child care practitioners and family child care practitioners reported on the assistants they employed. Of the 1,116 providers that responded to the question, 35.0 percent (n = 391) indicated hiring paid assistants. Additionally, out of 1,095 respondents, 26.6 percent (n = 291) reported using unpaid assistants.

Paid family child care assistants received an average of $9.46 per hour (n = 307; median = $9.00). Their typical work week averaged 27.8 hours (n = 333; median = 30.0).

There is a large discrepancy in the range of hourly wages reported for assistants. Since a minor can work in a family day care, family child care providers can hire their own children. Although minimum wage for youths under the age of 18 is $7.75,37 providers can hire their eligible teenage children for less; however, with the exception of an employer's parent, spouse, or child, or other members of his or her immediate family, Minimum Wage Law requires an employer to pay an employee 18 years of age or older at least $8.25 per hour (minimum wage).38,39

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

  • "It is difficult to hire staff that want child care as a profession…How can we pay minimum wage to assistants when we only make $39.95 a day for infants?"
  • "…it is difficult to focus on staffing and compensation issues when we are bombarded with funding crisis, economy crisis, and the uncertainty of the field."
  • "Due to the uncertainty of getting consistent subsidy payments I am only able to have a part time assistant. Best case would be for my assistant to be full time and be paid more than minimum wage."

34From Part 408 IDCFS Licensing Requirements for Group Day Care Homes, Section 408.45. All requirements can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/089/089004080000450R.html

35For 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

36From Part 406 IDCFS Licensing Requirements for Day Care Homes, part 406.10. All requirements can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/089/08900406sections.html

37From "State of Illinois - Department of Labor Hourly Minimum Wage Rates by Year", Illinois Department of Labor, <https://www.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Pages/minimum-wage-rates-by-year.aspx>

38From "Illinois Compiled Statutes (820 ILCS 105/) Minimum Wage Law", Illinois General Assembly, http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2400&ChapterID=68

39Based on this rationale, all reported wages under $7.75 were excluded from this analysis.

Business Characteristics

Hours

Respondents (n = 926) indicated that they get paid to work an average of 50.0 hours per week (median = 52.0 hours) taking care of children, and their child care home operates an average of 49.6 weeks per year (n = 969; median = 51.0 weeks).

In addition to hours spent directly with children, providers reported spending an average of 16.8 hours per week (n = 972; median = 12.0 hours) on various activities performed before or after business hours. These activities include preparing food, shopping, cleaning, record keeping, and preparing educational activities for the children.

Practitioners were also asked whether they ever closed for holidays, vacation, sick days, training, or any other occasion. Out of 995 providers who responded, 45.3 percent (n = 451) responded affirmatively; a decrease from 67.8 percent in the FY 2013 survey. The average number of days closed per year was 10.6 days (median = 10.0 days, n = 451).

Earnings and Operating Expenses

Practitioners were queried about their annual expenses for food, utilities, insurance, and materials; all expenses except wages. Average annual expenses totaled $15,573 (median = $12,000) for the 812 providers who responded to this question. Expenses in 2015 were similar to those in 2013.

Licensed family child care providers were asked to report their gross and net annual earnings. The average annual gross earning was $33,007 (n = 882; median = $30,000). FY 2015 reported earnings are very similar to FY 2013, which reported average gross annual earnings of $32,232, with a median of $29,719. FY 2015 reported annual net earnings (n = 840) averaged $14,999 (median = $13,000). In FY 2013, respondents reported average net earnings of $13,995, with a median of $13,000. In FY 2015:

  • 25 percent of family child care providers netted less than $5,024;
  • 50 percent of family child care providers netted less than $13,000; and
  • 75 percent of family child care providers netted less than $21,750.

In FY 2015, the hourly wage was $7.16 (compared to the state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour);40 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 67.00 hours per week and average $5.05 per hour.

As independent business owners, family child care providers set their own rates. Rates can exceed the CCAP rates reimbursed by the state. Providers can choose to have parents pay the difference between the CCAP reimbursement rates and their private rates. In FY 2015, providers were asked to provide information about their experience with the IDHS subsidy program. These questions specifically addressed whether providers charged parents more than their CCAP copays, the difficulty they experience in collecting copays, and whether or not the difficulty in collecting copays had changed in the past two years. Out of 852 respondents, 18.7 percent of providers (n = 159) reported charging families more than their CCAP copay; 81.3 percent (n = 693) of providers reported charging families their CCAP copay only. Out of 971 practitioners who rated the difficulty of collecting copays, 41.5 percent reported that collecting copays was "very easy or somewhat easy," 21.2 percent responded that it was "neither easy nor difficult", and 37.3 percent responded that collecting copays was "somewhat difficult or very difficult." In response to whether the difficulty in collecting copays had changed in the past two years, out of 965 respondents, 16.8 percent responded that collecting copays had become "much easier or somewhat easier", 58.3 percent responded the difficulty in collecting copays had "stayed about the same", and 24.8 percent responded that collecting copays had become "somewhat or much more difficult."

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

In response to changes about their net annual earnings, out of 985 providers, 14.7 percent said their net income had decreased greatly, 25.6 percent responded that their net income had decreased somewhat, 39.7 percent stated their net income had remained about the same, 17.9 percent responded that their net income had increased somewhat, and 2.1 percent responded that their net income had increased greatly.

When asked about changes in their annual expenses, out of 991 providers, 12.5 percent responded that their annual expenses had increased greatly, 41.8 percent stated their annual expenses had increased somewhat, 31.7 percent said their annual expenses remained about the same, 9.6 percent stated their annual expenses decreased somewhat, and 4.4 percent stated their annual expensed had decreased greatly.

40The average hourly wage of a family child care practitioner can be calculated using the formula: Average net income ÷ (average of hours worked per week X average number of weeks worked per year).

Other Income Sources

Providers were asked to report on other sources of income beyond their family child care programs. Just under one tenth of providers (8.6 percent) reported having a second paid job. Over 60 percent of providers (60.4 percent) indicated there was at least one other adult who contributed to their household income (after a decline in 2013, this is comparable to 2011 data). In addition, the Child and Adult Food Care Program41 was an income source identified the majority of providers (83.8 percent). This figure nearly back to what was reported in FY 2011 (86.3 percent) after dropping to 73.2 percent in FY 2013.

41The Child and Adult Care Food Program is a nutritional program funded through the USDA. In Illinois, this reimbursement program is administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. The program educates providers about proper nutrition and reimburses them for the meals and snacks they serve to children in care.

Fee Policies

Family child care homes are considered small businesses; therefore, fee policies are decided by the owner(s). As Table 42 shows, the majority of family child care providers chose to be paid when children are absent due to sickness. In addition, 57.4 percent of providers require parents to pay when the child care home is closed for holidays and 34.8 percent require payment when the home is closed for vacation days. Additionally, less than half of providers (49.0 percent) require parents to pay for days the child is on vacation. Moreover, the preponderance of providers do not require parents to pay for days when the family child care home is closed due to provider illness or workshop attendance. When day care homes are closed for other reasons (e.g., family emergencies, bereavement, jury duty, doctor appointments, personal days, or inclement weather), about ten percent of family child care practitioners require parents to pay for these days.

Although no questions specifically pertained to how providers construct their fee policies, the survey asked practitioners to record any additional thoughts they had about compensation in the field of child care. Some comments were:

  • "I find it hard to introduce new policies into my daycare program. I am always afraid of how it will impact the parents. I would like to see some classes or training information on how to make changes for adding paid vacation, paid sick days, increases in fees, changes to contract rules/regulations."
  • "My rates are low compared to surrounding providers. I have families that are financially unable to pay out of pocket but do not qualify for assistance, so I do try to give discounts and work with them. Unfortunately this is leaving me short changed in the end."

Table 42. Fee policies

Provider is paid when… n Percentage
Children are absent because they are sick 623 62.20%
Children are on vacation 491 49.00%
You are closed for holidays 575 57.40%
You are closed for vacation days 349 34.80%
You are closed for sick days 219 21.90%
You are closed for training days 126 12.60%
Other reasons 104 10.40%

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

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 989 practitioners who responded to this question, 46.4 percent charged a late fee (or early drop-off fee). The fee for late pick up or early drop off averaged $1.60 (median = $1.00) per minute for family child care providers who stated their fee (n = 391).

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?" Just over one-third of practitioners (34.2 percent), up from 25.0 percent in 2013, selected one or more of the financial assistance resources. Specifically:

  • 14.2 percent selected "Medicaid/Medicare for yourself";
  • 9.6 percent selected "Medicaid for your children";
  • 6.1 percent selected "All Kids for your (child)ren";
  • 5.0 percent selected "Food stamps/SNAP";
  • 1.0 percent selected "Subsidized housing/Section 8";
  • 0.9 percent selected "FamilyCare for yourself"; and,
  • 0.4 percent selected "TANF/AFDC".

Benefits

Practitioners were asked whether they were currently covered by any health insurance or medical plan. In response, 93.1 percent (n = 935) of the 1,004 child care practitioners reported having health care coverage. This is a significant increase over the 80.4 percent reported in 2013 and is likely due to requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Further analysis of health care coverage shows that 8.8 percent received full coverage and 19.8 percent received partial coverage through their spouse's employer, 20.0 percent purchased health insurance on their own, and 14.2 percent reported that they were Medicaid/Medicare eligible. Of respondents, 13.0 percent had paid health care coverage received through a variety of other sources, including as retirement benefits from previous employers, community health services, and through SEIU (union for family child care providers). There were 24.3 percent of respondents who indicated they have health care coverage but that did not respond to one of the options displayed.

Over 60 percent of practitioners (60.6 percent) indicated that they contribute to Social Security and Medicare. When asked the question, "In the last year, have you set aside any savings for your retirement," just over one quarter of the respondents (27.8 percent) said they had (up from 22.1 percent in the 2013 report).

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

"I provide child care for children because it is my passion! I have a love for nurturing, mentoring, monitoring, encouraging, and protecting our children…We need affordable medical care for ourselves and family members as well. I'm 47 years old with no medical coverage or retirement set up."

Professional Support

Family child care practitioners often work alone and have no other adults within close proximity. Research suggests that the lack of "social, instrumental, and problem-solving support over a long workday as the only adult in the setting" and the lack of support when "having to play multiple roles" are potential sources of stress for providers. One way to combat that stress is to use support services such as participation in a professional organization or network with other professionals.42 Based on this rationale, providers were asked whether they had any contact with any other child care professionals. A predominance of home-based practitioners (86.1 percent) responding to the survey indicated that they have at least one other child care professional with whom they can discuss a problem in their program.

There are national, state, regional and local child care associations that support the needs of family child care providers. Half of respondents (51.1 percent; n = 486 of 952) reported that they were members of a child care association. Two-thirds (67.8 percent; n = 654 of 964) 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.

42Charlyn Harper Brown, "Strengthening Families: Almost Like Family: Family Child Care", Center for the Study of Social Policy, October 2009, http://www.cssp.org/publications/neighborhood-investment/strengthening-families/top-five/almost-like-family-family-child-care-october-2009.pdf

Turnover

Practitioners were asked to identify the length of time they would continue to operate their day care home. Nearly two-thirds (64.2 percent; n = 613) of providers responded "I don't know"; this is an increase from the 50.0 percent reported in the FY 2013 survey report. The remainder of providers (n = 342) indicated they would continue to provide child care in their homes for an average of nine years (mean = 8.9 years; median = 7.5 years). This is a decrease from the previous survey, which reported a mean of 10.4 years and median of 10.0 years.

To gauge potential turnover, providers were asked the question, "In the past two years, have you ever considered no longer providing care?" Thirty-nine percent (n = 369 of 959) had considered closing their business. Respondents who answered "yes" to that question were asked to further clarify by responding to a follow-up question which contained a list of reasons that traditionally contribute to provider burn-out. Practitioners were asked to rate the importance of each item on a scale of 1 ("Not important") to 5 ("Very important"). Table 43 presents the reasons why a provider may discontinue care and various statistics for each reason.

Table 43: Reasons providers considered for no longer providing care

Reason Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Very Important"
Dissatisfied with salary 3.9 4 362 48.90%
Dissatisfied with benefits 3.9 5 360 51.10%
Returning to school 2.2 1.5 354 10.70%
Working hours are too long 3.6 4 363 38.00%
Not enough work hours 1.7 1 348 4.90%
Enrollments are too low 3 3 352 28.40%
Enrollments are too high 1.9 1 344 4.90%
Frustration with parents 3.2 3 359 27.30%
Too little respect for child care providers 3.9 4 358 48.60%
Moving/relocating 2.2 1 354 13.60%
Health problems 1.7 1 351 6.30%
Too much stress 3.3 3 361 27.10%
Too little time off 3.5 4 360 35.80%
Isolation 2.8 3 355 22.50%
Retirement 3.5 4 356 44.40%
Other personal reasons 2.7 3 304 22.40%

According to Table 43, "dissatisfaction with salary," "dissatisfaction with benefits," and "too little respect for child care practitioners" were the three primary reasons instigating turnover in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary of a child care worker was the sixth lowest out of 27 occupations listed under the category Personal Care and Service Occupations. Only shampooers; ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers; personal care aides; nonfarm animal caretakers; and locker room, coatroom, and dressing room attendance made less.43 Dissatisfaction with salary has real consequences as demonstrated in the following comments.

  • "We do so much more than we are paid for, but we are also bound by what parents can afford to pay us."
  • "In order for me to be able to continue paying my staff, I have to be paid. Due to the hold and cuts, my staff is starting to look for work at other businesses and that stops me from being able to go to my classes…asking them to keep working without pay is not right, they have bills also."

Practitioners were asked to rate on a scale of 1 ("Not important") to 5 ("Very important") a number of items that might influence them to continue providing child care in their homes. Participants rated higher pay and better benefits as the main factors that would most entice them to continue providing child care. "More time off" was also rated as "very important" to nearly half of all respondents (mean = 3.9). (Again, family child care homes are only closed an average of 10.6 days per year.) Table 44 displays the results.

Table 44: Reasons to continue offering care

Reason Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Very Important"
Help with problem solving 2.9 3 349 24.10%
More contact with other providers 2.7 3 348 16.70%
Help finding substitute caregivers 3.3 4 350 33.40%
Being part of a professional organization 2.7 3 347 19.60%
Family child care training 2.9 3 348 23.60%
Lower enrollments 2.1 1 341 8.50%
Higher enrollments 3 3 346 25.40%
Higher income 4.2 5 354 58.80%
Better benefits1 4.2 5 317 62.80%
More time off 3.9 4 345 48.10%
More work hours 1.9 1 337 4.70%

1Lower "n" due to survey administration error

In order to assess turnover rate, the total number of family child care providers listed in the provider database on June 30, 2013 (the end of IDHS's fiscal year) was compared to the number of providers listed in the same database on June 30, 2015. Through comparison of both databases, data could be collected regarding the number of providers who were new on the database and the number of providers no longer providing child care. Table 45 presents the information.

Table 45. Provider turnover 2013-2015: Licensed Family Child Care Homes

Active 2013 Still Active 2015 Percent Change New Providers 2015 Percent Change Active 2015 Percent Change
Active Providers 9,463 7,795 -17.60% 1,125 14.40% 8,920 -5.70%
Total Licensed Capacity 88,063 75,704 -14.00% 9,031 11.90% 84,735 -3.80%

43"Occupation Employment Statistics: May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Illinois", Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm#00-0000. An additional four occupations are listed in this category but did not release estimates of annual wages.

Motivations and Perceptions about Providing Child Care

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

Table 46. Reasons for providing child care

Reason Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Strongly agree"
Enjoy teaching children 4.6 5 949 66.70%
Like to be in business for self 4.5 5 954 62.10%
Earn an income1 4 4 817 36.40%
Stay at home with own children 3 3 934 22.40%

1Lower "n" due to survey administration error

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

Table 47. Perceptions about providing child care

Perception Mean Median n Percentage Rating Item as "Strongly agree"
I consider myself an early childhood professional 4.2 5 948 52.20%
I consider myself a small business owner 4.5 5 949 62.40%
I do not provide child care for the money 3.1 3 941 20.80%
Getting more training helps me become more professional 4.2 4 944 47.60%
I can set my own rates and policies 3.7 4 944 30.90%

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 947 respondents, over half (52.1 percent) replied that opportunities over the past two years had "stayed the same", 20.0 percent indicated they had become better, and 28.0 percent responded that opportunities had become worse.

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

  • "As a child care business owner it is extremely hard to employ highly qualified and dedicated staff because of the cost associated with having highly qualified staff in comparison to the wages I receive as a child care provider. Therefore, we find ourselves having to select candidates from a less desirable pool and dealing with high turnover rates which effects our continuum of care for the children and families we serve."
  • "Due to the budget crisis with the State, I was forced to lay off two of my staff members and over 10 families…our community was impacted negatively."
  • I feel family child care homes are on the decline. I wish more could be done to save them. We are valuable to the community. Not every child is ready for a big center experience."

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

  • "Family child care is never taken seriously. It is my hope that when the state fully rolls out the ExceleRate Illinois program that family child care homes are given the same advertising as centers."
  • "I started out as a stay at home mom trying to earn extra money for groceries. Little by little as my children grew up, I made this more of a profession. I became licensed in 2004…Networking with other providers is what prevents 'burnout'."

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

"Compensation through state paid clients in a timely manner is crucial. We've had bouts of not getting paid on time which in turn makes it difficult for us to pay our own bills. This is our job and just as someone expects to be paid for a job finished, we expect it as well…on time."

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

  • "I enjoy being a child care provider. It is very rewarding for me to take care of children for families that have to work to make a living. The parents trust me with their child, and the child loves being part of my daycare. I like the fact that I can earn a living by staying at home and being my own boss while doing what I love. I have games and teach the children while they are in my care. The children get healthy meals. I will continue to operate my home daycare until I retire, perhaps in 10 years."
  • "My passion for children is what keeps me in this field. I taught for many years before becoming a program coordinator for many years, giving in-services plus helping staff learn how to run a well-balanced classroom…having my own daycare is just a blessing and what I've always wanted. I just received my Star Level 3 from QRS! What a blessing. I have many areas to keep growing in the field of child care but I strive to do my best. I also worked for special education for 5 years which helped me understand autism. I now have 3 children with special needs and 2 with autism. I love my job and am blessed to have my own home daycare."

Conclusion

Child care is a vital foundational service that allows for employment and economic betterment for families. Without affordable quality care options, parents are less likely to function effectively in their jobs and children are less likely to receive the developmentally stimulating environments proven to benefit them. Research has shown high quality child care contributes to young children's social competence and cognitive development.44 A nurturing and stable relationship with a provider is one important component of high quality care settings. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the education and stability of the child care workforce are critical to the well-being of children and their working parents. Young children have much to gain from a well-educated and stable child care workforce; however, Child Care Aware of America asserts that the minimal requirements for education (many states do not require any education beyond high school) and the high turnover rate among child care practitioners (roughly one-third leave the field each year45) is challenging the opportunity for quality child care to be achieved and maintained. In knowing the importance of education and continuity in the care of children, it is important to learn more about the child care workforce within the state of Illinois as a means of ensuring quality care for all children. As such, the Illinois Salary and Staffing Survey provides in-depth information every two years about wages, salaries and benefits, and other information pertinent to the child care work environment in licensed child care centers and in licensed family child care homes. To complement the Illinois Salary and Staffing Survey, the Gateways to Opportunity Registry can provide more frequently collected and updated information regarding several workforce characteristics, including qualifications and salaries.

The majority of the child care workforce in Illinois has attained formal education beyond high school. Most practitioners in centers and homes had some college education. In addition, almost 75 percent (74.3 percent) of early childhood teachers and 32.3 percent of family child care practitioners had earned an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree. Further, 28.5 percent of early childhood teachers earned their degree in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD), and 9.5 percent of family day care providers earned their degree in ECE/CD.

As is the case at the national level, job turnover among child care providers in Illinois is a continuing problem. The past two years showed a turnover rate of 27.2 percent for early childhood teachers and a 34.2 percent turnover rate for early childhood teacher assistants. The primary reason reported for early childhood teacher departure was "dissatisfied with pay"; which is consistent when compared to the predominant reasons cited in past surveys (with the exception of FY11). Other principal reasons reported for staff departure included dissatisfaction with benefits, found a new job either in another center, a public school, or in another field, and terminated or fired. As many of these reasons were endorsed at a similar rate by directors, it suggests that the reasons for turnover are usually complicated, especially since many directors also rated each reason for leaving by indicating there was a "personal reason" associated with the staff departure. Since data for this survey are gathered from directors or other administrative staff and not the departing staff member, having staff directly respond with their reasons for leaving might yield richer findings.

In the past two years, 39.0 percent of family child care practitioners considered closing their child care home; nearly one in five did. Dissatisfaction with salary and benefits, and "too little respect for child care providers" were the predominant reasons reported.

When it comes to compensation, patterns of compensation for center positions were varied. Per the FY 2015 survey, the hourly wages of administrative directors saw a decline from the FY 2013 survey. This may be due to the fact that data were available for a much larger population through the Gateways Registry as opposed to being limited to just survey respondents in the past. This may also be impacted by the fact that data was not available for the "administrative director" and "director/teacher" categories as was reported in previous surveys. On the other hand, early childhood teachers, early childhood assistants, school-age teachers, and school-age assistants saw their hourly wages increase slightly. Again, data from a much larger population may be influencing data results.

The median hourly wage for an early childhood teacher in 2015 was $12.00, as compared to $11.04 in 2013, $11.50 in in 2011, $11.00 in 2009, and $12.00 reported in 2007. Assuming a full-time early childhood teacher position equals 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, gross annual salary would equal $24,960. This represents almost twice the median net earnings of licensed family child care providers whose 2015 reported earnings were only $13,000. This is consistent with 2013 and up from $11,085 in 2011, $11,000 in 2009, and $12,000 in 2007.

Wages differed substantially in centers around the state. Early childhood teachers employed in Carterville (located in southern Illinois) earned a median hourly wage of $9.40 per hour compared to early childhood teachers in Addison (located in northern Illinois) who earned a median hourly wage of $12.50 (a difference of over $3.00 per hour). Level of education also mattered as teachers with more education, earned more than those without degrees. Moreover, teachers who majored in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD) and obtained an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree, earned more than teachers with a degree in another field.

In addition to the low wages of the child care workforce, the benefits are also meager. Although at least 75 percent of centers reported offering paid vacation, holidays and sick leave, only 46.2 percent offered health insurance, and 43.1 percent offered a retirement/pension plan. Life insurance was also rare, offered by only 39.2 percent of centers. While centers may provide benefits to employees as part of their compensation, family child care practitioners must pay for their own. Although 93.1 percent of family child care providers were covered by a health plan, many received coverage through their spouse's employer. Other benefits are modest for family child care providers who reported being closed only a median of ten days per year. While 57.4 percent charged when closed for holidays, only 34.8 percent charged when closed for vacation. Substantially fewer charged when closed for sick days or training days. Providers indicated that they did not charge when closed because, they were sensitive to their clients' financial situations and they did not think their clients would pay.

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

In spite of these somber findings, survey results also indicate there are some reasons for optimism. The frequency of directors and family child care providers who are aware of Gateways to Opportunity programs and other support programs suggests that there is more awareness of the resources and options that some centers and providers are able to access that provides some compensation for lower wages and benefits in the field of child care.

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

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

44D. Vandell, J. Belsky, M. Burchinal, N. Vandergrift, & L. Steinberg. "Do effects of early child care extend to age 15 years? Results from the NICHD study of early child care and youth development." Child Development, 2010, http://nieer.org/pdf/Effects_of_Early_Child_Care_Extend_to_Age_15.pdf

45Meredith MacMillian, "NAEYC calls for fair compensation for the early childhood workforce on worthy wage day." National Association for the Education of Young Children, May 1, 2012, http://www.naeyc.org/newsroom/pressreleases/worthy_wage_day

Appendix A: Survey Instruments

Fiscal Year 2015 Illinois Child Care Salary and Staffing Survey - Child Care Centers

Instructions:

  • Please read and follow all directions carefully for each question. For some questions, you will need to check the appropriate box; for some questions, you will need to circle the appropriate number; and for some questions, you will need to write in the appropriate number or information requested.
  • Please DO NOT write your name anywhere on the questionnaire. We have given each survey a number to help us keep track of which providers have returned their forms and which need reminders. All information will be kept confidential.
  • Please try to answer every question as accurately as possible, adding explanatory notes only when necessary. 
  • Please complete the questionnaire and return it in the enclosed, stamped envelope to:

Kevin Anderson

INCCRRA

1226 Towanda Plaza

Bloomington, IL 61701

  • Thank you for taking valuable time out of your busy schedule to complete this survey. The survey will take approximately 45 minutes to complete. It need not be completed in one sitting, but we ask that you return it to us within 2 weeks of receiving it. Your investment of time will contribute to knowledge that will improve the conditions and address the needs of all child care providers in Illinois.

Thank you again.

Printable Version: Survey Instruments for Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Home Providers (pdf)

Appendix B: Child Care Resource and Referral System Map

Printable Version: Child Care Resource and Referral System Maps (pdf)

(At Time of Data Collection)

SDA 1 - YWCA Child Care Solutions

Boone, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties

Rockford (888) 225-7072

www.ywca.org/Rockford

SDA 2 - 4-C Community Coordinated Child 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 (877) 675-7992

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

Grundy, Kankakee, Kendall, and Will Counties

Joliet (800) 552-5526

www.childcarehelp.com

SDA 6 - Illinois 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, IA (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

http://ccrs.illinois.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.wcccc.com

SDA 13 - Community Child Care Connection

Christian, Logan, Macoupin, Macon, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, 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

Clay, 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, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, White, and Williamson Counties

Carterville (800) 232-0908

www.jalc.edu/ccrr

(At Time of Report Publication)

SDA 1 - YWCA Child Care Solutions

Boone, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties

Rockford (888) 225-7072

www.ywca.org/Rockford

SDA 2 - 4-C Community Coordinated Child 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

Gurnee (877) 675-7992

www.ywcalakecounty.org

SDA 4 - YWCA CCR&R

DuPage and Kane Counties

Addison (630) 790-3030

www.ywcachicago.org

SDA 5 - Joliet CCR&R

Grundy, Kankakee, Kendall, and Will Counties

Joliet (800) 552-5526

www.childcarehelp.com

SDA 6 - Illinois Action for Children

Cook County

Chicago (312) 823-1100

www.actforchildren.org

SDA 7 - Child Care Resource and Referral of Midwestern Illinois

Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Rock Island, and Warren Counties

Moline (866) 370-4556

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, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt, and Vermilion Counties

Urbana (800) 325-5516

http://ccrs.illinois.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.wcccc.com

SDA 13 - Community Child Care Connection

Christian, Logan, Macoupin, Macon, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, 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

Clay, 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, Hamilton, 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. B) 1560 clock hours of experience in a recreational program or licensed day care center serving school-age children or license exempt school-age child care program operated by a public or private school and either 6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours of credit from an accredited college or university related to school-age child care, child development, elementary education, physical education, recreation, camping or other related fields.
  10. A staff member who meets the qualifications for a day care center director shall be designated to assume decision-making responsibility whenever the child care director is off-site. A record of employees who meet the qualifications for director and who have been designated to assume decision-making responsibility in the director's absence shall be kept at the site. All day care staff shall be informed of the designated director at each occurrence. The person designated as alternate director may be in the classroom and counted in the staff/child ratio under the following circumstances:
    1. When the center meets the criteria of Section 407.130(b); or
    2. During the first hour and last hour of a program that operated 10 or more hours per day; or
    3. When attendance falls below 50 children.
  11. The child care director must successfully complete a basic training course of 6 or more clock hours on providing care to children with disabilities that has been approved by the Department. The day care center shall have on file a certificate attesting to the training of the child care director.
    1. Persons employed as a child care director shall complete this training within 36 months from date appointed as child care director.
    2. A child care director who has completed training prior to employment may have that training approved as meeting the provisions of this subsection (k). A certificate of training completion and a description of the course content must be submitted to the Department for approval.
    3. A child care director who obtains approved training and moves from one day care facility to another shall not be required to take another training course as long as the child care director can provide documentation in the form of a certificate that the training was completed.
    4. A training program approved by the Department in providing care for children with disabilities must include the following components:
      1. Introduction to Inclusive Child Care;
      2. Understanding Child Development in Relation to Disabilities;
      3. Building Relationships With Families;
      4. Preparing for and Including Young Children in Child Care Setting;
      5. Community Services for Young Children with Disabilities (including Early Intervention Services).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appendix D: Acknowledgements

We gratefully appreciate the support of the Illinois Department of Human Services and its Bureau of Child Care and Development for the opportunity to conduct these analyses. In particular we would like to thank Holly Knicker and Abraham Magaña for proofreading earlier drafts of this report and making important editorial comments.