Professional Characteristics of the Child Care and Early Education Workforce in 2012 and 2019: Descriptions by Race and Ethnicity, Languages Spoken, and Nativity Status

Research BriefEarly Childhood WorkforceAug 23 2023

Racial and ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity in child care and early education (CCEE) settings are emerging as critically important aspects of provider quality. Tracking trends in the demographic characteristics of the CCEE workforce (in particular, professional characteristics such as education level and professional development), are important for identifying and ameliorating gaps (PDF) in equitable opportunities within the CCEE field.

Previous analyses of the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) found that compared to CCEE teachers who identified as White, CCEE teachers who identified as a person of color had lower rates of bachelor’s degree attainment and were more likely to access continuing education and professional development. Trends were similar when comparing those who spoke only English to those who spoke a language other than English, and those born in the United States to those born outside the United States.

This snapshot provides an updated look at the demographic characteristics (race and ethnicity, languages spoken, and nativity status) of the center-based CCEE workforce and their professional characteristics by each demographic group using the 2019 NSECE. Additionally, this snapshot compares those estimates with the 2012 findings to see if trends in professional characteristics changed with time.

This brief is part of the Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis (CCEEPRA) project. CCEEPRA supports policy and program planning and decision-making with rigorous, research-based information.