Since November 2021, Alabama educators in licensed child care programs have been eligible for quarterly bonus payments of $3,000 (full-time employees) or $1,500 (part-time employees). These bonuses are designed to help recruit and retain educators as the early education field continues to recover from the pandemic. Bonuses are delivered to educators via a grant to the child care programs that employ them; since the program began, the state has administered grants to nearly 7,000 programs across the state. In the last quarter of 2022, nearly 12,000 educators received a bonus through this program. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the program is slated to end in September 2023.
Alabama Department of Human Resources. (2021). Alabama DHR Announces Grants for Stabilizing Child Care Workforce.
Alabama Department of Human Resources (2023). Application period starts next week for 6th round of child care bonuses.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about ELS@H Findings
The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning, compensation, and workplace conditions.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
- Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.