In June 2022, Delaware’s Joint Finance Committee voted to add $20.07 million to Delaware’s Purchase of Care program (POC), which is the state’s subsidy for child care for low-income families. This investment includes a 15 percent increase to the rates paid to child care providers who accept POC. The funds for POC will be ongoing and included in the operating budget, rather than contingent or one-time funding. Furthermore, House Bill 377, signed by Governor John Carney in October 2022, establishes that the Delaware Department of Education will conduct an annual study on early education professionals to further develop a plan to support the workforce.
Sources: First State Pre-K. (June 2022). Early Child Care Budget Update
Rodel. (July 2022). The Education GA Ride Again.
Delaware General Assembly. (October 2022). House Substitute 1 for House Bill 377.
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.