Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$


  • Bonuses and Supplemental Pay
  • Professional Learning


Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$ Florida provides supplemental pay to early childhood educators based on their education level and commitment to their early education program. INCENTIVE$ is designed to retain early childhood educators and support their professional development; in turn, this creates a more stable workforce with the skills needed to support young children’s healthy learning and development. Bonuses range from $450 to $5,000 per educator per year, with an average payment of $2,472. Amounts increase as educators obtain more formal education, and educators must remain in their early education program for at least six months to qualify for an award. According to the INCENTIVE$ program, “data show that INCENTIVE$ participants who continuously increase their education levels are more likely to remain with their employer. Data also show the turnover rate among participants is only 10% annually, compared to the national average of 30-40% each year.”

This program is part of the national Child Care WAGE$ project and is currently available in select counties across the state.


Children’s Forum. (n.d.). Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$.

Children’s Forum. (2022). Early Learning & Afterschool Career Pathways.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (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,Professional learning: Learning and support activities (e.g., coaching) that help develop educators’ competencies and skills. 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.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Florida

Context matters. Visit the Florida profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Florida Profile Here
  • The state population is 22,244,823
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 68%
  • The rural percentage is 8.5%