Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund


  • Pay Increases
  • Pay Scales and Parity

Washington, DC

In 2022, the Washington DC City Council authorized the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to disburse funds that would create pay parity between community-based early educators and educators teaching in the DC Public Schools. In its first phase, the fund is disbursing quarterly payments to close the gap between an educator’s current salary and a starting public-school salary. The amount depends on educators’ roles (lead vs. assistant teacher) and whether they work full or part time. Educators are eligible for payments in the following amounts:

  • Full-time lead teacher: $14,000 per year, disbursed quarterly
  • Part-time lead teacher: $7,000 per year, disbursed quarterly
  • Full-time assistant teacher: $10,000 per year, disbursed quarterly
  • Part-time assistant teacher: $5,000 per year, disbursed quarterly

In the initiative’s second phase, which is expected to begin in late 2023, educators will be paid according to a salary scale or adjusted base amount for reimbursement to programs. Educators who serve children from low-income families will receive higher payments. Education levels will also be used to determine payment amounts.

This program is funded through a city tax on high-earning individuals.

DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education. (n.d.). Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund

DC City Council. (2022). Final Report of the Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force.

Berman, E. (2023). D.C. Is Giving Preschool Teachers A Pay Bump. Here’s How It’s Making A Difference To Them. DCist.

Greenberg, E., Nelson, V., Doromal, J. B., Sandstrom, J., Bose, S., & Lauderback, E. (2023, June). Toward Pay Equity A Case Study of Washington, DC’s Wage Boost for Early Childhood Educators. Urban Institute.

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, 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 Washington, DC

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

Visit the Washington, DC Profile Here
  • The state population is 671,803
  • The number of children age 0-4 is 40,759
  • The median family income among households with children is $108,492.00