Teacher Salary Increase Pilot Program


  • Pay Increases


In 2022, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood invested $3 million of Child Care Development Fund funds to conduct a pilot program to increase wages for educators serving children from birth to age five. Approximately 30% of child care programs that apply will be randomly selected to receive funding via a lottery process. This funding will increase educator pay by $1,000 to $1,200 annually. Programs that receive funding must meet the following criteria:

– 40% of children enrolled in the program receive Colorado Child Care Assistance Program subsidies

– The program holds a Colorado Shines Rating of Level 3 to 5

The success of this pilot program will be measured in terms of its impact on early educator recruitment, retention, and economic well-being. Family child care providers will be eligible for a different pilot program designed for home-based settings, which will launch at a later date.


Colorado Department of Early Childhood. (2022).Colorado Early Childhood Teacher Salary Increase Pilot.

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 Colorado

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

Visit the Colorado Profile Here
  • The state population is 5,839,926
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 65%
  • The rural percentage is 14.0%