Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!
|Innovation Name||Innovation Type||Innovation Subtype||Features at a Glance||Strategy Summary|
|Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$||Workforce||Bonuses and Supplemental Pay Professional Learning||
$450 to $5,000 per educator per year, with an average supplement of $2,472
Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$ 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.Learn More: Florida Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$
Children's Forum. (n.d.). Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$.
Children's Forum. (2022). Early Learning & Afterschool Career Pathways.
|Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program (VPK)||Expansion||More Than 60% of Children Served (4-Year-Olds) Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds)||
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled (as of 2022): 68%
In 2005, Florida launched a state-funded program, the Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK), which offers funded preschool access for all 4-year-olds in the state. As of 2022, the program served 68% of the state’s 4-year-olds.Learn More: Florida Division of Early Learning
Florida Division of Early Learning. (n.d.). Types of VPK ProgramsNational Institute for Early Education Research. (2021). Florida
Demographics Link copied!
22,244,823 Source U.S. Census, 2022
8.5% Source U.S. Census, 2020
91.5% Source U.S. Census, 2020
Number of children age 0-4
1,103,794 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty
42% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Median family income among households with children
$71,300.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
2.5% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022
Unemployment rate of parents
4% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force
68% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Children living in households with a high housing cost burden
36% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021
Race and Ethnicity
- American Indian and Alaska Native (.5%)
- Asian (3%)
- Black or African American (20%)
- Hispanic or Latino (32%)
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (.5%)
- Two or More Races (4%)
- White, not Hispanic or Latino (42%)
Political Landscape Link copied!
Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!
Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023
- 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0%)
- 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (7%)
- Other/none (87%)
Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023
- 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (68%)
- 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (7%)
- Other/none (25%)
Workforce Link copied!
2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020
- Child care workers
- Preschool teachers
- Preschool or child care center directors
Funding Sources Link copied!
Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022
- Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($416.0)
- CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($495.7)
- CCDBG State Match ($44.7)
- CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($3300.0)
- State-Funded Pre-K ($302.5)
- MIECHV ($9.2)
- IDEA Part C ($38.1)
- IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($29.4)
- TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($341.2)
- Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five ($17.4)
The COVID Funding Cliff
All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 212,000 children in Florida.