Workforce Wednesday: News and Innovative Recruitment Strategies

Welcome to the September issue of Workforce Wednesday! We are excited to share that the National Early Care and Education Workforce Center (National ECE Workforce Center) will now be sending regular Workforce Wednesday Eblasts and will be hosting quarterly webinars developed in collaboration with other Administration for Children and Families-funded Technical Assistance and Research partners who support the early care and education (ECE) workforce. This eblast shares resources to support the recruitment of the ECE workforce. For information about upcoming webinars, future eblasts, and other updates from the National ECE Workforce Center, please sign up for our email list: Sign up here!

What We're Reading Now

  • A recent analysis, Child Care Sector Jobs, by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment highlights continued growth; however, employment in child care remains below prepandemic numbers.
  • States and locales are reporting widespread impacts of the critical shortage of early educators, including closed classrooms and families who are unable to access ECE programs. (See studies focusing on Kansas CityNorth Carolina, and Pennsylvania.)
  • A report on Virginia’s RecognizeB5 program notes that ECE leaders reported that the program helped recruit new teachers.
  • Interviews with DC child care directors highlighted the difficulties in recruiting lead and infant/toddler teachers and provided suggestions for helpful support from district and state leaders.

Innovative Examples

As many programs are seeking qualified candidates, we know that no single strategy is sufficient to meet the needs for attracting educators to early childhood programs. Here are a few tools and approaches for increasing the number of qualified applicants to early childhood positions that you can consider for your context.

Tools That Directors Can Use Now To Support Recruitment 

  • The Louisiana Department of Education released The Early Childhood Workforce: Recruiting & Hiring Toolkit, which is designed to support early learning center directors and principals in their attempts to recruit, interview, hire, and onboard new staff members.
  • The Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center website outlines phases of an effective search strategy and provides a roadmap for hiring. Program directors and human resources managers may find this a valuable resource to enhance their search strategies for hiring qualified staff.

Other Innovative City, County, and Statewide Approaches

  • The Humboldt Child Care Stabilization Fund is a cross-county collaboration providing hiring bonuses to the child care industry employees and families in Humboldt County, California.
  • A Milwaukee program is structured to make it as easy as possible to explore early childhood as a career.
  • Colorado included ECE in this zero-cost training program through its community college system, so for the next 2 years students can earn an ECE-focused associate degree at no cost.
  • Oklahoma is offering financial incentives to attract new people into the ECE field with its Care for Kids Campaign.
  • The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation announced that it will provide paid training and bonuses to more than 60 early childhood educators with its Early Educator Fast Track Initiative.

Upcoming Events

The National ECE Workforce Center will be launching a recruitment and retention campaign in October. In addition to webinars spotlighting successful recruitment and retention efforts, the Center will release a “Recruitment and Retention Toolkit.”


Office of Child Care
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mary E. Switzer Building, Fourth Floor, MS 4425
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, DC  20201
General office number: (202) 690-6782
Fax: (202) 690-5600
General email: [email protected]