Educator financial wellbeing and implications to practice

Nadia Breese, Sheridan College, Canada (

Background: The following literature review aims to examine how low pay, in the predominately female, field of early childhood education and care (ECEC) impact domains of educator wellbeing, and implications to practice, specifically related to quality of care. Research shows quality care requires a well workforce. The literature also shows that low job resources can contribute to poor work satisfaction, low professional status and overall sense of poor wellbeing.

Aim: The literature reviews aims to influence policy makers to better understand the necessity of a well-paid ECEC workforce and influence future research.

Method: Comprehensive review of peer-reviewed journals. A mixed research synthesis of qualitative and quantitative, peer reviewed literature was collected using the Sheridan College Library and Learning System (SCLLS). SCLLS is an electronic resource used to access academic journals and databases (i.e., EBSCO, SAGE, PROQUEST, etc.). Articles were collected from searches related to “educator wellbeing”, “educator financial wellbeing”, “educator work conditions”, “early childhood quality care”. Articles were selected based on relevance to the field of early childhood education (specifically work within childcare, not within the school system).

Articles were also collected based on references from selected articles, as well as suggested articles from databases and reference manager Mendeley. Articles were collected and stored using Mendeley (reference managing software) and organized using date, author, summary, themes and key points within Microsoft Excel.

Implications for children: You play such an important role in society; we want to make sure you get the very best start in life. Your educators can provide the best care for you when they are well.

Implications for families: The wellbeing of your children during these critical years is so important, it is essential we have a well workforce. Most educators are underpaid in comparison to (most) national average salaries. This creates a lot of stress for educators, and impacts their sense of wellbeing. We must ensure educator wellbeing if we desire the wellbeing of young children in childcare.

Implications for practitioners: You matter! You are often in this job for the intrinsic rewards (the relationship with children and families, watching their development unfold) but you are often stretched thin, making it difficult to do the work you set out to do. You may even work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Your work is so important to society, you should be paid accordingly.

Key words: workforce issues, wellbeing, education, policy, government, review.

This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: