OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Early Childhood Educators Barriers to Job Satisfaction


One of the challenges early childhood educators’ (ECE) experience is the public’s perception of the career field early childhood education. Despite having the responsibility of teaching and caring for the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society (i.e., infants, toddlers, and children), early childhood educators (ECEs) face a challenging and often unsupportive work environment. Early care sites are often understaffed with limited resources, while ECEs receive few work-benefits and are typically paid at nearpoverty wages. Working with young children can be demanding and emotionally and physically exhausting work, yet ECEs remain vastly underappreciated. Given these challenges, what can be done to ensure that quality professionals join and remain in the ECE workforce? The present study seeks to investigate the work environment for ECEs as well as individual factors that impact the job and career outcomes. Specifically, we seek to identify the factors that relate to stress, burnout, and lower work attitudes, as well as questions about retention and long-term commitment to an ECE career. The primary objective of this study is to identify the barriers to job and career outcomes (e.g., job satisfaction, turnover intention, burnout, etc.) in early childhood educators. Early childhood educators are defined as individuals teaching children from the age range of birth to 5 years old and work in child care programs. A second objective is to explore the work environment supports such as wage, paid leave, benefits, and educational incentives currently available to early childhood teachers.

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