Statement by CCC Executive Director Jennifer March on Salary Disparities in NYC’s Early Childhood Workforce

Press Releases

February 15, 2018

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2018

Contact: Elysia Murphy,, 212-673-1800 x18


“Mayor de Blasio promoted an immediate expansion of Pre-K for All in his Preliminary FY 2019 budget and echoed these plans in his State of the City address.

These are laudable steps and we want to help ensure their success as we know that access to high quality early education supports children’s social and emotional growth, promotes school readiness, and provides the foundation for long-term academic success.

Yet, we ask, how can the City champion fairness and justice in early education, suggest it wants to create better paying jobs, and achieve equal pay for equal work, etc., and not address the fact that the early childhood education workforce is paid inequitably?

The pay disparities experienced by early educators in the Mayor’s signature issue – Pre-K for All 4 year olds and now 3-K – are profound and troubling. In fact, CBOs provide the majority of seats for pre-K, and teachers in CBOs are paid far less than DOE teachers providing UPK. Nearly two-thirds of Pre-K for All sites and nearly 60% of Pre-K for All seats are at CBOs (as of November 2017). For sites, it’s 692 schools and 1,193 CBOs. For seats, it’s 35,763 at schools and 51,108 at CBOs.

  • Pre-K teachers at CBOs earn as little as 60% of what Pre-K teachers at DOE schools earn.
  • A first-year teacher with a Master’s degree at a CBO will make nearly $15,000 (or 32%) less than what a first-year teacher with a Master’s degree at a DOE school will make.  By their eighth year, the teacher at the CBO will make $32,000 (or 66%) less than the teacher at a DOE school.
  • A first-year teacher with a Bachelor’s degree at a CBO will make nearly $14,000 (or 33%) less than what a first-year teacher with a Bachelor’s degree at a DOE school will make.  By their eighth year, the teacher at the CBO will make $30,000 (or 68%) less than the teacher at a DOE school.
  • The wage disparity is doubly troubling as early childhood teachers in CBOs tend to work more hours than those in the DOE because they provide care to children for up to 10 hours a day and during the summer months.

This disparity in wages has multiple negative ramifications – undercutting program stability, impoverishing a workforce that is primarily Black and Latina women, and destabilizing services offered to children as CBOs experience higher teacher turnover and at times classroom closures.

The City’s ambitious expansion plans rely heavily on Community Based Organizations (CBOs); yet, the Preliminary Budget and the State of the City speech failed to address the significant wage discrepancies between teachers at Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and their counterparts at the Department of Education (DOE).

There is no mistake, that the continued failure by the City to address these inequities leaves the future of many early childhood programs across the city — as well as the stability of the Pre-K for All system — in jeopardy.  If we truly want a fairer, more just City – salary parity for the early childhood workforce must be addressed.”


CCC is releasing a new infographic on behalf of the Campaign for Children, a coalition of more than 150 early childhood education and after-school advocacy and provider organizations, to illuminate this widening pay gap.  To learn more about this issue and be connected with CBO teachers and directors, contact Elysia Murphy, or 212-673-1800 x 18.

About CCC

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York educates and mobilizes New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. Since 1944, our advocacy has combined public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. We cast light on the issues, educate the public, engage allies, and identify and promote practical solutions to ensure that every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information on CCC, visit our web site at Stay up to date on the latest news and information regarding the well-being of New York City’s children by following us on Facebook and Twitter.



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