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Fact Sheet: Troubling Pay Gap for Early Childhood Teachers 

Preschool is a critical means of expanding educational equity and opportunity by giving every child a strong start. Studies show that attending high-quality early education can result in children building a solid foundation for achieving the academic, health, and social outcomes that are of benefit to individual families and to the country as a whole.

Children who attend these programs are more likely to do well in school, find good jobs, and succeed in their careers than those who don't. And research has shown that taxpayers receive a high average return on investments in high-quality early childhood education, with savings in areas like improved educational outcomes, increased labor productivity, and a reduction in crime.

Yet, preschool teachers are paid less than mail order clerks, tree trimmers and pest control workers. Child care workers make less than hairdressers and janitors. In fact, most early childhood educators earn so little that they qualify for public benefits, including for the very programs they teach targeting low-income families. 

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