Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.4 Professional Development/Training

1.4.6 Educational Leave/Compensation Training Time and Professional Development Leave

A center, large family child care home or a support agency for a network of small family child care homes should make provisions for paid training time for staff to participate in required professional development (that includes training as well as education) during work hours, or reimburse staff for time spent attending professional development outside of regular work hours. Any hours worked in excess of forty hours in a week must be paid according to state and federal wage and hour regulations.
Most caregivers/teachers work long hours and most are poorly paid (1). Using personal time for education required as a condition of employment is an unfair expectation until compensation for work done in child care is much more equitable. Many child care workers also employed in another vocation work at other jobs to make a living wage and would miss income from their other jobs or risk losing that employment. Additionally, the caregiver/teacher may incur stress in their family life when required to take time outside of child care hours to participate in work-related training.
Professional development in child care often takes place when the participant is not released from other work-related duties, such as caring for children or answering phones. Providing substitutes and released time during work hours for such training is likely to enhance the effectiveness of training; and improve employee satisfaction/retention.

Large family child care homes employ staff in the same way as centers, except for size and location in a residence. For small family child care home caregivers/teachers, released time and compensation while engaged in training can be arranged only if the small family child care home caregiver/teacher is part of a support network that makes such arrangements. This standard does not apply to small family child care home caregivers/teachers independent of networks.

The Fair Labor Standard Act mandates payment of time and a half for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in a week.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. Center for the Child Care Workforce, American Federation of Teachers (AFT). 2009. Wage data: Early childhood workforce hourly wage data. 2009 ed. Washington, DC: AFT. wwd fact sheet.pdf.