Stabilizing the Early Childhood Workforce Through Funding Design: Innovative Whole-System Approaches by Two States

April 2023 | Tags: COVID19, Grants and Contracts, Workforce, Illinois


In April 2023, CELFE collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Early Care and Education to present innovative funding strategies used in Illinois and Massachusetts to support the early childhood education (ECE) workforce. Delivered at the Early Childhood Education Workforce Convening, hosted by the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center, the presentation detailed the context in which the strategies were developed and digs into the challenges and successes for each step.

Illinois grants highlighted the different initiatives aimed to stabilize and bolster the workforce to enhance access to quality care, and in Massachusetts, the workshops explores how the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grants were instrumental in stabilizing ECE programs by addressing providers' operational and workforce expenses.

The presentations underscore the innovative use of contracts to target staffing challenges and improve access to quality early childhood education, offering valuable insights into effective policy design for supporting the ECE workforce.


  • Theresa Hawley, Ph.D., Center for Early Learning Funding Equity
  • Amy Checkoway, Senior Associate Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care