The Raising Child Care Fund (RCCF), an initiative of ECFC, pools private foundation dollars to give grants to groups that lift up the voices of families, early educators, and allies—working alongside them to build powerful coalitions to transform child care and expand equity.
RCCF state partners are powerful communicators in their communities, although they rarely have capacity for full time communications support, much less for hiring communications and public relations firms.
In 2022, a contributor to the RCCF national pool, the Early Educator Investment Collaborative (The Collaborative) provided special grant funding to RCCF to expand communications capacity among nine existing RCCF grantee partners, including: Coalition for Social Justice (MA); SPACEs in Action (DC); 9to5 Georgia; Isaiah (MN); Mothering Justice (MI); Ole’ Education Fund (NM); Ohio Organizing Collaborative; Parent Voices (CA); and the Colorado Children’s Campaign.
The Collaborative made this funding available after holding a listening session with RCCF grantee partners to understand their perspective on communications work. Therefore, the special funding is flexible and responsive to grantees’ needs and respectful of their knowledge of building power in their specific communities. Funds can be used to meet a range of communications needs including engaging consultants and staff to develop and engage in:
- Using social media platforms;
- Writing reports, op-eds, and other communications;
- Message/narrative development (including story telling tools);
- Graphic design (including graphic editing, developing infographics, design software);
- Videography support (including video/copy editing, editing software).
DC based RCCF grantee, SPACEs in Action used their communications funding to develop a new video featuring early educators speaking about what new supplemental pay for early educators in Washington DC means for them. Passed in City Council, and authorized earlier this year by the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), early educators will two distributions of $5-14k (the first before the end of DC’s fiscal year, Sept 30, 2022; the second in the next fiscal year, Oct 1, 2022, to Sept 30, 2023) as it would be a considerable tax liability for teachers to receive two pay supplements in one calendar year.
the one-time disbursement of funds will provide, in most cases and depending on their position, between $10,000 and $14,000 per early childhood educator in DC to support pay parity.
What does the supplemental pay mean to early educators in DC? It means getting back on a financial path that was disrupted by the pandemic, being able to pay basic bills and maybe save and invest in something.
While the supplemental payment is a big win, it did not come easy, and it’s not the end. City Council also authorized an Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force to determine a longer term process to move toward pay parity with public school teachers with similar credentials.
Grassroots organizers, like SPACEs in Action, work daily to ensure opportunities like this are implemented equitably, community voices are engaged, and public and private partners understand that a long-term strategy for pay parity for early educators is essential to attracting and maintaining a high quality early education workforce.
Watch the SPACEs in Action video to learn more about what pay parity means for early educators.