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Session Type: Paper Symposium
Substantial evidence shows that children’s experience in early childhood education (ECE) has a considerable influence on their development, and that the adults who care for children in these settings are essential to their success. Unfortunately, the global ECE workforce has historically been characterized as high-stress and high-turnover. This symposium explores links between workplace conditions, teacher wellbeing, classroom quality, and children’s development in ECE in the United States and abroad.
The first paper uses the Job Demands-Resource model to understand how workplace stressors and supports individually and multiplicatively predict classroom quality, and finds that wellbeing is associated with the quality of teachers’ interactions with children.
The second paper uses data from a unique intervention in Ghana to explore how teachers’ economic and professional circumstances are associated with teacher wellbeing, and how, in turn, wellbeing predicts both classroom quality and developmental gains.
The third paper investigates the association between ECE teachers’ wellbeing and children’s executive functions (EF), and finds that both workplace satisfaction and teacher depressive symptoms are associated with EF, highlighting the importance of teacher wellbeing in promoting cognitive development.
Finally, the fourth paper considers how one consequence of teacher stress—teacher turnover—affects children’s development, Using a nationally-representative Head Start sample, it finds that turnover is negatively associated with children’s gains in literacy and behavioral regulation.
Together these papers highlight the importance of the ECE workforce in creating high-quality, developmentally-enriching programs, and assert that policymakers hoping to leverage ECE to close developmental gaps must prioritize the wellbeing of early educators.
Toddler Teacher Job Strain and Resources: Associations with Classroom Quality - Presenting Author: Adrienne J.L. Henry, Oregon State University; Non-Presenting Author: Bridget E Hatfield, Oregon State University; Non-Presenting Author: Kelly Chandler, Oregon State University
Social Determinants and Consequences of Mental Health Among Early Childhood Education Teachers in Ghana - Presenting Author: Morgan Peele, University of Pennsylvania; Non-Presenting Author: Sharon Wolf, University of Pennsylvania
The Role of Teachers’ Psychological Wellbeing in Promoting Children’s Executive Function - Presenting Author: Lieny Jeon, Johns Hopkins University; Non-Presenting Author: Sara Johnson, Johns Hopkins University; Non-Presenting Author: Katherine Ardeleanu, Johns Hopkins University; Non-Presenting Author: Shivani Dongre, Johns Hopkins University
Teacher Turnover & Child Development in Head Start - Presenting Author: anna markowitz, University of Virginia; Non-Presenting Author: Daphna Bassok, University of Virginia