Head Start, the federally funded early childhood program for low-income children, has rigorous academic requirements and quality standards. Yet the average salary for Head Start teachers of all degree and job levels, across the country, is roughly $38,500. Teachers with a bachelor’s degree don’t make much more, with an average salary of just under $40,000.”

“Now, in news shared exclusively with USA TODAY, the Biden administration is working to raise Head Start staff salaries with a proposed rule that would require they’re paid at least as much as local prekindergarten or preschool teachers who work for public school districts. That could amount to pay increases of more than $10,000 on average.”

“Data show that the poverty rate among early-childhood educators is eight times higher than for K-8 teachers. The early-childhood educators, in turn, often rely on public assistance – or they leave their preschool classrooms for other jobs, whether fast-food chains or the public school system. While public school teacher pay has its own issues, districts’ higher salaries and greater benefits are a big draw for Head Start staff and other early educators.

“New Biden plan raises salary for Head Start teachers, who face meager pay and grueling work,” by Alia Wong, USA Today, November 15, 2023