The NC Model Salary Scale: NCICDP Compensation Toolkit & Trainings

Background: Efforts for increasing the compensation for the Early Childhood Education workforce has long been recognized as an important need in ensuring a high quality, educated and stable workforce for young children and families. The expectations of an Early Childhood Education professional is high and yet the wages are low. This creates barriers in attracting and retaining qualified teachers and results in staffing shortages and high teacher turnover for child care programs and families.

Historically we have seen that NC Early Childhood Educators earned low wages (Highest Lead Teacher Wage, $15/hr; beginning Lead Teacher Wage, $10.50) while teacher education levels have been increasing across all positions since 2015. In addition, NC Pre-K salary guidelines are based on parity with public schools, but are not required.

Building upon the previous work of the NC Institute for Child Development Professionals who had initially initiated wage-parity work and tying education and compensation in creating previous salary schedule models, the NC Moving the Needle Team (a multi-state project of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center) developed a draft of a model salary scale for NC Early Childhood Education teachers based on specific principles. The principles included:

  • Wage parity with public school teachers (not compensation parity); the goal was to envision the ECE workforce being paid the same as K-12 educators with similar qualifications
  • 100% wage parity for teachers with B-K license as required by the public school system
  • Smaller percentage for an early childhood degree, but without a license
  • Voluntary use by ECE programs, serves as a tool
  • Equity between levels of wages, reward for education
  • Minimum of $15/hr. on the scale

UNC-Charlotte was funded to conduct a survey study to obtain feedback about the scale from the NC Early Childhood Education workforce. The survey targeted teachers, administrators, and organizations that support the workforce. From this survey, the model salary scale was further revised, refined and adjusted. In addition, documentation was created to provide guidance on the use of the scale. The final version of the NC Early Childhood Compensation Collaborative Model Salary Scale for Early Education Teachers (NC Model Salary Scale) was published in February 2021 and revised in May 2023 to include a section on required and voluntary benefits.

The NC Model Salary Scale sets recommended minimum standards for education levels and compensation. It is education or certification based and calls for wage parity for lead teachers with a BA/BS degree plus B-K License in early childhood programs with entry level public school teachers. The goals of the NC Model Salary Scale are to ensure a living wage and to utilize cost-sharing methods (i.e. cost shared between providers, parents, governmental bodies and other funders) to fund compensation efforts. To be clear, families are not the intended source of funding for programs to implement salary scales.

Shortly after the publication of the NC Model Salary Scale was published, the NC Institute for Child Development Professional’s (NCICDP) Compensation Workgroup began work on the development of a Model Salary Scale Toolkit. The Toolkit was designed to provide compensation information and resources for child care center staff, family child care providers, technical assistance (TA) specialists & professional development (PD) specialists working with early childhood education programs (both center based and home based) and Early Childhood higher education faculty and to assist them in implementation and resources around a compensation salary scale. This work, resulting in the online Salary Scale Toolkit Site and two related trainings, was furthered and finalized in 2023 with funding support and with the support of an amazing cadre of contributors.

NCICDP Model Salary Scale Toolkit & Training Resources

Salary Scale ToolkitClick here to access the NC Salary Scale Toolkit

Level I Salary Scale Toolkit Training Webinar

The purpose of Level I training is to introduce participants to the newly developed salary scale toolkit. It will ensure participants are familiar with how to access the toolkit, how to navigate the toolkit, provide a basic overview of the content of the toolkit and the history of the model salary scale and toolkit development.  This training is provided in an online, asynchronous format. Note: Level 1 training is a basic introduction/overview of the Salary Scale Toolkit. This training is NOT intended to provide detailed instruction or support on the toolkit’s content/resources (see level 2 training). For more information about Level I Training, click here.

HOW DO I TAKE THE LEVEL 1 TRAINING?  When you click the link below to enter the training session, you will be taken to a registration form (via Zeffy). Once you sign-up and register for the FREE training, you will immediately receive an email with the link to the Level 1 Training. Follow the directions on the email to get started.

  • The Level 1 webinar session is self-paced, and will require about an hour and a half of your time.
  • You will note the gray dots on the progress line of the video; pausing at these dots will provide questions to complete during the session. 
  • You will need to complete the entire session and the evaluation link at the end in order to receive DCDEE clock hour training credit. Certificates are available and emailed to you AFTER you submit your evaluation. 
  • Click here to register for and access the Salary Scale Toolkit Level 1 Training Webinar

Level II Salary Scale Toolkit Training

The purpose of Level II training is to more deeply explore the actual toolkit content and resources. The training is designed to help participants move more towards application and implementation of a salary scale and to utilize the toolkit resources and/or to assist others in implementation of salary scale in a child care program. This training is provided in an online, synchronous format. Note: All participants enrolling in Level II training, must have previously successfully completed Level I training. For more information about Level 2 Training, click here.

HOW DO I TAKE THE LEVEL 2 TRAINING?  When you click the link below, you will register for the training session. Upon registration you will be provided an online connection link that you will use to sign into your training on your designated date and time.

NOTE: All scheduled 2023 Level 2 Trainings have been completed. Please check back for updates.

A New Salary Scale Toolkit Opportunity! Office Hours/Q&A sessions  

Do you have questions about compensation? Salary scales?  The NC Model Salary Scale?  The NC Salary Scale Toolkit?  Implementation? Strategies? Resources?

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!  Join us for one (or more) of our upcoming Q&A/Office Hours sessions.  No advanced registration is required.  Just hop online and drop-in during the dates below (links to the meeting room) and ask away!

NOTE: All scheduled 2023 Office Hours/Q&A sessions have been completed. Please check back for updates.

Use the QR code or Sign up here to get updates about this project.

©AWS - 2023 NC Institute for Child Development Professionals, PO Box 959, Chapel Hill, NC 27514