A bizarro world reverses our everyday realities. You may be familiar with the concept if you have ever read DC Comics or watched Seinfeld. In the bizarro world I envision for our nation’s infants and toddlers, family income does not determine whether their parents can afford to take time off work in the first months of their lives nor their right to high quality early care and education. In every infant-toddler program, whether offered in a center or home, staff are steeped in the science of child development and early learning pedagogy, and can depend on good wages and working conditions.
MARCY began her career as an infant/toddler teacher, which taught her the importance of improving child care jobs as key to ensuring children’s right to high quality early care and education. Joining with teachers who shared her understanding of link between child and adult well-being, they founded the Child Care Employee Project (CCEP) in 1977. In 1989 CCEP conducted the National Child Care Staffing Study which first brought public attention to the low wages and high turnover of child care teachers and their impact on child outcomes CCEP, later to become the Center for the Child Care Workforce, also spearheaded the national Worthy Wage Campaign, Marcy founded and serves as the Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California at Berkeley. Her recent works--the Early Childhood Workforce Index and Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Care and Education Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study-- document the current status of the workforce and analyze how workforce policies serve to support and/or undermine effective teaching, contribute to inequitable services for children and families, and often pose risks to the personal and familial well-being of the workforce itself.