Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Kelly Sadlovksy

Second Reader

Professor Elisabeth Amirahmadi


turnover, burnout, early childhood education (ECE), compensation, teacher shortages


Approximately 27 percent of early childhood professionals leave positions or the field entirely on an annual basis (McMullen, Lee, McCormick, & Choi, 2020). Although the majority of early childhood educators report that the work is valuable and meaningful, other stressors are driving nearly a third of the field to seek other opportunities. These stressors include low compensation, lack of benefits, and poor work conditions. With nearly twelve million infants, toddlers, and preschoolers participating in early childhood programming, their experiences are impacted by this high turnover rate. In comparison, elementary educators experience an annual turnover rate of seven to eight percent on average annually (Phillips, Austin, & Whitebook, 2016). This paper utilized studies that analyzed how the above factors impact the turnover rate within the field of early childhood education. The results suggested that addressing staff preparation, consistent professional development opportunities, support for continued education, and fair compensation would improve the current turnover rate within the field. The program quality, staff qualifications, and child outcomes may be positively impacted in the process by addressing the turnover rate.