(Washington, DC) – Today, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced that it has selected AidKit to administer the $53.9 million Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund. The fund will support pay parity for early childhood educators in the District following the recommendations of the Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force. AidKit will partner with OSSE to distribute one-time payments in fiscal year 2022 (FY22) to eligible child development center teachers, assistant teachers, home and expanded home providers and associate caregivers employed in licensed facilities in the District of working with children ages birth to 5.
“The District is a national leader in early childhood education, and that is due in large part to our amazing early childhood educators. In every ward, we have outstanding educators working in child development centers and homes who educate, nurture and care for our littlest learners,” State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant said. “The Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund is an important step in supporting early educators in the District for their work to foster children’s learning. I am pleased with our partnership with AidKit on this important effort.”
AidKit is a social impact company specializing in administering efficient and secure direct cash aid programs at scale. AidKit has supported states and cities across the US to disburse funds to diverse populations, including early childhood educators. As the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund administrator, AidKit will deliver funds to eligible early educators and provide technical assistance. The amount an educator receives through the fund will depend on their position but will, in most cases, be between $10,000 and $14,000.
"We are thrilled to partner with OSSE to implement the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund. This program is happening at an impressive scale and is poised to positively impact the lives of more than 4,000 early childhood educators and the families they serve," Katrina Van Gasse, CEO of Aidkit said. "This program aligns with AidKits core values, and we look forward to helping OSSE reach all qualified educators in an accessible and equitable way, including payment for those without bank accounts."
In February 2022, the DC Council passed the Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force Temporary Amendment Act, which authorized OSSE to disburse pay equity funds in accordance with the recommendations of the task force. The supplemental payments are intended to recognize the value of early educators’ work and supplement the compensation of the District’s early educators. Legislation pertaining to the administration of the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund in FY23 and beyond is under consideration in the DC Council. OSSE is working to lay the groundwork for sustained salary increases for early educators in future years.
More information about eligibility criteria and pay supplement amounts can be found here. Information on accessing funds and other implementation details will be made available to the early care and learning community in the coming weeks and months.