(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) invited early childhood educators to apply for a supplemental payment of up to $14,000 through the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund. This first-in-the-nation initiative will increase pay for educators working with young children birth to age 5 in Washington, DC. These supplemental payments follow the recommendations of the Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force. OSSE and AidKit, a technology platform specializing in administering direct cash aid programs at scale, will administer the program for fiscal year 2022 (FY22).
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the skill and commitment of DC's early childhood educators never wavered. We are thrilled that starting today, our city’s early childhood educators working in child development centers and homes can submit their applications to receive up to $14,000,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “And this is just beginning. More funding is on its way to early childhood educators in fiscal years 2023, 2024 and beyond. We’re confident that through these investments, DC will not only sustain, but grow, an early childhood educator workforce that will be a model for the nation.”
To receive a supplemental payment through the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund in FY22, an early childhood educator must: be employed in a child development facility licensed by OSSE on or before May 16, 2022; be employed in a child development facility licensed by OSSE on the day they apply for funds; and be employed as a teacher, assistant teacher, associate caregiver, expanded home caregiver, home caregiver, Montessori assistant teacher or Montessori teacher.
Early childhood educators must complete and submit the application by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. OSSE and AidKit will review all applications to verify the information that is submitted. Applicants who are approved may choose to receive their supplemental payment through a direct bank deposit or pre-paid debit card. The payment amount an early childhood educator receives is based upon their staff type and if they work full-time or part-time.
Supplemental payments will be distributed to early childhood educators through a similar process in FY23 administered by OSSE and AidKit.
“From Chicago to Denver to Georgia, and now in the District of Columbia, AidKit has supported cities and states across the US to distribute millions of dollars in direct cash payments,” said Katrina Van Gasse, CEO of AidKit. “We are proud to support the District in this groundbreaking initiative to ensure early childhood educators can access and receive funds in an equitable and timely manner.”
In FY24, OSSE will distribute funds directly to child development facilities; facilities that accept funds will use the money to increase their staff’s pay following the recommendations of the Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force.
The District is leading the nation in innovative direct cash transfer programs. Through programs like the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund and Strong Families, Strong Future DC, a program that supports maternal health and advance economic mobility, thousands of DC families and workers will receive funds that will help put them on a trajectory for success.
For more information on the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund, visit osse.dc.gov.ecepayequity.