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Ohio Preschool Teachers Among Lowest Paid in U.S., Federal Report Finds

June 15, 2016
Economics and FinanceState & Local
Sara Dorn

Ohio preschool teachers make less than their peers in 48 states, and their median salary is low enough to qualify families of four for food stamp benefits, according to a report from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education.

Only Utah and Arizona preschool teachers have lower median salaries than the $23,690 Ohio preschool teachers earn, and early childhood educators’ salaries in all states pale in comparison to the pay of elementary and kindergarten teachers, the report states.

Recent research shows that a child’s first five years of life are some of the most important for brain development, and indicates early childhood education teachers are the “single most important factors in these early experiences,” according to the report. But their salaries don’t reflect the teachers’ level of responsibility.

The study coincides with Cleveland Connects: The First 2,000 Days, a series examining the importance of a child’s first 2,000 days of life and how society might see long-term returns on investments in early childhood education.