Educators who have access to high-quality PD are less likely to leave new survey reveals
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Educators who have access to high-quality PD are less likely to leave new survey reveals

Educators who have access to high-quality PD are less likely to leave new survey reveals

by Freya Lucas

October 11, 2022

Educators who have access to high-quality professional development are less likely to leave the profession, is one of the key findings from a new survey that sampled over 2,300 early childhood educators in the United States. 


“The findings confirm what we have suspected: If we are to retain passionate educators, we must not only fairly compensate them for their critical work but we must make high-quality, flexible opportunities for professional growth more accessible,” said Teaching Strategies CEO John Olsen. 


“We can’t return to business as usual,” he continued. 


Mr Olsen also used the survey to find out more about the barriers to accessing professional development, with many educators saying it has been “too inconvenient, irrelevant or inaccessible.”


Teaching Strategies, a US based curriculum developer, professional development provider and family engagement tool creator, focused the survey, the first in an ongoing series, on gathering on the ground insights and perspectives from early childhood education and care educators to inform national conversations around policy and practice. 


Understanding the role of PD in retention a key focus for survey 


Against the backdrop of national educator burnout and workforce gaps, Teaching Strategies sought to understand the role of professional learning in retaining early childhood educators and supporting their wellbeing.


Almost half of the respondents in the survey said they have struggled with mental health and burnout, while over 40 per cent said their mental health and feelings of burnout were made worse by staffing shortages. 


Key survey findings include: 


  • Compensation and mental health remain the driving reasons for early childhood educators considering a career change. Of the 20 per cent of early childhood educators surveyed who said they are considering making a career change, 43 per cent said compensation is the driving reason and 40 per cent gave mental health as their reason.


  • Professional development is important for educator satisfaction. Seventy percent of early childhood educators who report access to professional development opportunities are statistically more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.


  • Early childhood educators prefer online, on-demand professional development. Nearly 60 per cent of all educators surveyed said online would be one of their preferred methods of participating in professional development, and more than one-third of educators said this was the only way they want professional development.


  • Younger professionals are more likely to select professional development opportunities. 36 per cent of educators under the age of 35 said professional development opportunities are among their top 3 desired resources with just 18 per cent for over 45’s.


Notably the survey also found that 51 per cent of educators who were planning on leaving the profession said their education did not prepare them compared to 20 per cent who did. 


“Alongside critical factors like compensation and work environments, the survey tells us there’s a valuable role for professional learning to play,” Mr Olsen continued. 


The data gathered is an opportunity to intentionally create  meaningful learning opportunities and career pathways that support educators and enable them to flourish, Mr Olsen added. 


View all survey findings here.

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