An Action Research Study of Teacher Retention and Strategies to Mitigate Teacher Attrition in Early Childhood Education

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


James Olive


Early Childhood Education (ECE) is constantly evolving as research examines a solid foundation concerning the life of learning and opportunity for young children. However, ECE is plagued with poor representation, low pay, long hours, harsh, sometimes miserable working conditions, and low teacher retention rates attributed to teacher attrition. The purpose of this action research study is to identify strategies that may impact teacher retention and mitigate attrition in ECE. The mixed methods action research study obtained data from six local early childhood centers in Akron, Ohio. Results showed a significant positive relationship between how long someone has worked in childcare and their current rate of pay or r(35) = .400, p < .05 (see Appendix D, Table 5), indicating that the longer someone worked in ECE, the higher their pay was. This was confirmed through interviews where everyone interviewed said the pay was the largest factor in consideration of leaving childcare. To create meaningful and sustained change within the childcare field, three interventions have been put into practice to decrease attrition in the field of early childhood education. The interventions that were put into place are; creating a mentorship program for the teachers, increasing the level of formal education of the teachers, and increasing ECE teachers' total compensation. With the implementation and completion of this action plan, early childhood centers will see enhanced longevity of the teachers within their centers. With an active and participatory mentorship program, a program to assist in increasing teachers' formal educational level, and a compensation scale that is equitable for the work that is being done, attrition will decrease. The successes and failures here will continue to set off a chain of events that can positively impact future generations.


Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education, teacher turnover, teacher attrition, teacher retention, ECE, childcare, daycare, day school, educator, childcare staff member, mentorship, teacher compensation

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