UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Child Care Employment released its 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index last month and, like the inaugural 2016 edition, the story is grim. The ECE workforce, approximately 2 million strong, earns less than 2/3 of the median wage in every state – putting them in the category of “low wage” employees. More than half of states saw a decrease in preschool teacher and director median wages after adjusting for inflation. Additionally, 53% of child care workers are enrolled in some form of public assistance (compared with 21% of the workforce as a whole). Within the field, staff working with infants and toddlers make significantly less than those working with preschool age children. The report is particularly dispiriting when assessing public policy improvements in our state. California is “stalled” in the categories of Compensation, Workforce Data, Qualifications, and Financial Resources with no conclusion being possible for the final category of Work Environments. We are one of four states with this unenviable record. The only bright spots for California are its ongoing efforts to invest int he health and well being of low-income children and families.