Creating a New Blueprint for a Workforce in Crisis

In Vol. 2 of Around the Community, we take a look at how one organization is ambitiously reimagining what's possible in the care sector, and taking action.

As staffing shortages continue to impact communities across the country, we’ve been on the search for sustainable solutions to help programs recover and grow. After being introduced to The Care Institute (TCI), I was able to connect with them to learn more about their innovative partnerships and programming aimed at addressing the growing workforce crisis. I was so inspired by the work of TCI, a national nonprofit working to transform the fragmented system of care in America, that I wanted to share their experience with you!


TCI is an nonprofit organization based in the Boston area that partners with public, private, and other nonprofits to develop the infrastructure, systems, and policies needed to support workers in providing high-quality care for our nation’s children and seniors. This includes attracting and creating economic growth for a new generation of care workers by strengthening access to training, support, and professional opportunities so that our country's care workforce is valued, thriving, and optimistic as a result of enhanced efforts to recruit, train, and support care workers.

From restaurants to hotels to manufacturing, staffing shortages are prevalent in industries across the country. Employers cannot find the skilled labor they need to recover, child care programs included.

Recently we’ve shared data on the impact that staffing shortages are having on families not getting the care they need and seats staying unfilled. We also know that staffing shortages are most significantly impacting care for infants and toddlers due to the low staff-to-child ratios required for quality care. Staffing shortages are contributing to unfilled seats and complicating already labor-intensive, growing waitlists. Meanwhile, programs are left scrambling to find new teachers who have the requisite certifications, skills, and background clearance to care for young children.

Without child care programs returning to their pre-pandemic occupancy, other industries won’t be able to recover as fully as they would if child care were available and affordable for their future employees.

Along with partners across the Greater Boston area including, Boston Children’s Hospital, and AARP, four large child care programs, local colleges, researchers, policymakers, philanthropy, and workforce training professionals, TCI recently launched an innovative, employer-driven pilot program that focused on streamlining the current system of early education training.

The aim was to create a model for how to build a pipeline for recruitment, training, and employment in the early childhood sector that allows new providers to better enter the field and gain the expertise and training needed to succeed. The pilot resulted in successfully training and employing new early education teachers in the participating child care programs. TCI and its partners now plan to expand to three new pilots across Massachusetts to demonstrate the effectiveness of this solution.

At LegUp, we’ll be watching closely as TCI carries out its mission to attract and create economic growth for a new generation of care workers by strengthening access to training, support, and professional opportunities. You can learn more here.