Lea J.E. Austin

Lea J.E. Austin is co-director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley. She conducts research and analysis focused on early childhood educators and has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of workforce development, racial equity, early childhood leadership competencies and curricula, and public policy and administration. Her specific interest in securing access and opportunities to leadership and decision-making roles in the field for early educators of color was spurred by her work with Mills College in Oakland, California, and First 5 Alameda County (California), where she developed leadership programs in higher education and community settings and implemented a professional development initiative focused on attainment of college education. She is a co-author of numerous research and policy papers focused on the preparation, working conditions, and compensation of early educators, including the Early Childhood Workforce Index (2018), What Does Good Child Care Reform Look Like? (2017)and California’s ECE Workforce: What We Know Now and the Data Deficit That Remains (2018).