Hi Jamie:Hmmmm. From your comment, I believe I understand you think child care teachers should earn less money than "preschool" teachers. I think it's important to tease out how you view the difference between "preschool", child care, and head start. Do you mean Pre-K, which is funded through monies through the department of education and allocated by states to deliver programs in public schools, child care programs, and often blended with Head Start funded slots? How do you define preschool?
As stated in the NYT article, Head Start teachers (and child care teachers) are paid less than Pre-K teachers in public school settings.Remember, Pre-K can be delivered in child care programs (as in Georgia, for example) where they are paid at the same rate as the child care educators. TYes, unfortunately, the educational requirements.for child care teachers vary from state to state, and more often than not, degrees are not required for child care teachers. Are child care teachers paid less because their work is not important, complex, or as difficult as the work of a "preschool" teacher? Are the children in child care or Head Start classrooms not as deserving of the same level of interaction with a well-educated teacher? I think it is important to note that we are talking about all programs for children from birth to age five, not preschool, vs. child care, vs. head start. Our field is early care and education, and all early childhood educators should be paid as well as K-12 teachers, if not more. Consider this from Marcy Whitebook, who is quoted in both the New York Times Article and the EWA article I posted this morning:
It was not my intention to suggest that ANY group of educators is less entitled to be compensated for the very important work that they are doing each and everyday. I was merely suggesting that the "reason" that they may not have been viewed as an equal counterpart was due to the affiliation of "day care" center, or associating it with babysitting services. Shame on those early care agencies that do not compensate those teachers fairly.
I do believe that ALL children, especially those considered to be "at-risk" as identified by Title 1 funding should be educated by highly qualified teachers to identify any interventions that might be required and diminish the risk of achievement gaps that exist. New York City DOE has done an outstanding job in providing free Pre-K for all 4 years olds in NYC and most recently began to offer Preschool to 3 year olds. These programs are served in the public schools as well as CBO's and have certified teachers who receive ongoing Professional Development.
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