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The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

  • 1.  The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-10-2021 02:37 PM
    Excerpt: For universal preschool to be done well, it can't be done halfway or half-heartedly, experts say. That's because a variety of factors contribute to program quality, including appropriate staffing, fair teacher compensation, curriculum, credentialing requirements, staff professional development and child assessments. All of these elements come with a price tag.

    https://www.edsurge.com/news/2021-05-10-the-unintended-consequences-of-universal-preschool

    ------------------------------
    Jorge Saenz De Viteri
    http://jorgesaenzdeviteri.com
    Pomona NY
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-10-2021 03:19 PM
    I agree.  Public schools are not held to the same standards as licensed childcare centers nor do they have inspectors coming by to ensure that they are following safety practices and maintaining required trainings.  In our area they started full day Pre-K this past August and most of the classes have 26 students with 1 teacher in the classroom and no aide.  We have not been able to confirm whether or not the teachers meet the educational requirements spelled out in HB3 in Texas.  The public school systems should be required to follow the same childcare licensing standards that are set in each state otherwise it is not a level playing field and ultimately the 3 and 4 years olds will suffer because they have been put into an unsafe environment.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 08:16 AM
    I agree with Tim Kaminski from Texas.  We here in Florida have the same issues: 18-20 students in the VPK with only one teacher-no paraprofessional.  Pre-VPK, VPK and Kindergarten are crucial years in a child's foundation for higher education.  There should be a para in each class and more volunteers (that's another issue).  As a private preschool provider,  we are visited monthly: to ensure standards, safety, protocols, etc. are being followed.   Florida's public school does NOT have to go through the same rigorous standards as licensed preschool homes/centers.  It seems to me as double standards: just because it's "Public" school doesn't necessarily mean they are following the standards.  However, they should and they should be held accountable for such as well.  As a former public school educator in Florida, I know first hand how the system works and how it allows us to slide in many areas.  This is only harming the students.  Yet, we, as parents, are expecting to have a free education (not true either because it's in our taxes) for every child.  I've always believed that school should not be compromised for any student.  However, if you look at our history, where do we start cutting back? Our schools: books, materials, resources, etc.  In short, again, who suffers? Our students.  Why then don't we hold the our public schools accountable just like the private sectors?



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    Peggy LaFuente
    Sunrise FL
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  • 4.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 11:11 AM
    Here in Colorado, public schools DO have to follow childcare guidelines. The difficult part is that we are also licensed by the Colorado Department of Education, so we have to try to follow both sets of guidelines, which is almost impossible. In Denver Public Schools, we are required to have our teacher's license.

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Monson
    ECE Teacher
    Denver Public Schools
    Denver, Co
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 11:40 AM
    Jennifer, yes! I am also a preschool teacher in a public school district and we have to follow the exact same guidelines as any other early childcare center. It's sad to know that other states are not held to the same standards.

    ------------------------------
    Melinda Rossi
    ECSE
    Denver CO
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 12:55 AM
    In contrast to what Tim says, I am a preschool sub instructional aide and there is always a full-time certificated and 2 aides for 24 children (this is the maximum allowed to be enrolled). These classrooms in the district I sub for ate high-quality preschool classrooms with a 1 (teacher): 8 (children) ratio. They were recently (a few years ago) rated as being high quality. Also, certificated teachers are required  to have a BA in ECE to qualify to get hired as a preschool teacher. This is at a school district in Central CA.

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    Edgar Duarte
    Atwater CA
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  • 7.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 10:39 AM
    Good morning - as a 27-year veteran Early Childhood faculty member of a highly ranked Public School District in  Florida - I can fully attest that our school district continually strives to exceed any standards set forth by the state and/or federal government.  ALL Early Childhood teachers have a minimum of a Bachelors Degree - all are dually state certified in Primary (age 3-grade 3) and Exceptional Student Education.  ALL classrooms have a very strict ratio of no more than 18 students. Each classroom is staffed with one teacher and one credentialed paraprofessional and many times classrooms are staffed with two paraprofessionals.  All 45 classrooms are monitored for safety by the school district and through identified individuals within the Early Childhood Department.  All classrooms are observed by on-site school administrators for quality. ECE classrooms also receive CLASS observations annually and teachers have  ECE Practice-Based Coaches assigned to them to assist with teacher-identified professional development goals. The Early Childhood department includes an assortment of positions ( ESE Program Specialist, Curriculum and Assessment Program Specialist, Instructional Coach, Behavioral Coach, Health Facilitator, Family, and Community Engagement Facilitator, Family Advocates, Behavior Techs, LMHC, ECE Program Director)  to support the ECE teachers, students, and parents. ECE families and students in our program are given the utmost care and consideration - students receive individualized and differentiated instruction from highly qualified teachers and therapists.  There is NO compromise in the Pre-K education that the students in our Florida school district receive.

    ------------------------------
    Lisa Tavary
    Program Specialist
    SJCSD Early Childhood Services
    St. Augustine FL
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 12:53 PM
    Hi Lisa,

    It's great to hear that your District in St. Augustine, Fl. has so many resources available for the ECE programs and the Pre-K programs.  I think the original premise at the beginning of this feed was that in order to provide a comprehensive full day universal Pre-K program, the money has to be there to make that happen.  It is very expensive to provide everything that you listed that ya'll have in your program, so the question becomes what is the budget for the Pre-K programs in your district and how is it funded.  What is the per child cost to provide that level of service to a classroom of 18 students with a dedicated teacher, two aides, other support services and before and after-school care services?

    Most school districts, at least in Texas, are severely underfunded, even before you add full day Pre-K to the mix.  When our State legislature passed House Bill 3 in 2019 mandating that our public schools start providing full day Pre-K, they did not at the same time provide adequate funding to the districts to make that happen.. Once again an Unfunded Mandate that has developed "Unintended Consequences", which in Texas means that less children are able to access public school Pre-K, primarily due to a lack of available space or qualified teachers to provide the program.

    Also because they have been lax on who qualifies for the program, many private pay 4 year olds left the local day cares Pre-K programs to go into the "Free" public school programs.  Many private pay day cares depend on the revenue from their 3-4 year old classrooms to keep their doors open.  The "Unintended Consequence" of Universal Pre-K, is that more childcare centers end up closing because they have no way to make up the lost revenue from losing their 3-4 year olds to the public schools.

    If consistent and adequate funding from the Federal and State governments is not going to be a priority, there is no reason to push for Universal Pre-K.  We'll have to wait and see if Biden's proposed billions of dollars to help with childcare and fund Universal Pre-K come to fruition.

    Tim Kaminski

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 03:15 PM
    Hi Tim,

    First and foremost, our school district believes and invests in quality Early Education.  The school district recognizes that high-quality Early Childhood Education prepares future K-12 students.

    In order to accomplish this task, we braid various budget streams to cover staff salaries, classroom furnishings and supplies, and professional development, etc. We've learned that by braiding funds and students - that we are able to improve services for all students and provide an Early Childhood classroom that mirrors the demographics and population of a typical kindergarten classroom.

    We have around 45 classrooms within 12 of our elementary schools.
    Twenty-five of our classrooms are located within five Title One schools and are designed in a tri-braided format - we serve ESE Students (3- and 4-year old students with disabilities), Head Start students (3-and 4-year-old federally funded) and FL VPK (4-year-old state-funded)  students.  We also utilize Title One funds to supplement the VPK students as the state VPK  only funds those students for 1/2 days during the school year.
    The other 20 classrooms are funded to serve ESE students and VPK students.  Those parents pay a nominal fee for extended school day services unless they qualify for free or reduced meals - then they attend full day without the parent fee.

    Some of our schools offer extended day services (fee-based) or many of our students attend after-school care at local child-care centers.

    The state-funded VPK  program is severely underfunded - the per-pupil allotment is about $2300 for 180 school days = apx $13 per student per day.  The school year is funded for 1/2 day services - most of our local childcare centers offer extended school day services (fee-based) to accommodate children and students. FL VPK is not required to be offered by school districts during the school year; however, the 300-hour summer VPK program is a requirement for school districts to offer.  Most VPK providers during the school year tend to be childcare facilities.

    According to Ed Data.org, Florida school districts on average receive about $9300 per each K-12 student and Texas receives about $9600 per each K-12 student, so our states are very equally funded (or underfunded.)  I truly believe that quality public Pre-K happens when the top officials  (School Boards and Superintendents) recognize that Early Education is valuable and make it a priority for their communities.

    Universal Pre-K is an investment that could save millions over time if considered a priority and funded appropriately. I, for one, am just glad to see it as a topic at the Federal level, for too long Early Education has been on the backburner instead of the forefront.





    ------------------------------
    Lisa Tavary
    St. Augustine FL
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 04:32 PM
    Lisa,

    Thank you for the detailed information.  I have heard about the blended funding model before, but I think your explanation of it makes it easier to understand how it all works together.  We are just starting to have conversations with our local school district about Pre-K partnerships with the districts and how the Texas Education Agency (TEA) expects for those programs to work together.  The big sticking point is how the programs will be funded including the wrap around services for before and after-school services and who will employ the teachers over those programs.  We hope to have something in place for the new school year in August 2021.

    Thanks again for the information.

    Tim

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-13-2021 09:39 AM
    Well stated. I believe this is a similar situation here in NYState

    ------------------------------
    DEBORAH Collette-Cromp
    Teacher/Trainer/Consultant/Coach
    Teaching Improves Performance
    Malone NY
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 10:44 AM
    Quality is more than the list you gave. Check out Farran's research from the Vanderbilt University.

    There needs to be flexibility in philosophy and approaches to early childhood programs. Providers - owners and teachers should not feel like they are in strait jackets.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 11:12 AM
    I agree with some of what Tim has said. Our community standards from the Division of Youth and Families in NJ are more comprehensive than the state standards when it comes to preschool program environments among other issues. Unfortunately, the ratios permitted in public schools are controlled by each State, and as I see here, the ratios are all over the place.

    The one thing that should improve the quality of PreK programs in public schools is that the teachers in ECE programs in public schools are required to have a bachelor's degree. They are also required to be State certified to teach in early childhood and preschool programs.

    PreK programs in NJ have a State class size limit of 15, and the teacher must have an Early childhood certified teacher and at least one assistant teacher who has a two-year degree. Many community centers in NJ are under contract to provide PreK programs for school districts but I bet that if the school district could push out the community programs and take them over, they would try to do that.

    Unfortunately, the culture of the public school is less family-friendly than most community programs. In addition, there are rarely visits from the State to check that districts are following the "rules" in how their programs are structured and functioning. We also lose the "smallness" and family-friendly intimacy that you find in many community centers.

    I do not know of any administration preparation programs that include a track for specialization in leading public schools that are early childhood centers. The New America Foundation has written a lot about this. If the principal and others in the district do not understand how children of these ages develop and learn, then the support for appropriate programs is often compromised. It will take strong early childhood teachers who have solid expertise to stand up and advocate for developmentally appropriate programming for PreK children - in NJ, this includes 3 and 4-year-olds.

    More discussions and thinking about how to implement universal PreK is necessary. We need to include in these discussions representation from all those affected by whatever decisions are made.

    Preschool_classroom_processes_as_predict.pdf

    Effects of the Tennessee Prekindergarten Program on children'sachievement and behavior through third grade.pdf

    I hope these studies came through.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 11:21 AM
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.03.005

    This should link to one of the studies.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-11-2021 06:00 PM
    Hello from the Preschool Doctor,

    I would like to make another suggestion because I do not think young children fit in the universal preschool plan.  I have already read here comments that their program is lacking in different ways.
    Can we still brainstorm the ideas?  It takes time to figure out the correct approach to educating young children.
    This is the idea I have for the new program I designed with a new business model. "Universal Tuition"

    I think the answer could be "Universal Tuition" that way parents can choose where they want their precious child to go, they could just help out with tuition.  That tuition could also help to pay teachers a living wage.  Much like college tuition, just let the parents have educational tuition for preschool.  Then you don't have to build schools they can go to the excellent private preschools that provide loving care in a smaller setting that's healthier for young children's development.
    Time to make changes, let's go with Universal Tuition.

    Thank you for your time.

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 01:16 AM
    Melanie, this would be similar to charter school vouchers, which we know are problematic because they drain public funds and pour them into private for-profit pockets that don't end up being redistributed. This is how hedge-fund managers got into the charter school business game. When the people with more money have an opportunity to earn government dollars by making their programs more enticing, they will. The return on investment is worth it for them. However, as they build their wealth, there is less and less going to programs in historically underserved areas.

    ------------------------------
    Jessica Kolva
    Tacoma WA
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 11:29 AM
    Hello Jessica,
    I  think that universal preschool tuition is the best way for parents to afford paying for preschool.
    You wrote about charter schools which brings up the other issue that needs more brainstorming. The preschool I designed addresses the problem you bring up.
    Preschool for profit is unethical. Children are not a commodity to make money on.
    That being said I'm creating a new business plan for private preschool

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 03:24 PM
    Jessica wrote: Melanie, this would be similar to charter school vouchers, which we know are problematic because they drain public funds and pour them into private for-profit pockets that don't end up being redistributed. This is how hedge-fund managers got into the charter school business game. When the people with more money have an opportunity to earn government dollars by making their programs more enticing, they will. The return on investment is worth it for them. However, as they build their wealth, there is less and less going to programs in historically underserved areas.

    I wanted to add that charter schools are elementary schools, not preschools.  I have not found any preschools that are charter schools.  The PreK at an elementary school is run by the elementary school.  So, the correlation between the topics is different.  Universal preschool tuition like college tuition is available so that people can choose where they want their young child cared for.  It's a working business plan to address the current issues in preschool.
    Sincerely,
    Melanie


    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 03:50 PM
    Melanie,

    Our preschool and many others that are attached to districts are not run by the elementary school. We have a preschool department that makes decisions on curriculum and instruction based on state standards and other developmentally appropriate standards. Sometimes they align with the rest of the elementary school and sometimes they do not, but are what's right for our population of students.

    ------------------------------
    Melinda Rossi
    ECSE
    Denver CO
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 04:09 PM
    Hi Melinda,
    That is interesting. I find most elementary schools have a preschool attached to the elementary school.  You are right many of them are not part of the school district.  These schools have the advantage to keep their enrollment up because they have the community right there to enroll their child.  All of these preschools are suffering the same problems as private preschools.  High turnover with staff, children misbehaving, and parents unable to pay for care.
    A new business model needs to be discussed where teachers regain autonomy in the preschool.  Parents need help with tuition, and children need help because of their behavior.  These are solvable problems by changing the way preschools are run.
    Thank you for your time and feedback
    Sincerely,
    Melanie

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-13-2021 09:35 AM
    Here in NYS, not all Universal Pre-Ks are run by the school districts. Many use Community Based Organizations. They are not charter schools and usually families don't have a choice or may not be aware that their program is subsidised by UPK funds. What I see as a major concern is typically within the districts. The administrators often do not have a strong background in Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children and the teachers are using water-down elementary education practices and very teacher led with limited application  education/application of best practices for 3 - 5 year olds.

    ------------------------------
    DEBORAH Collette-Cromp
    Teacher/Trainer/Consultant/Coach
    Teaching Improves Performance
    Malone NY
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 12:01 PM
    Interesting thought. In NJ, the PreK teachers teaching in community early childhood education schools are paid by the school district on par with the teachers who are teaching in the district schools. In the community center in which I am a Board member, medical benefits are not connected to the school district and neither are our teachers members of NJEA, the union that represents many teachers in NJ, including those in this particular early childhood center.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 12:52 PM
    Jessica, the government funds or "vouchers" that for profit centers like mine receive for subsidized children is far less than what it cost us to provide the service and what we actually charge our private pay clientele.  In some cases it is 25% to 40% less so we actually have to take a loss on subsidized students as we can not collect the difference from their parents. The subsidized parents and children benefit because their child is able to access childcare when they were not able to before.  There is no financial benefit or gain to us as a for profit business.  In the same vain, public schools will only be able to offer Universal Preschool if they are given adequate money by the Federal or State government to provide those programs.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 01:25 PM
    Do you not have voter support to increase funding for early childhood programs? The majority of our funding comes from voter approval for tax increases. I am a special ed preschool teacher in a district, so we also use school bonds.

    ------------------------------
    Melinda Rossi
    ECSE
    Denver CO
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 02:01 PM
    Not in Texas.  The subsidy program is administered through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) via funds sent to Texas by the Federal Government.  There are no specific Texas State Funds for early childcare subsidies other than funds that were established to get full day Pre-K going in the public schools 3 years ago, and even that program was way underfunded.

    TWC has a 4 Tiered Star Rating system so that if you participate in the subsidy program, you can be reviewed and rated on your quality.  Each time you move up in a Star Rating, you reimbursement rate increase but it is usually just a $1.00 or $2.00 per week per child.  Not hardly worth the effort that goes into putting everything into place to achieve the next level.​

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 03:38 PM
    Tim,
    I think another consideration in looking at the budget is the cost of the building itself.  Many schools are built from the ground up and the cost of the building ranges in the millions.  That to me is a bad business plan.  To build these buildings and have to pay back the loan must be a constant strain on running the preschool.  My idea is to take existing buildings and just upgrade or redesign the environment. I think it is more cost-effective than building that big building like so many franchised preschools find themselves in because preschool is not a big profit-making business.
    Sincerely,
    Melanie

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 05:07 PM
    Hi Melanie,

    In our area rent on commercial properties can run anywhere from $6,000.00 to $12,000.00 per month based on the size of the space.  However most of these types of locations do not have adequate outdoor space to meet licensing requirements, so multiple classes have to share the same playground space without necessarily having the developmentally appropriate equipment for each of those age groups.

    The biggest expenses in operating a childcare center are the rent/mortgage, payroll, utilities, insurance and taxes.  If you own the building then you add property taxes on top of that.  Most Franchised centers also have to pay a substantial Franchise Fee to the main company.

    In my situation, I have one location that was a retro fit back in 1982.  My family had purchased an older house in an older neighborhood and then remodeled it to initially accommodate around 32 children.  Texas licensing standards were fairly lax at that time.  Over the next 30+ years two additional sections were added and with each new addition, other changes would have to be made to accommodate either new licensing standards or other city regulations. The total square footage now is around 3,000 sq ft with 6 different large playgrounds. The center now accommodates around 90 students and the property and building are paid for.  However, because it is located in a low income area, there is a limit as to how much we can charge for tuition there, based on what parents are willing and able to pay.  We accept subsidy children at that location, but the subsidy rate that we get paid is also low, so it does not allow for us to offer benefits or wages higher than between $9-$11.00 per hour.  So even though we don't have the overhead of rent at that location, the revenues that can be generated by tuition leave less than a 10% profit margin to put back into the center.

    Our second location was built 7 years ago and is a brand new 10,000 sq foot building 8 classrooms, a cafeteria, and 6 large separate playgrounds.  The classrooms are large and the size was based on the current ratio standards for each age group.  The center is licensed for 140 but has a capacity of 180.00.  It was built in an area that had rapid home growth and development, but no childcare centers located near the new neighborhoods.  There was no retail space available to rent nor was there a similar type of building to purchase and retro fit.  It was a multi million dollar project funded by the SBA.  Since it was built in a higher income area, we are able to charge a higher tuition rate to cover the higher overhead of the building and the higher operating cost of a larger building.  The quality of the programs is the same between the two buildings.  However the profit margin is about the same at the newer location, because again there is an upper limit to what parents can and are willing to pay for tuition.  In order to pay our staff more and add benefits would require us to increase the tuition rates at both locations.  We do accept subsidized kids at our new location, but we have to limit the number because the reimbursement rate is so low.  This location has been open for 7 years.

    In the last 3 years two corporate, franchise locations, have built new locations literally less than a mile from us in either direction.  Their building and land costs were 3 X higher than what we paid 7 years ago and their tuition rates are $20.00 to $30.00 higher than ours per week.  Neither of those locations has ever really taken off and due to the pandemic and drops in enrollment they are both projected to close later this year.  Two other older childcare centers in our area that had been around for 20+ years but were renting their spaces and served primarily subsidized students have also closed this past year.

    The formula to make any of this work is extremely complicated and goes way beyond who can do it better between public schools and private centers.  Covid 19 is has proven if you do not pay enough for quality childcare, regardless of where it is provided, it will go away.  There is no way to reduce what it currently costs to provide even basic childcare.  In order to increase childcare wages and benefits to the level of what is provided to public pre-school teachers, tuition rates and subsidy rates will have to be raised significantly to cover those increased overhead costs.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 05:30 PM
    Tim,
    I agree - the formula is very complex.  As a family home based preschool,  I too have to worry about costs: mortgage, utilities, employees, taxes, insurance, car insurance and gas (for before and after care students), etc.  And on top pf it all, competition with those bigger centers that do not offer the same educational experience as we at Foundation Montessori in Broward County, Florida.  This school year one of our 4 years-old tested through FDDLERS at a first grade level and the other two tested at Kindergarten level.  All 4 years-old are reading, writing and comprehending on or above age/grade level.  Yet, I cannot afford to pay my teachers the wages they truly deserve.

    ------------------------------
    Peggy LaFuente
    Sunrise FL
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 08:20 PM
    Peggy,

    I don't think that the quality differs because of how large the center is, but more the quality of educators working in a center. I know that as a public school teacher, I am expected to have a certain level of education to be considered effective and hirable, but that isn't necessarily the case for smaller centers. In either situation there are more effective and less effective teachers. I only work in a public school district because I could not afford the pay at a center.

    ------------------------------
    Melinda Rossi
    ECSE
    Denver CO
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 03:47 PM
    Melinda,
    The overall public awareness about preschool is very low.  Only as the pandemic hit did people start to realize they need preschools.  But the need for more preschools doesn't mean that people are aware of what preschool is all about.  I think we definitely need more public awareness.

    Different topic, it's funny to me that there are no YouTube videos interviewing directors and teachers about current preschool issues. It is amazing how it is not even noticed by anyone, where are the discussions happening, just on NAEYC.  While I do see preschool teachers giving lessons on youtube, there isn't any real brainstorming happening.

    Sincerely,
    Melanie
    P.S. I am starting a Youtube channel to interview directors and teachers about their experiences at a preschool program.

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-13-2021 09:52 AM
    Melanie,
    check out the Adirondack Foundation Birth to Three Youtube channel. Although the focus is families & children birth to three, I believe these videos are along your idea.
    Stand Up For Childcare in the Adirondacks https://youtu.be/QpmlaCprM_U

    ------------------------------
    DEBORAH Collette-Cromp
    Teacher/Trainer/Consultant/Coach
    Teaching Improves Performance
    Malone NY
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 03:31 PM
    Hello Nora,
    Thank you for your feedback, I love brainstorming these ideas.  You wrote that while the PreK teachers at the public school in NJ get benefits, the teachers are not connected to the local teachers union.  This is like many of the headstart programs, most of the programs are part of the local teachers union.  But the headstarts that are not part of their local union have to start a petition and get signatures to have them added to the local union.  If each center just fights back, then each time they are granted to be part of the local union.  So, it comes down to the community fighting to get the preschool teachers part of the local teachers union.
    I don't know if you have already attempted this but this is what I found in the research on the topic.
    Sincerely,
    Melanie

    ------------------------------
    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 04:10 PM
    The thing is the teachers' salaries are paid by the school district. The medical benefits come through the community early childhood center. Our teachers are not part of the school district union but they do belong to a union and negotiate contracts - the salary issue is no longer part of that if you are a fully certified teacher in charge of the classroom. Assistant teachers' salaries, etc. are handled differently.

    PreK in NJ has a class size limit of 15 children - one teacher and an assistant teacher.

    I do not think that the public schools really understand how 3 and 4-year-olds learn or what is an appropriate learning environment and activities for them. As I posted earlier, very few people in the school district who make policy have a deep knowledge of early childhood development and learning. The standards that the State has for community early childhood centers are superseded by public school policies and rules, which are not in the best interests of young children. The two groups do not really communicate or work together as a unit to plan the best programs for young children.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-12-2021 04:55 PM
    Hello Nora.

    Thank you for your comment. You said, "As I posted earlier, very few people in the school district who make policy have a deep knowledge of early childhood development and learning."

    I found this to be very true, most people do not have knowledge about preschool, that is a big part of why things move sooooo slowly in making changes to the preschool programs.  And the issue of quality care is rarely achieved without some community support.
    Sincerely,
    Melanie


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    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor
    thepreschooldoctor.com
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-13-2021 07:18 AM
    This conversation is great!  Thank you to all!  Universal preschool does not offer care for children under the age of three.  There is a large demographic of children that require care because families need to work and require quality care for their children.  This is topic is going to go around and around.  I am not sure that the higher ups are actually looking at or really understand the field beyond the public school districts.  There is a need for quality child care facilities.  There are a lot of us out there that believe in this and work for it everyday.  Unfortunately, there are very few advocates for this field.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 36.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-13-2021 09:50 AM
    Yes, children under 3 are not covered by universal PreK. We do not have a Creche system as they do in France. I am not sure about what other European countries have. The absence of support for programs or people who take care of infants and some of toddler age is terrible for parents who have to work. I would guess that for those with insufficient income to access high-quality infant care outside their homes or inside their homes are in a bad place.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-13-2021 11:15 AM
    Cynthia,

    You are correct.  Universal Pre-K does not address 0-3 and it also does not address before and after-school care for students that would be enrolled in Universal Pre-K.  The term "wrap around" services is currently being used regarding this part of Universal Pre-K.  Whether we want to acknowledge it openly or not, as soon as students are eligible for public school working parents will put them in school so that they no longer have to pay for childcare.  Then they realize that school doesn't start early enough for them to drop off and get to work on time so then they come back to us, the childcare providers, asking if they can drop off their children with us for us to take them to school.  Since we have our own three and four year old Pre-K programs we do not offer that as a service.  The same thing happens for the afternoons when the parent realizes that school closes at 2:30 or 3:00 and they have to work until 5:00 so they come back to us asking for afte-school care.  Due to the classroom ratio requirements, we will only pick up 4 year old Pre-K students in the afternoon if we have room in our Pre-K classroom and then the parent still has to pay the full Pre-K rate as that child is now taking up a full time spot that might be needed by another family in the future.

    Then their is the issue of Christmas Break, Spring Break and Summer Break.  There are very few secondary programs that offer 6:30 to 6:00 Summer Programs, so once again the parent is left in a situation where they are struggling to find care, where if there children had been in a private 3-4 year old Pre-K program that would have continued to have full day, year round care for their child and if they are in a quality center they would receive the curriculum 12 months out of the year versus 9 months of public school year.

    So many details to get worked out for any of this to work smoothly.

    Tim

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
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  • 38.  RE: The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

    Posted 05-13-2021 02:35 PM
    Thank you.  I am not sure that there will be a perfect universal program.  It depends on the area and the services that the area is needing at that time.  I feel that only one side of the situation is viewed and not the whole.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------