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Staffing

  • 1.  Staffing

    Posted 04-13-2021 07:11 AM
    Good morning.  I am not sure how many members out there are working in the child care section of the early childhood field, but I am directing this question to all of you.  I am in Missouri.  I am wondering how many centers are struggling to find staff of any kind, I think that I have given up on qualified.  We have posted on several sites, try to have competitive wages, sponsor scholarships to go back to school, full time benefits, etc.  Indeed in our area had over 2900 posts for jobs in early childhood.  There is no way anyone is seeing our ads.  We receive so few applicants, that there is not selection.  I am working 60 plus hours a week to cover staffing shortages and my job is suffering.  I have to work weekends.  It is getting tough for me emotionally and physically.  Does anybody have ideas or suggestions?  Thank you so much and have a great day!

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    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
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  • 2.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 04-14-2021 12:18 AM
    Hi,
    I completely hear you. Getting a qualified staff has been a nightmare for all directors. I blame it mostly on the unemployment check coming in but with free money coming in no one wants to work. It's definitely been challenging and frustrating for sure. I have been running ads everywhere and I live in California.  I think it's same in all early childhood industry currently.  Nothing much we can do. Right now retaining the current employee should be a high priority for sure .


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    Janani Krishnakumaar
    Owner/ Director
    The Little Butterflies
    Pleasanton CA
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  • 3.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 04-14-2021 06:54 AM
    Thank you so much for your response.  Will be sending positive thoughts your way!

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    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
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  • 4.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 30 days ago
    We have the same issues in Vermont, but I don't blame it on unemployment checks.  I blame it on people not going into the field because it's very hard work and the pay is miserable.  I think it's a systemic problem of national priorities.

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    Ellen Luna
    Education Coordinator/Site Director
    Brattleboro VT
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  • 5.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hello Ellen I totally agreed , we are having the same issue here in Columbus ,Ohio . Storage of Earlychildhood professional due to it is very hard work taking care of children ,and running a high quality program on a low rate salary and lack of important giving to the Child care services and professional.

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    Mary Hayes
    earlychildhood educator / director
    Children Achievers Faith Academy
    Columbus OH
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  • 6.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 04-14-2021 07:29 AM
    We are in the same position. We are restricted to hiring only students of the college which makes things that much more difficult. It is getting difficult to maintain the quality of our program and allow for well deserved time off for our full time staff.
    I agree that with the stimulus checks and extra unemployment the hiring pool is small right now. Another issue for us is the fact that the students are registering for classes virtually so perhaps they do not realize the opportunities for employment on campus.
    I am looking forward to any suggestions!!

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    Laura Richardson
    Jefferson College CDC
    Hillsboro MO
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  • 7.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 04-14-2021 07:51 AM
    Dear Laura,
    Good morning.  We are in Ellisville, Mo.  Thank you so much for sharing!  I am not sure that what is going to happen.  It is scary and I am not sure that there is any importance placed on it.  Everyone was excited about the money going to childcare with the latest stimulus package.  Our center doesn't receive much of that and it doesn't help when you can't find staff.  I hate to say it, but it does make me feel a bit better that it isn't just our center.  Sending you positive thoughts.


    Sincerely,
    Cindy

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



  • 8.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 04-14-2021 07:46 AM
    I feel your pain!  We have been struggling to hire for the last year.  I don't know that I have any great advice as we are continuing to struggle, but I can share a couple things.  We have put together a recruiting team so that I am not having to do this on my own.  We have connected with the high school career center to provide internships in hopes that some of them will want to apply for a job upon graduation.  We also have the privilege of working across the street from a university so we hire part time college students during the school year.  We are trying to post the jobs in any free areas where we can.  We have posted on Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook, Next Door, and one of our local news channels has a job board.  We are also going to contact the local newspaper and ask them to do a human interest story on how the pandemic has impacted childcare and how we need the community's help.  Finally, we have put together an email that we are going to send to local churches that they can share with their congregations if they so choose.  I wish you the best, and know that you are not alone!

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    Elizabeth Weller
    Director
    Park Place Children's Center
    Anderson IN
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  • 9.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 04-14-2021 08:08 AM
    Dear Elizabeth,
    Thank you so much for the ideas.  Facebook, Indeed, ZipRecruiter offer little to nothing.  I will try reaching out to local churches.  Sending positive thoughts!

    Sincerely,
    Cindy Bohrer

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    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
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  • 10.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 04-14-2021 12:25 PM
    Hi, Cynthia,

    The pandemic has exacerbated what was already an insurmountable problem that a leader in our field, Gwen Morgan, called the "trilemma" - cost of care for parents (Affordability), impact of low wages for caregivers (Quality and Availability). It's going to take a lot more that the current federal support to fix it. We need a new paradigm for child care. Family child care networks may be one of the best options (see this article https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/04/05/child-care-coop-network-low-income/ ), along with universal publicly-funded preschool. Centers are, unfortunately, feeling the pain more than any other entity. We keep getting squeezed and the field is hemorrhaging talent.
    I really admire you for hanging in the way you have, and I can relate! But eventually I decided that the need was a bottomless pit - and my reserves were not. So my message to all of us is: please take care of yourself first, We can't solve this, individually. I wish it were otherwise.
    Best of luck!

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    Hazel Osborn
    Consultant
    Loveland CO
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  • 11.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 30 days ago
    Thank you so much for the response, Hazel!

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
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  • 12.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 30 days ago
    Good Morning Cynthia,

    Your post hit home deeply.  It is a dilemma we're all talking about and it is felt across the country.
    It was already happening before the pandemic.  It's also happening in the field of K-12 education.  The long and intense hours, low wages, and high cost of living (rent is completely out of line with working people) are some major factors. People are leaving the profession to find sustainable wages and less stress.
    The funding structure of the field is outdated. We are no longer living in a society where enough numbers of qualified people can volunteer or live on such meager wages. The expectation that child care should be spending time continually trying to raise money or stretch parents beyond their abilities rather than having a healthy, sustainable funding structure has to change.

    Child care programs are doing herculean work trying to patchwork measures to limp along. Many measures have been mentioned in the previous posts.
    In the longer term, the field has to be elevated in the public's mind so the pressure is on the politicians to respond with more than earnest speeches which somehow never become concrete, actionable, sensible solutions. In the shorter term, some other ideas might be to ask rotary clubs, local business organizations, and local philanthropists for funds; to make presentations to the high school and college students in your area in the spring; or to make a video for your local public television and see if they'll air it. All of that takes a lot of time to build the relationships and create the message.  Less time intensive places to start might be trying online babysitting sites or temp agencies as well as meeting with your families and asking them for ideas they might have.
    It is extremely challenging to keep the quality high and consistent with these major issues.

    We need to make our voices heard.  The politicians and general public need to know the stress that we all are feeling, and its effects on children and families. They need to understand it's not just because of the pandemic and therefore can be ignored; but that it's a core concern that will have ripple effects throughout society into the future.

    At the same time we're trying to find solutions, it is extremely important for self-care.  If we all burn out, there's nothing left for the children.  I don't know if you have a local Out of School organization in your area, but they have been so helpful and supportive for me here in Massachusetts. We meet monthly, everyone knows exactly what is happening in my area, and we can talk, vent, and brainstorm together.  It really helps you realize you are not alone in this.

    I am rooting for you!



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    Barbara Brothers
    Cambridge MA
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  • 13.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 29 days ago
    Hello. You are not alone. I am sitting here at 10:30 at night trying to figure out what I am going to do tomorrow because I do not have enough staff. I have one that calls in all the time. The sad thing about it is they know I don't have anyone else to take their place right now. I am a director in North Carolina at a child care facility. I am in the classroom more than I am in the office doing paperwork. I agree with most of you guys when you say that they are wanting to draw checks at home instead of work. In order to keep your star rated license at a high number you have to hire people with a degree or lots of Education. This job is starting to drain a lot of us and the sad thing about it is this is a career that most of us really love. I hope it gets better for each of you.

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    Terry Whitworth
    FCCH Provider & Center Director
    Kids Cabin
    Cherryville NC
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  • 14.  RE: Staffing

    Posted 29 days ago
    Good morning.  I would like to thank you everyone for their support.  I hate to say it, but I feel better knowing that we are not the only area going through this right now.  There is also more of a focus on the affordability of child care for families, which is very important, but the most important issue may be staffing.  There will be not child care centers, if there is no staff.  A vicious circle, with no ending in site.  Again, thank you!  I wish everyone the best!  Fingerscrossed!

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