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  • 1.  High turnover in preschools

    Posted 08-24-2019 01:48 AM
    Greetings fellow NAEYC members. I am curious if anyone else is experiencing or is aware of teaching staff with high burnout and turnover rates inside franchised preschools. Has any research been published on this? Thank you.

    Hedy Dembowski, B.A., ECE
    Early Childhood Educator
    Riverside County Office of Education
    Menifee CA

  • 2.  RE: High turnover in preschools

    Posted 08-24-2019 07:30 AM
    Dear Hedy,

    Without referring to any specific research, as a teacher of almost 30 years, I am sure that most preschools have high turnover/burnout rates because of the low salaries for both teachers and other staff members.  I know many teachers who work in preschool settings and I am always astonished at how grossly underpaid they are.  I think our profession suffers from this, regardless of what school setting one works in.  In general, many people refer to the official hours a teacher has to work, forgetting about the inordinate amount of time spent "working" outside the classroom and more importantly, to the essential contribution we make to society.  I know that this may not answer your request, and I am aware that I am "preaching to the choir", so to speak, but I do believe it is more than likely the main reason for turnover and burnout.  Like you, I am anxious to see what research reveals.

    Gina James
    Williston Pk NY

  • 3.  RE: High turnover in preschools

    Posted 08-25-2019 08:19 AM
    I could not point you to research, I know Nebraska College did an article earlier this year on Nebraska being in need of Early Childhood Educators to come into the field as well as stay.

    I have been teaching since 1986 and I believe the last 10 years have gotten even worse. I do not work in a franchise and never have but I have worked in 3 nonprofit centers and seen the turn over increase at alarming rates and the quality of educators applying far below NAEYC required education. Those who meet the standards are often inexperienced and somewhat overbearing in what they are willing to do, often leaving after time, money and energy has been invested in them.

    It is a scary future for our children as more and more we push out qualified teachers who don't have the degrees behind them because they did not exist when those teachers were going to school, I am one of those. Those same teachers have way more experiences, training and passion for an extremely important job, but the Masters in ECE and a BA in ECE gets accepted from an inexperienced, untested teacher who often discovers this field is not where they want to because the work is real, the commitment intense and the pay, benefits and support are lacking.

    Besides research and the wonderful promises from politicians and NAEYC I would like to see action.
    1. Invest in teachers who have been in the field for 15 plus years making CDAs, degrees and classes more affordable through grants and scholarships and excepting hours in he field and continued education taken during those years to knock off some of the credit requirements to meet today's NAEYC standards.
    2. Provide online training that is NAEYC and in Minnesota DEVELOP approved so it is affordable, during NON-working hours of our field and of exceptional quality. If NAEYC wants my best from me I should receive exceptional training from them.
    3. Look at what is DAP and set standards based on educators who can provide this and not just on having an untested degree.
    4. Make franchises meet standards, not just become approved by making it possible to be accredited and licensed by the centers that are the best in the franchise and covering for the centers that understaff, use unqualified educators and who do little to support their staff. I realize not all franchise centers do this but my experience with these centers and staff from these centers have proven more to skate by because their upper management does not support the directors under them and NAEYC and Licensors do not dig deeper to see the true issues these centers have when not expecting visits.

    Helen Meissner
    Lead Teacher
    Love To Grow On
    Saint Paul MN

  • 4.  RE: High turnover in preschools

    Posted 08-25-2019 12:40 PM
    Good afternoon:
    Managing a successful early education program is not rocket science.  As with any business-that is looking to retain quality personnel the equation is the same as any business, offer better than average wages (for your industry in your state or region), a robust benefit package that includes paid holidays, generous PTO (our program offers 3 weeks per year, accumulated every pay period, paid holidays and paid inclement weather days in addition to a substantial portion of health insurance being paid by the Center. And starting October 1 of this year participation in our 401 K.  The average tenure of my staff is 8 years with my Lead Teacher tenure at 9 years (I have employees with 10, 12 and 20 years at the Center).
    I am easily frustrated with the early education industry as in some instances we are our own worst enemy.  The director needs to have a good business head, a compassion for children/families and a commitment to providing high quality early education with committed, credentialed staff.
    Our model, a non profit in business for over 30 years--the Center has had significant bumps along the way...but we have made our model work.  It is not easy but it can be done.

    Luellen Matthews, MPA
    Arlington, VA