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Staff turnover

  • 1.  Staff turnover

    Posted 06-28-2021 10:11 AM

    Hi everyone
    I am writing from San Antonio Texas.
    I wanted to ask and get some feedback, guidance, ideas… anything that can assist in get people back to work. I am having a very challenging time bringing in new staff. Many don't follow through with returned phone calls, interviews, staying on board once they are hired. 

    Is this affecting the Early Childhood field as a whole or am I missing something that maybe I can change or improve to hire and retain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 



    ------------------------------
    Laura Ortiz
    Program Director
    First Presbyterian Church Children's Center
    San Antonio TX
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 12:14 AM
    Good afternoon,
    As a local Teacher and Athletic Director at a small Charter School in San Antonio, Texas, I feel that it is challenging all around to not only hire new staff but, to also keep staff from moving on to higher paying jobs.

    ------------------------------
    Charles Lee
    Teacher/ Athletic Director
    School of Excellence
    San Antonio TX
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-30-2021 02:23 PM
    Tennessee here - the very same! --
    "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only." James 1:22





  • 4.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 07:15 AM
    Dear Laura,
    Good morning.  We are having the same issues here in Missouri.  It started long before the pandemic.  We struggle to hire and keep employees.  Currently, we are fully staffed, but it only because we have college students home on break.  Come August, we are back to no staff.  The staff that we do have that have been with us for years are amazing and we try to show them all of the appreciation that we can.  We value their dedication and experience.  As to how to get any applicants, we are at a loss.  We have increased our hourly being offered and even have a signing bonus...NOTHING, crickets.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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



  • 5.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 07:59 AM
    I have read many of the statistics, and this impacts the early childhood field as a whole.  We have been struggling immensely to hire people over the last year.  We have reduced our number of classes due to reduced number of staff.  I met with another director in the community last week, and they have had to do the same thing.  One thing that we have done in the last 6 months is partner with our high school career center.  Their early childhood students did internships in our program.  I hired one of them upon graduation, and she has a friend who may be interested as well.  Know that I am right there in the trenches with you!

    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Weller
    Director
    Park Place Children's Center
    Anderson IN
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 08:01 AM
    I am in Indiana and we are experiencing the same, and have been for several months. Just keep looking finally someone serious will apply.
    Currently myself and my assistant are having to cover hours in rooms.

    ------------------------------
    Allyson Ball
    Director
    Imagination Station
    Indianapolis IN
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 08:12 AM
    Us, also.  Myself and the owner are covering the staffing issues.  We are working 60+ hours a week.  I don't see anything changing any time soon.

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



  • 8.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 08:57 AM
    Cynthia, I don't see a change coming soon either,  We can not get to full capacity without more teachers. I receive anywhere from 3 to 5 calls a day for childcare. Parents are having a hard time finding a quality facility that has openings.  

    --
    Allyson Ball
    Director of Children's Ministry
    Southport United Methodist Church
    317-780-4624





  • 9.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 09:06 AM
    I am not sure when things are going to change.  It is nice to know that others are having the same issues.  We don't feel alone.

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



  • 10.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 11:32 AM
    Thank you for your feedback. Although saddened by this, I am relieved that I am not alone. For a minute, I was doubting and second guessing myself as to what is it that I might not being doing? Or am I not doing enough? I'm not sure that things will change soon, but I do hope that they will eventually change for the families and children that need us. Best of luck to everyone!

    ------------------------------
    Laura Ortiz
    Program Director
    First Presbyterian Church Children's Center
    San Antonio TX
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 08:48 AM
    Hello,
    We are facing the same challenges here in Wichita. From talking to other Directors and organizations, it seems to be effecting the field. I know personally I have faced  numerous people who have applied for positions, and fail to follow through with returning calls or showing up for interviews. Even when we do hire staff, often they often don't stay. It is frustrating, we have families that need care, but we can't serve them because we can't get the staff.

    ------------------------------
    Debbie Ogle
    Senior Program Director
    Greater Wichita YMCA East Branch Early Learning Center
    Wichita KS
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 10:04 AM
    Have you tried touching base with San Antonio College to see about contacting graduates (or even current students) in the Department of Early Childhood Studies? Is there still a directors' support group there (through SAAEYC)?

    This is definitely a national problem. I know First Pres is one of the best early care and education programs in SA!

    ------------------------------
    Cathy McAuliffe, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    NorthWest Arkansas Community College
    Bentonville, Arkansas
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 10:18 AM
    Same here in Colorado, persistence is the key. Keep in mind the teacher you want and "attract" him or her.
    Good luck and don't get discouraged.

    ------------------------------
    Susan Smith
    Director
    Heart and Hands Montessori
    Lafayette CO
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 11:19 AM
    There have been a lot of articles recently about the way workers of any sort, not just in early childhood, are reacting to what they endured during the Pandemic. They want better. Since most people who work in daycare and other early childhood environments that are not part of public school are paid minimum wage without benefits. And, in addition, most do not receive medical insurance, and in some cases, they do not have paid sick leave or paid vacation, pensions or 401K retirement accounts, and they work very long hours. There are now other jobs where employers have realized that in order to attract people to work for them they needed to pay better wages with benefits.

    We should all hope that early childhood receives a boost from the infrastructure bill but, at the moment, that seems unlikely. The Senate have completely balked at including child care among other issues that support the infrastructure of our country - educating and supporting our youngest citizens and their families so that the adults can work, and as long as 60 votes are required to pass such a bill, we may not see a way out of this hole for the early childhood community. Senators who are not supportive of including ECE support should be contacted.

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



  • 15.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 11:35 AM
    I would like to believe that will help.  We do offer medical benefits, options for 401K, vision, dental and paid time off.  Still nothing.

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



  • 16.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 02:59 PM
    Hello Everyone,
    I totally agree that in order for early childhood educators need to be payed a whole lot better. Dealing with the pandemic has taught us all in the field that we are valuable and needed. The factor is the lack of medical assistance coverage along with the low pay will harm the profession in the long run. Why go into a field that the pay is literally within $10.-15 an hour without benefits. Who can live on such low pay? I completely comprehend the lack of staff in the field. I also know many young college graduates that are able to find teaching positions with salaries ranging from $35,000-60,000 with benefits and academic calendar. They are also fully vaccinated which gives them the ability to also be hired. Many teachers are leaving because they have their doubts about the vaccination as well. Time to move ahead in this field which will continue to decline if all teachers do not come together to improve early childhood education. I am one of many lucky educations who have all of the above.

    ------------------------------
    Milagros Neu
    Pre-K -K Teacher
    Learning Pods
    Maplewood NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 02:51 PM
    It's the same at our school as well. We had to turn down students because we simply did not have enough staff for the ratio requirement. We have tried recruiting new hires but can't compete with the hourly wages/benefits other places are offering.

    We need to change the perspective of Early Learning as a 'day care' or 'glorified babysitters' and help others understand that our job is more serious and complex than just 'coloring all day'. Perhaps then, we could offer more competitive wages, offer bonuses and be respected as educators. After all, our job is primarily building a students foundation in which all future education relies on. We start the learning process. We put the first building blocks of education down. We set our students up for success in future academics. One would think that our job deserves a little more credit and respect than it currently has.

    ------------------------------
    Jessica Allen
    Educational Director/ Preschool Teacher
    Bright Beginnings Academy
    Michigan City, IN
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-29-2021 04:29 PM
    I totally agree 100% Jessica

    --
    Allyson Ball
    Director of Children's Ministry
    Southport United Methodist Church
    317-780-4624





  • 19.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 06-30-2021 12:03 PM

    Hello,
    We are having the same issue. I do not believe you are missing anything. Since "job search" is now required to continue getting unemployment with the extra $300, we are receiving similar phone calls to inquire for employment but only to "check" their weekly job search requirement. The federal government need to stop the $300 incentive now that the economy is open. With unemployment incentive the workforce does not want to go back to work. 

    I with you the best,



    ------------------------------
    Ruth Porta
    Administrator
    La Esperanza Child Development Center, LLC
    Albuquerque NM
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 08-10-2021 07:57 PM
    Sorry, Ruth, but I respectfully disagree. People want to go back to work, but only for a living wage. Taking away the $300 hasn't changed the unemployment  rate in the states that have done it.

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



  • 21.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-02-2021 04:36 AM
    Hello.

    In Montana, all industries have been struggling with worker shortage. Two examples off the top of my head are CVS and the YMCA.

    The other day at about 6:30 p.m. I went by the CVS drive-thru to grab a prescription, but not only was the drive-thru window closed (they didn't have enough people working in the pharmacy to man the counter and the window), but the CVS pharmacy itself had closed at 6:00! The lady I spoke with the following day said they didn't have enough people available to prep in the morning, open to the public for 12 hours, and then to do evening duties and keep up on filling prescriptions. Limiting their operating hours from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. for the next couple weeks was the best they could do. CVS changed their hours maybe a year ago, but even then it was just by closing one hour earlier at 8:00 instead of 9:00 p.m., so this is pretty crazy.

    At our YMCA, they can't keep all programs operating per normal schedule, either: the pools open at least an hour later and closes 90 minutes earlier than the YMCA itself does because they don't have enough lifeguards. The free Child Watch program -- available to members in hourly increments so they can work out and have their child(ren) taken care of -- doesn't have enough "child watchers." They've either limited hours or temporarily shut down.

    However, the federal unemployment benefits ended this week in Montana, which will help matters. I know I'm seeing a change as parents have to return to work and are calling regularly to inquire about my options for childcare. Some parents have flat-out not worked in a year-and-a-half and are only now going to work because they have to. But thank goodness! I'm looking to be back at capacity next week (and it's just me...I don't have employees). The last time I had a full house was right before we took "two weeks to flatten the curve." Ha ha. It's been so frustrating because I never saw illness here, three of my moms who work in nursing (school, retirement community, and oncology) never shared illness nor did they experience anything out of the norm, and the same goes for another mom who teaches 3rd grade. And our schools opened last August, so they were in operation the entire school year. I have so many questions about what happened this past year, but despite watching entire cities fold and business die, and seeing families suffer, we're not really supposed to ask questions. I don't think this reality has truly hit me because I don't know how I feel about it, except I know that it doesn't feel "right."

    Time just has to do its thing. I hope everyone gets to hire staff soon and that families get the help they need, too. This may not be what everyone wants to hear, but things may not change a whole lot in your state until the emergency/pandemic unemployment benefits end and people have to find work again.

    ------------------------------
    Lindsay
    Billings, MT
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-02-2021 10:03 AM
    I empathize with your plight, which is going on all over the country in multiple industries/businesses. Today's jobs report showed that hiring is up and filling jobs is difficult. Again, people who were/are essential workers who were laid off during the height of the pandemic are pushing for higher wages WITH benefits. Providing benefits should be a given but it is not. Paying wages that leave a worker in poverty is not okay and that is what I read and hear about the situation today.

    I know that many States have dropped the extra benefits from the funds available from the Feds because they think people are slacking off and not working - essentially calling them lazy without using that word. In many States, unemployment benefits are very low, so they are not, to me, an impediment to taking a job. I think as others on Hello have stated, workers are looking for better, higher wages, which I had hoped would come with the larger infrastructure bill that viewed early childhood care and education as part of our infrastructure, which binds all the other proposals together - allowing people to go back to work.

    There may be some people who do not want to work but I would bet that most do. I also believe there is still a lot of fear about COVID out there.

    Yes, Lindsay, there are a lot of unanswered questions or questions that people have about the Pandemic and the way the government and many Americans, in general, responded to the threat, which led to an incredible number of deaths (and continues to do so), leaving some children with no parents. You should ask your questions. I hear what you are saying about people you know who are nurses and some teachers who did not get sick. I am sure if you delve deeper into this, you will find that they believed in the science and the recommendations for dealing with the Pandemic and thus wore PPE - masks, shields, and for the nurses, fuller garb to protect themselves. Hospitals were very dangerous places with so many contagious people being treated. I even know nurses who became ill and were quite sick prior to our government letting people know that there was a dangerous virus lurking at our door. I also know people who went into the hospital to be treated for illnesses unrelated to COVID but somehow picked up the disease in the hospital. I also had a dear friend who contracted the virus early on, ended up in the hospital on a ventilator, but it was too early in the Pandemic, so doctors did not know how to effectively treat the virus. He died.

    I, too, have questions about what it is about some people's genetic make-up or health that enabled them to not get sick when they displayed reckless behavior. I guess that is a question for the scientists and doctors to ponder in order to deal effectively with future Pandemics.

    We have all gone through an incredible nightmare from which I hope we are finally waking up.

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



  • 23.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-02-2021 10:41 AM
    Thank you, Dr. Krieger, for taking the time to write this great response. The EC profession has too long depended on our frontline workers (child care staff) to subsidize the full cost of child care.

    ------------------------------
    Cathy McAuliffe, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    NorthWest Arkansas Community College
    Bentonville, Arkansas
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-02-2021 12:25 PM
    What a powerful thought, Cathy!  I agree that early childhood wages are too low, but I never thought of it as asking workers to subsidize childcare.  Great point!

    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Weller
    Director
    Park Place Children's Center
    Anderson IN
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-05-2021 11:38 AM
    Elizabeth, I don't think it's an "original" thought!  I'm pretty sure I read that term in an article about the cost/affordability dilemma years ago!

    I might add, though, that not only do child care staff subsidize the full cost by allowing parents to not pay the full cost, but we also rely on taxpayers to chip in through food stamps and other forms of assistance to those child care workers that work for such low wages. My personal preference would be to have my taxes go toward high-quality care AND paying staff a living (and professional) wage.

    ------------------------------
    Cathy McAuliffe, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    NorthWest Arkansas Community College
    Bentonville, Arkansas
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-05-2021 11:55 AM
    Thank you, Cathleen, for the additional information.

    Yes, and that is a big problem. So many do not have health insurance or are on Medicaid and they need food stamps. This is a ridiculous situation!

    This morning, on NPR, they discussed the forgotten history of federally sponsored daycare that we had during WW2 because they needed women to work in the factories because the men were in the army and fighting the war. Once the war was over, federal funds for daycare were no longer available. So, I had forgotten about this, the history of the federal government's involvement in providing working mothers with childcare. The federal support of daycare at that time was a necessary infrastructure support, without which other important infrastructure issues could not be done. The history of preschool in the USA is in a book, Preschool Education in America: The Culture of Young Children from the Colonial Era to the Present, by Barbara Beatty.

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



  • 27.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-05-2021 07:18 PM
    Yes, I wrote about that in my dissertation!  I'm sure I quoted Ms. Beatty.

    I also included this quote in my dissertation (but this is a paraphrase):

    In other countries, there is an acknowledgment that it's hard to have a young family while getting an education, establishing a career, etc.  But since it pays to support those young families, the government provides support.  In the USA, there is an acknowledgment that it's hard to have a young family while getting an education, establishing a career, etc.  So you shouldn't have had those children.

    ------------------------------
    Cathy McAuliffe, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    NorthWest Arkansas Community College
    Bentonville, Arkansas
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-06-2021 08:45 AM
    This may be a little off the exact topic of staff turnover but it is related.

    The Cost, Quality, Outcome Study from 1995 clearly showed that staff turnover was a problem.  I was shocked that for many centers the turnover rate was more than 100% for some centers. Another interesting finding from this study was information about how families are often convinced of a center's quality based on its "newness" and how pretty the facility is rather than quality issues. Another shocking finding in the report was that families spend more time mulling over their choice of a new car than they do over choosing a center for their young child.

    You would think that the findings from this1995 were no longer relevant or true but, alas, I think that is not true. Who works in each setting is critical to quality and pay is one element of that equation. And, as long as we pay people who work with young children an hourly wage without benefits, in most cases, there will be turnover at high levels. We want staff who are "professionals" but we do not want to pay them as we would professionals. One consequence is that those who care for and educate our youngest children cannot afford to put their own children in a center or have enough money to live reasonably.

    I never understood why we talk about hourly wages for folks who we want to be professionals. Why aren't they paid a salary with benefits with a contract that lists the responsibilities of the job, which might include some evenings to meet with parents and additional hours for staff and professional meetings???

    Until our society sees the economic and social importance of early childhood care and education and the people who work in the field, we will never solve the staff turnover problem as well as the issue of the cost of quality early childhood care and education.

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



  • 29.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-12-2021 06:57 AM
    YES!

    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Huber
    Director
    ETSU Little Buccaneers Early Childhood Laboratory Program
    Johnson City TN
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Staff turnover

    Posted 07-23-2021 05:38 PM
    Hello,
    I am doing a study on this topic, preschool teacher retention.  I would like to invite any preschool teachers to participate by completing the survey below.  I will then email you some information about the study.  Preschool teachers matter.
    Sincerely,
    Melanie Smith
    To start being a participant, please complete the survey.


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