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Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

  • 1.  Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 11-30-2020 02:59 PM
    The impact on Early Childhood Professionals has been unbearable for many Early Childhood Educators. The wages need to rise as well as the educational level of those teaching our young students. The only way the early childhood field can be taken seriously in this country is to educate those in field to upgrade their living  status  to the level of all educators in this needed field. $10.00-$15.00 dollars an hour is not a reasonable four year college graduate in the field should be payed. Yes, essential we are but let's pay the essentials  what they are worth. I also wanted to share with others Penn State Extension: Professional Development excellent source for less the cost in this need right now.

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    Milagros Neu
    Pre-K -K Teacher
    Virtual Preschool
    Maplewood NJ
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 10:31 AM
    Milagros I agree 1000%! Our field has tolerated these low wages and subsidized parents for far too long! One important program working to change that is the WAGE$ program of T.E.A.C.H. https://teachecnationalcenter.org/t-e-a-c-h-early-childhood/ I hope you and everyone who reads this will check them out. They offer a clear path and great model to improving our income.
    Another option is unionizing and striking. Nurses did that decades ago and now the average annual income for an RN is $81,000. I believe and hope we can get there.
    With best wishes and thanks for raising this issue,

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    Hazel Osborn
    Consultant
    Loveland CO
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  • 3.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-04-2020 12:17 AM
    Hazel, I'm so happy to hear you use the nursing field as an example! I always compare our field to that of pioneering nurses because it's important for new and well seasoned staff to really understand that we have come a long way but have just as far to go! Especially during this pandemic, we are pioneers in our field. I'm very hopeful that by the end of my lifetime, ECE professionals will be valued as such with equitable compensation to our educational comrades.

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    Ana Acosta
    Long Beach CA
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  • 4.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-04-2020 09:40 AM
    Early educators have always been under paid. I remember when I first started and my pay was 7.25 an hour. It's so much more educators put into their profession and compensation is no where near what is taken and given by an educator. The days of going home only to continue and make sure every detail is fulfilled, so your students get the full learning experience of their life. Meanwhile , your spending your earning because there's no budget for your classroom. This needs to cease and compensate educators correctly. No college graduate professional should need a second job or assistance to maintain the basics of life, Educators having college loan debt and unable to pay the requested amount due to compensate being low on the jobs.

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    Erica Watson
    Early Childhood Education Liaison
    Rowan Cabarrus Community College
    Salisbury NC
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  • 5.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 11:21 AM
    I agree with you 100%, but unless there is a unified focus on raising the educational level of those who work in the field so they are seen as professionals, this will not happen in the foreseeable future. ECE professionals should not be paid by the hour - that is the first thing. But, if the field does not raise the professional status of the teachers in the field, their pay will remain that of hourly workers.

    Another issue that affects changing this situation of low hourly pay and lack of professional status has to do with how ECE is funded. This is a critical issue, which must be addressed in order for the salaries of ECE teachers to change.

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



  • 6.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 01:24 PM
    We will not see wages increase for ECE teachers, regardless of their educational level, until there is a way to pay for it.  The majority of ECE teachers work in private pay childcare programs.  The weekly tuition rates that can be charged in those programs, do not support paying ECE teachers more than $8.00 to $11.00 an hour.  Even the current subsidy programs do not reimburse ECE programs enough to justify paying ECE teachers more money.  The numbers just don't work out.  Unless you run a business and understand the economics of running a business, you can't just throw pie in the sky ideas out there and then complain when things don't change.  Increasing the educational level of the ECE teachers is not going to magically make parents want to, or be able to, pay more for their tuition in order for us to pay the teachers more.

    100% of the focus of our industry and the advocacy groups should be on figuring out where the money is going to come from to pay for increased wages and benefits for ECE workers and then how will that money make its way into the hands of the centers so that they are able to pay their staff the increased wages.

    So far during the pandemic, I have not seen any major public outcry from the parents or politicians that the childcare industry needs to be saved, even while hundreds of thousands of childcare centers have closed permanently over the last 8 months.   ECE advocates may be sounding the alarms, but it is still not resonating with the general public.  However there are major stories almost daily and weekly about public schools and public school teachers and concerns over restaurants closing.

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
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  • 7.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 01:42 PM
    What you write is true but the entire country is preoccupied with the pandemic and overwhelmed with the havoc it has brought upon us. It would be nice if we could even get people to agree that there are things they should do to protect their health.

    When this is over and we have a new administration, everyone who works in this industry - be it public schools or private daycare - should speak in one voice. Other countries support their early childhood programs. We are the richest country in the world and we should be able to figure this out. Even at the K-12 level, parents are saying things that upset those folks who teach older children about how part of schooling is taking care of children while the parents work. There has been so much disruption from the pandemic, we may have an opportunity to reimagine how all of this is financed. Let's hope that the next Secretary of Education is more open to supporting education rather than tearing it down.

    We all need to think out of the box and reimagine how we do education in the early childhood years.

    I understand your point on private childcare, but back in the day, kindergarten was not universally accessible and was not included in your everyday regular education programs. Today, kindergarten attendance is required in most States. Lyn Kagan wrote a book about how we need to link the private, community programs with the public schools and other public programs to create a seamless, coordinated system. We do not have that now.

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



  • 8.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 03:09 PM
    The challenge in speaking as one voice is that there are way too many child advocacy groups both a the State and National level who all claim to be the "experts" on child development and what is "best" for the "industry" or "profession".  I have been in the ECE industry for the past 12 years after having been in corporate America practicing in healthcare for 25 years.  I have never been involved with such a fractured and disconnected industry that does not appear to have had much significant influence with public policy makers over the past 30 years.  In the last 12 years alone, I have heard a lot of talk and hyperbole from the "experts" of multiple organizations about how the industry needs to change, yet know one has put forth a comprehensive plan of what those changes would ultimately cost and how they would be funded.  The industry has lived with "unfunded mandates" from both the state and federal governments for years which has ultimately lead to the deplorable financial shape the ECE programs were in prior to the pandemic and the catastrophic shape it will be in post pandemic.

    In order for there to be one voice that ultimately has some level of meaningful influence with the policy makers and the public, there has to be some level of agreement as to which ECE Advocacy group is going to be the primary voice of the industry and that the other groups will become secondary to the overall cause of changing and improving the ECE industry.

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



  • 9.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 04:22 PM
    I have been in this field for 50+ years.

    I do not know what you mean by "unfunded mandates"? I do not know if the field is fractured or just uncoordinated because there is a lack of agreement about how the field should be funded and who should be working in the field. We also must discuss issues of quality - how is that defined. Even there, there is a lot of disagreement about what should happen in the classroom. But. . .

    First, there needs to be more dialogue (I know you think there has been too much talk). As you can see from one of the responses here that not all those in the field think that EC educators need a college degree, which says to me that the knowledge gained from going through college is not necessary. NAEYC has been working on helping the field speak in one voice but perhaps the dialogue needs to be broadened. Lynn Kagan and some others have proposed new ideas on how to change the field. All these proposals require a change in attitude from the public and from some in the "industry" who seem to think that you will find folks who are knowledgable in the field of early childhood and have an understanding of good practice without any educational preparation or only with professional development provided here and there - one-shot deals.

    I have always thought that teachers in this field do not speak with one voice and are afraid to stand up for what the field needs. There should be a rising up of all of us in this field to demand attention - demonstrations would not hurt. This pandemic has shown how important this industry is to the well-functioning of our country and economy.

    We need to sit down together, find our commonalities, and visualize what we need to do - what we can all agree upon, what this field should and could look like, and what it would take from policymakers at the State and national level to move us toward that vision.


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



  • 10.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 05:03 PM
    I agree Ms. Nora,
    It is vitally important to understand how children learn and how to expand their cognitive development in all developmental domains. Being in college has taught me in how to be a better early childhood educator. It is not about creating dittos without meaning to the development of the whole child. Early Childhood Education is about having the proper "Educator" to teach in the field of Early Childhood Education. Until "we" realize and come together as Educators with the educational backing in their prospective field can we then call ourselves "Educators". I do agree,  having Professional Development to brush up what you have already know is important. But it should not be the only source of one's education. When parents ask me what is your background? I let them know I am well qualified to guide your child to his/her next level of early education because I have the background and I am passionate about "teaching". It is a misconception that if one has a four year plus degree we do not know what we are doing when it comes to teaching. Teaching, Guiding ,Caring for young students are intertwined together. The teachers that are in K-12 are just as important as Pre-K-K teachers like myself. The reason I am speaking out I believe that all well prepared educators need to be recognized. The only way that will occur if removing the hourly rate toward a salary that is livable in 2020. We need to change the system across the board, simple.

    ------------------------------
    Milagros Neu
    Pre-K -K Teacher
    Virtual Preschool
    Maplewood NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 05:24 PM
    What I mean by "unfunded mandates" is when the state or federal government puts new standards in place (ie. licensing requirements, reduced classroom ratios, etc) which then causes the cost of providing the care/education to go up, while at the same time reducing the income of the provider without providing some type of financial supplement to offset the cost of those changes.  Often these changes in standards and practices are made based on the recommendations of the "experts in field" without consideration of the financial impact on the providers.  You cannot have or expect improved quality of care and service without spending and making money.

    As for NAEYC, I have been a member for the last 10 years and have attended at least 5 of the National Conferences in D.C. in the last few years, and have gone to meetings on the hill where all we were able to do was meet with Congressional staff and not the actual representatives. I found this to be a waste of time and money.  There was a lot of self patting on the back being done about the work on "Power to the Profession", but whenever I would ask the question about what were all of these proposed changes going to cost, and where was the money going to come from to pay for them, no one could give me an answer.

    NAEYC has not done a good job of educating the public on who they are and why it would be important for a childcare program to have accreditation.  Many non-corporate childcare entities do not participate in NAEYC because they do not think that NAEYC represents them and the challenges they face and that ultimately, many of the changes that NAEYC is proposing is going to put them out of business.

    This is what I mean by a fractured industry.  There are academics and advocates pushing for higher and higher standards, there are small mom and pop childcare programs that have been around for years, that struggle under the current standards to keep their doors open, and there are parents that want the best for their child, but can't afford to pay for the best and neither is the government.

    The current Covid Crisis has demonstrated the fragility of the system.  Classroom ratios have been reduced, which is what advocates have pushed for.  Revenues have been significantly decreased due to smaller class sizes and costs have increased to provide a cleaner and safer environment.  Providers have had to cut cost by reducing labor hours and operating hours and that still has not been enough to keep their doors open.  In my county alone, 60% of the childcare centers have closed and will not be reopening.  And yet today on "giving Tuesday" I received at least 10 requests from different "non-profit" child advocacy groups to donate to their organization because they are working to improve the quality of childcare and getting increase wages for childcare workers.

    After 8 months of trying to keep our doors open, I am dismayed at how little concern has been shown for the safety and well being of our staff and the staff of childcare centers around the U.S. that have literally put their lives on the line from the beginning of the pandemic until now.  Under these dire conditions, its hard to imagine that any of the grand proposals from NAEYC or any of the other advocacy groups will actually get funded, when we can't even get funding for basic needs during a pandemic.  That's the story that needs to be out there now.

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



  • 12.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-01-2020 08:58 PM
    I have one question: Do you think the early childhood field should operate like the wild west with no regulations or requirements for operating? There have to be regulations to protect children and also to protect people who work in the field. And, yes, the regulations mean that costs go up in some cases. In other cases, the issue is not about money but is a matter of thinking and understanding how to implement quality education for young children using the money available. Ratios are regulated for a reason. The size of the space where children are all day long is regulated for a reason. That being said, the issue of tax money often comes down to politics: Children do not vote! Their needs are not important. Hell, we have low voter turn-out in this country. Politicians listen to those who vote and those with the loudest voice in the room.

    If I were you with your strong feelings, I would turn my attention to advocacy. I would organize your fellow childcare owners and employees to work out what you think implementing Power to the Profession would cost as well as what you need to keep your doors open through the pandemic and beyond.

    Here in NJ, we have the NJ Education Law Center and ACNJ, two advocacy organizations that look out for the well-being of children and look to ensure that all children have quality early childhood education as well as equitable and quality education through high school. In NJ, we also had an agency that helped those who worked in childcare with financial help to cover the cost of their college courses as they returned to school to meet higher levels of education required of those teaching in early childhood centers.

    I did not agree with everything in Power to the Profession but it is the beginning of a plan to raise the qualifications of those who are essentially raising and educating young children across the country - from infancy to kindergarten. I hoped the plan would have a little more flexibility but that can happen along the way as it is regularly reviewed - I hope. Now, NAEYC members and others in the field of early childhood education need to work on a plan for how Power to the Profession can become a reality - what financial assistance is needed to bring it to fruition. I agree with you that that cost analysis plan does not appear to exist right now.

    Here is the main reality: we are in the middle of a pandemic that is upending many people's lives. There are people who are behaving in ways that do not help in lessening the pandemic and extending the impact on business become worse. This is making your life and the outlook for your business as well as many other businesses besides childcare terrible. Many stores in my town have shut down. Many restaurants are hanging on by a thread. Childcare centers, even those with contracts with public schools, are hurting just as you are. It is all frustrating and upsetting.

    I hope you are able to figure out how you can survive the pandemic. The pandemic has shown the fragility of our economic system in general as well as the economic systems of countries around the world. We just have to believe that this, too, shall pass and when it is over, we will come out stronger than we were. Hopefully, we will have learned something from this terrible experience.

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



  • 13.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 12:46 PM
    Nora of course I do not think that it should be the wild, wild west, and yes there do need to be regulations in place to help protect children and workers.  My basic point is this.  In order to increase quality and increase wages, the money to pay for that has got to come from somewhere.  To arbitrarily say that those two things need to, or must happen without having a plan in place to pay for it, is being irresponsible.  If someone can tell me how they are going to pay for it, I will gladly pay my staff more money and send them to school to get bachelor degrees in child development.  "Show me the money" and anything is possible.
    -

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



  • 14.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 09:44 PM
    I agree with you, something needs to change with that.  Mom and pop's, I don't even know how you all do it.  I say start with your district rep. even ask for advice.  If you are in your district, it's their job to help.  Maybe they can direct you to somewhere, to gain funds of some sort?  There was 50 billion put through, to help childcares I thought?  Anyway, I agree with you.  Yes, teacher's need to make more, but where does the more come from??

    Ina

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    ina Aparicio
    Child Development Specialist
    Saddleback College Child Development Center
    Laguna Hills CA
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  • 15.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 10:48 AM
    I agree with you! Too many advocacy groups, it is time to unify ONE VOICE for US! Enough talking! How can we in the ECE field do this? How can the teachers that are most affected by this begin to work on these issues?

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    Belen Hernandez
    Austin TX
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  • 16.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 11:05 AM
    Let's look at what the public school teachers did - they organized. Each state has a state leader and those state leaders gather the ideas and thoughts of leaders in individual schools, then meeting as a national organization with lobbyists and others who present their needs and demands for themselves and children.

    Private school teachers are now also organizing. I know that the school on whose board I sit has a union representing the teachers in that school. Their union is not the teachers' union that is in the public schools. Is that good or bad? I am not sure.

    Here is another issue: What is quality in ECE? Do we all see quality the same? What regulations are important? State regulations are there to protect the teachers and children.

    Someone mentioned that nurses went on strike to raise their wages. The problem is that the money coming into most childcare centers is low - barely covers the cost of providing what I would define as quality childcare. Who should be bearing the full cost of childcare? Can we ask for salaries versus hourly pay if we are not counted as professionals? What NAEYC is trying to do is to level up everyone in our field to be viewed as professionals.

    Thoughts?

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



  • 17.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 11:29 AM
    I completely agree that this is a huge issue and one place to start is raising the status of our work to professionals.  However, it is a precarious place to start, because if we self proclaim that we are professionals, but are not able to back that up with equal pay or any change in actual status, we will lose any gains and lose the power that lies behind the word professional.  I think we need to start having scholarships from NAEYC for people to get public policy degrees who can then begin to advocate at the national level for universal preschool funding. This should be different from universal preschool as we need to continue to allow communities to develop their own preschool programs. Universal preschool to me often comes under the umbrella of public schools which although have their pluses, also come with regulations and rules that aren't best for young children. Also, we can't upend our entire system of childcare in one overhaul. Young children need to be in their community even more than school aged children and public funding for already existing programs is one of the first ways we can do that.  Some states do not allow unions to form so I am not sure that is the answer for everyone.

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    K Stallings
    Arlington Public Schools
    Primary Montessori
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  • 18.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 02:03 PM
    Yes, it is true that nurses went on strike to get the pay increased and so have public school teachers in the past.  Hospitals are funded by insurance companies, private pay and medicare or medicaid.  Public schools are funded by state and local taxes as well as funding from the Federal Government.

    The majority of ECE programs occur in privately owned centers, non-profit programs and faith based programs.  Funding for these programs primarily comes from private pay, donations or grants.

    Now, let's look at what has happened since the nurses and teachers received their pay increases.  All over the United States, rural hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate and insurance premiums have skyrocketed.  Funding for medicare and medicaid has not increased over the last several years, as the cost of providing services has gone up.  Therefore more doctors and hospitals are no longer accepting Medicare and medicaid patients.  Also as operational costs for hospitals has increased, so have the bills that private pay patients receive after they have had received services.  Now I am not saying that nurses didn't deserve a pay raise and that those raises surely were not the only thing that caused medical costs to go up, but anytime a business is faced with increased operating costs, those increases are usually passed onto the customer.  Ultimately if the business cannot create enough revenue to cover it's increased cost, then it goes out of business, which is what happened to our rural hospitals.

    Again with public school teachers, strikes have resulted in some increases in pay over the years and yes public school teachers deserve to be paid more than they are.  However, those pay increases have resulted in an increase in class sizes from 22 to 26 or more, especially in the elementary schools.  Many school budgets have been cut, which supplies and special programs also get reduced or cut.  Federal and State funding for public schools has not increased very much over the last several years and in some cases State funding for public schools has been cut.  School taxes continue to increase every year, however parents don't have a real sense of what it costs for their child to got to school 9 months of the year, because they never have to actually write a check to the school.

    Both the nurses and public school teachers had strong union groups acting on their behalf which helped them achieve some of their financial goals and that is great.  However, when it came time for the hospitals and the school districts to figure how to pay for those increases in wages, the federal and state governments were not there to provide them with more funding and the general public complained that their insurance premiums had gone up and that their taxes were going up.

    So yes, ECE teachers deserve to be paid more and we could unionize ECE teachers. Those unions could then go and demand and try to negotiate for higher pay rates, benefits and require higher educational requirements for anyone to be an ECE teacher.  Once they succeed in making that happen, what will happen to all of the privately owned, non-proft and faith based ECE programs?  Will they be able to survive those changes and will the public and the federal government be willing to fund those increased operating expenses with public money? Will ECE programs have to move completely into the public school arena even for birth to age 3+?

    These are questions that have to be answered as we move forward in trying to elevate and change the ECE industry.

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



  • 19.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 02:46 PM
    All of the points here - being made by all of us who responded to Milagro's post - are true. I learned years ago: any work traditionally performed by women, outside of the economy (e.g., unpaid) causes immense strain on the economy when that work transitions to paid work. The typical path is payment first by barter, then under the table (which still happens to nannies at times, for example), then very low wages until the service is unavailable without higher wages.

    Our child care services will eventually become unavailable without higher wages - we can already see how hard it is to recruit and retain qualified staff. And there is also the moral issue of encouraging someone to choose a career without hope for a sustainable income.

    I agree with all of you who propose a more organized, single voice to advocate. But without action behind the voice, change is unlikely. Maybe we need a national day of no child care each year, or each quarter, or each month.It's action which won women the vote, and nurses and teachers a better income. Some European countries manage to pay child care workers a living wage. We can do it too.

    Thanks for caring and sharing about this important issue.

    ------------------------------
    Hazel Osborn
    Consultant
    Loveland CO
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 03:32 PM
    That would be a start! Thanks.

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



  • 21.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 03:30 PM
    I am going to answer you in your post.

    ___________________________________
    -------------------------------------------
    Original Message:
    Sent: 12-02-2020 02:02 PM
    From: Tim Kaminski
    Subject: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Yes, it is true that nurses went on strike to get the pay increased and so have public school teachers in the past.  Hospitals are funded by insurance companies, private pay and medicare or medicaid.  Public schools are funded by state and local taxes as well as funding from the Federal Government. Hospitals are not funded by insurance companies. Hospitals and doctors receive payment for service based on negotiations with insurance companies. The rates they are paid by Medicare and Medicaid are set by the federal government. Public schools are funded through local, state, and federal money from our taxes.

    The majority of ECE programs occur in privately owned centers, non-profit programs and faith based programs.  Funding for these programs primarily comes from private pay, donations or grants. I am not sure of the proportion of private versus public daycare, but in private early childhood centers like the one in which I was a parent and then a Director,  a cooperative preschool, are funded almost 100% by tuition with small amounts of donations and grants.

    Now, let's look at what has happened since the nurses and teachers received their pay increases.  All over the United States, rural hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate and insurance premiums have skyrocketed.  Funding for medicare and medicaid has not increased over the last several years, as the cost of providing services has gone up.  Therefore more doctors and hospitals are no longer accepting Medicare and medicaid patients.  Also as operational costs for hospitals has increased, so have the bills that private pay patients receive after they have had received services.  This all depends on what your insurance policy is but if you have no insurance, you get charged much much more than insurance pays for insured patients - full freight. Insurance companies are for-profit companies that have continuously raised their rates in order to take care of their shareholders, not in the interests of the hospitals. Now I am not saying that nurses didn't deserve a pay raise and that those raises surely were not the only thing that caused medical costs to go up, but anytime a business is faced with increased operating costs, those increases are usually passed onto the customer.  Ultimately if the business cannot create enough revenue to cover it's increased cost, then it goes out of business, which is what happened to our rural hospitals. I believe that I have read the reason that rural hospitals are going out of business is that rural populations have gotten lower and lower, so revenue for the hospitals does not cover expenses and the hospitals cannot attract enough professionals with specialties in addition to primary physicians.

    Again with public school teachers, strikes have resulted in some increases in pay over the years and yes public school teachers deserve to be paid more than they are.  However, those pay increases have resulted in an increase in class sizes from 22 to 26 or more, especially in the elementary schools. Depends on where you live and how committed to paying taxes to support the schools. There are so many cities where public school teachers have to hold extra jobs in addition to teaching to pay their bills and raise a family.  Many school budgets have been cut, which supplies and special programs also get reduced or cut.  Federal and State funding for public schools has not increased very much over the last several years and in some cases State funding for public schools has been cut.  School taxes continue to increase every year, however parents don't have a real sense of what it costs for their child to got to school 9 months of the year, because they never have to actually write a check to the school. People have no idea of what it costs to educate all children who come through the doors of the school, just as they do not understand what it takes to run a high-quality early childhood center. For some people, paying any taxes is their goal. The idea that each generation contributes to the development of the next one, that contributing to this is an obligation and responsibility that people should feel.

    Both the nurses and public school teachers had strong union groups acting on their behalf which helped them achieve some of their financial goals and that is great.  However, when it came time for the hospitals and the school districts to figure how to pay for those increases in wages, the federal and state governments were not there to provide them with more funding and the general public complained that their insurance premiums had gone up and that their taxes were going up.

    So yes, ECE teachers deserve to be paid more and we could unionize ECE teachers. Many of the teachers in early childhood centers are making so little that they are living below the poverty line and do not have medical insurance or a pension or 401K. To me, that is unconscionable. As a country, we need to do better. Those unions could then go and demand and try to negotiate for higher pay rates, benefits and require higher educational requirements for anyone to be an ECE teacher.  Once they succeed in making that happen, what will happen to all of the privately owned, non-proft and faith based ECE programs?  Will they be able to survive those changes and will the public and the federal government be willing to fund those increased operating expenses with public money? Will ECE programs have to move completely into the public school arena even for birth to age 3+? Yes, there has been a slow movement of educating and caring for our youngest children in public schools (just as it happened with kindergarten but that did not do away with private kindergartens). We will always have private centers and schools that will cost a lot and for which without scholarships will end up catering to wealthy families. Another way of keeping tuition affordable is to institute a sliding scale based on income and sot me complete scholarships, but doing this means that the task of developing a budget becomes more difficult and uncertain.

    In addition, those who own private centers, be they for-profit or not for profit, will need to become advocates for their needs. I am assuming that the numbers across the country of private early childhood centers are very high and that with you all lobbying (as a large group) and making your case for greater help with costs, you might be successful. Taxes pay for all of this. We need to convince people of the need for taxes and how they help all of us in our everyday needs. We need to go back to the idea of the "common good".

    These are questions that have to be answered as we move forward in trying to elevate and change the ECE industry.

    ------------------------------
    Tim Kaminski

    I hope that the new administration will appoint an Education Secretary who truly believes in education and will surround him/herself with smart, visionary folks who can help with figuring out how to pay for what we need to raise salaries and ensure that both public and private centers of quality can thrive. Look at the old book that Sharon Lynn Kagan wrote about a way to do this. I wonder if it is still relevant.

    Best of luck.

    Nora


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



  • 22.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-04-2020 09:59 AM
    I entirely agree with Tim. Perhaps early childhood educators should buy into teachers' unions. I worked at a daycare where the very fine four year old teachers were hired into a pre-K classroom, and they made considerably more money. I live in NC, and the conservative state legislature pays considerably more attention to teachers than to daycare/preschool workers.
    Sarah Packard

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Packard
    Sam's Cell Phone Repair
    Chapel Hill NC
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-04-2020 11:15 AM
    After reading through everyone's responses, I have an idea that I want to see if I can get some traction on.  I believe this platform goes out to the membership in all of the States.  I would like to try to make contact with at least one person from each state who would be willing to participate in a group discussion about what is happening in their particular State and who has influence with the Senators and Representatives from their State.  The key to making any change happen is to use personal relationships to educate and influence the decision makers in D.C. and the State level.

    There have only been a few people so far that have commented on this topic.  If you have friends in other States, please pass this request on to them and ask them to pass it on to their friends in other states.  Whoever is interested in participating can send me their contact information either through this feed, or to my e-mail address at twkaminski@sbcglobal.net.

    Thanks.

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



  • 24.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-05-2020 07:57 AM
    I appreciate all of the discussion on this topic.  I agree with most of it.  ECE professionals have been talking about this for decades.  I agree with those who cite the fact that early childhood education is considered work done by women and so is still, sadly, denigrated. I believe that the government needs to fund ECE as it does in many countries.  I am wary, however, of it becoming more school-like and we lose the "early childhood" part.  I favor a robust mixed delivery system.  I wonder, Tim, if you've thought of reaching out to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's office.  She spoke eloquently about this during her campaign and had drawn up a plan.

    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-05-2020 01:26 PM





  • 26.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-06-2020 11:40 AM
    I have read through most all of the comments regarding wages for ECE professionals.  I wish there was a one-size-fits-all solution to this.  I have owned/operated a state licensed family child care program for over 25 years.  I read comments about "we should unionize" and "lets strike like teachers do."   I'm curious who family child care providers strike against?  Do we strike against parents who are already paying a large percent of their income on child care?  Similarly, what  benefits are there to join a union?  In my state who do we negotiate with over wages?  These are all fantastic broad concepts but not at all realistic to the thousands of family child care providers across our nation.  Speaking as a small business owner, I would love to make more money.  I invest so much of it back in to my program already.  But I also feel like many individuals want less interference in their business, not more.  And with government money comes strings attached.  Personally, I am all for increased standards for increased pay but I would wager that is not the reality for a large percentage of family child care providers.

    ------------------------------
    Kimberly Chase, M. Ed.
    Chase''s Child Care Corner
    Papillion NE
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-06-2020 02:43 PM
    Well, it could be a reality. I am not all that familiar with European childcare, but certainly it would be worth investigating. An awful lot of what goes wrong in America for poor people is peculiar to America. We are a first world country, and we do not lead the pack.
    Sarah Packard





  • 28.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 08:10 AM
    Tim,
    You are exactly right.  I know the political process intimidates some people, but the only way this issue will change is if everyone gets out and advocates for Early Childhood Education at a local and State level.

    Ed Bradley
    Kyle's Bright Beginnings Learning Center
    Kyle, TX

    ------------------------------
    Edward Bradley
    COO
    Kyle's Bright Beginnings Learning Center
    New Braunfels TX
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 10:34 AM
    POWERFUL WORDS! What do you suggest that we ECE professionals do? Not all of us work in the private sector, some of us work for non-profit and the wages are still very low.

    ------------------------------
    Belen Hernandez
    Austin TX
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-02-2020 01:00 PM
    Hello Belen,

    The wages for ECE teachers is low everywhere, regardless of the setting being private or non-profit.  In order for a childcare provider to its employees a livable wage, plus benefits, would require that the childcare provider charge over $400.00 per week per child in order to cover the cost of increased wages and benefits.  Most childcare providers currently only charge anywhere from $95.00 per week up to around $280.00 per week depending on where they are located in the U.S and even at those numbers most families struggle to pay for childcare.  The only way this will change is if the Federal and State governments decide that they will financially subsidize the childcare providers for the difference in what they currently charge.  That means they have to find money in their current budgets and redirect it towards early childhood education, or create a new tax that is specifically designed to support funding for ECE programs.

    As an industry, we have to push for the funding, before we try to put any of the proposed changes in place or the whole system will collapse as it is currently doing during the Covid crisis.

    Hope this answered your question.

    Tim

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



  • 31.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-03-2020 10:56 AM
    Tim,
    You should run for political office. Have you seen what Oregon has done?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/06/upshot/oregon-universal-preschool-election.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

    Cheryl Wright
    University of Utah

    ------------------------------
    Cheryl Wright
    Salt Lake Cty UT
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-03-2020 01:24 PM
    Hi Cheryl,

    I am actually considering running for public office, I just haven't decided if I want to run at the State or Federal level.  It would definitely help if we could get some people with actual childcare experience into office at the various levels of government to help frame and push through legislation that would actually benefit and improve the childcare industry.  In our local discussions we have started to change the discussion towards the impact of childcare on the local economy and how it is an intregal part of the infrastructure that must be functioning in order for the economy to recover.  More of a back door approach to getting more funding funneled towards childcare providers and families that need assistance.

    I think that because the majority of politicians are male and from the business world, the message of the need for "high quality care" doesn't resonate with them, because even if they have children or grandchildren, they may have never directly had to deal with finding childcare or paying for it.  However when the discussion changes to the impact childcare has on businesses and their bottom lines, that seems to get their attention.

    I am hopeful that with more women getting into political offices, there will be a better understanding by them as to what changes need to happen for the childcare industry and that they will take the lead on pushing legislation through at the State and Federal levels.  Only time will tell.

    Tim

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



  • 33.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-03-2020 03:16 PM
    You need a critical mass of people in the field to do advocacy with you so your name is out there and then run for office.

    Read the Heckman Equation. He has done a lot of research about the economic impact of early childhood care. https://heckmanequation.org/resource/why-early-investment-matters/

    Quality does matter but it has to be put in the context of the economy. High-quality care issues resonate when they are personalized - being able to visualize the idea of quality and cost so that people think about it in the context of their own lives. That hits home. Find the common values that people have. No one would want to fund early childhood education if it meant sending kids to inadequately financed centers with poor-quality programs where their young children or grandchildren will be spending their day - more hours than they spend at home.

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



  • 34.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-03-2020 03:25 PM
    Thanks Nora.  I will take a look this.

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



  • 35.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-03-2020 09:42 PM
    Not sure what state your in Tim, but in Cali. Katie Porter is trying to change things. I had signed a few petitions and the such, but feel MUCH more needs to be done. 





  • 36.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-05-2020 10:10 AM
    . I do agree that having a degree is important , however, that does not mean that someone without a degree is not a good teacher. I have had several assistants and because they have been younger than me , they have brought many great ideas and do many great things with the children. You must be a very compassionate person with a huge heart to teach PreK . I have a Master's Degree and I love my job but everyday I learn something new . Yes better pay would be great but that was not the reason I chose my job. I wanted PreK because I felt that many children needed somebody to be there for them. If I can make one child feel confident in himself and excited about something he or she has done then at this point in my teaching career , I am very happy. Self confidence can help people master all the other skills they need in school. But I have seen small children come to class feeling no worth, that they couldn't achieve anything .In some cases , they have been made to feel as if they were nothing but an extra burden. I have also taught adults in prison and when I would hear their childhood stories . They all began with similiar feelings about themselves. Yes, more money is needed for Pre-K teachers . I am nearing the last few years of my teaching career . As I have gotten older, I see how important it is to have great PreK teachers. There are a lot of things to consider when hiring one.

    ------------------------------
    Rhonda Cary
    Preschool Teacher
    Hope House Daycare, Inc.
    Memphis TN
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: Wages for Early Childhood Professionals

    Posted 12-05-2020 11:23 AM