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Article: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy

  • 1.  Article: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy

    Posted 26 days ago
    "Child care employment is still down more than 126,000 positions as workers leave for higher-paying positions as bank tellers, administrative assistants and retail clerks. Parents are struggling to return to work as daycare and after-school programs dwindle."


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    Jorge Saenz De Viteri
    http://jorgesaenzdeviteri.com
    Pomona NY
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  • 2.  RE: Article: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy

    Posted 25 days ago
    The irony for me is that I left retail management to go back to school to pursue working in ECE. Now, I make less than the starting wage at the Target down the street from my center... and given my management experience I could easily be making MORE than the starting wage if I applied.

    No, we don't go into education to make "big money," but it's disheartening that we're seen as babysitters. Many of the parents I interact with every day treat picking up their child as a transaction instead of a legitimate opportunity to interact with the people who care for and educate their child for 8+ hours a day.

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    Sarah Quest
    Long Beach CA
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  • 3.  RE: Article: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy

    Posted 21 days ago
    It's shameful on so many levels. Change won't come without political will. In Florida, Republican senators and congressmen regarded adding to a budget for childcare as "reckless spending". RECKLESS SPENDING!  I am quoting here directly from an email I received. As long as we don't pressure our representatives to do what's right, they won't change. You can't hope things will change. You have to be the change you want!

    Find out who your representatives are and send them a message about how you feel. Sharing with others in the same boat is like singing to the choir. It may make you feel better but it won't change a thing!

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    Sue Hepker
    Jacksonville FL
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  • 4.  RE: Article: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy

    Posted 6 days ago
    I found the article very interesting, particularly the phrasing of one of the sentences describing Public schools as "poaching" childcare workers. As if! Many qualified childcare workers have long been wanting to work for public schools and receive adequate compensation and recognition as an educator instead of being seen as a babysitter. They've been waiting for this opportunity for years, yet the article makes it sound as if Public Schools have invaded Child Care centers and are dragging their workers out with a cord around their ankles. The childcare industry treats their workers dismally. My biggest concern with public funding is that childcare centers and daycares will not allocate it appropriately unless forced. My company in particular conducts regular"Market analysis" to make sure their pay rates for teachers are at the absolute lowest they can be while still retaining staffing (despite this, they are failing.) If given a large sum of money by the government, they would get to work immediately like busy bees finding any loopholes and trying to designate the least amount of that money possible towards teachers while finding out how to put the most amount in their own pockets. Designating public funds to for-profit daycares and childcare companies is an exercise in futility, and a disservice to teachers and parents. We'd do better to end the childcare industry altogether and institute Universal Pre-K.

    Amy Dawson
    Early Childhood Educator



  • 5.  RE: Article: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy

    Posted 24 days ago
    I remember leaving retail to pursue an education to work with children. The benefit was that I could work, learn, and be home in the evenings with my one-year-old. I liked having to complete assessments and having a set scehd\ule at the same time. Not to mention the relationship and the love and laughs shared with the children. That is irreplaceable. The fight to earn better income to tend to other families should not be a fight at all. It should be a given. Your mental and physical being is tested daily. And on the other hand, some families can barely afford to send their child/children to daycare. Early childhood educators should not be taken for granted. The struggle on both ends is unreal. Hopefully better change will come.

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    Kimberly Harley-Roseboro
    Community-Based Rehabilitative Service Provider
    LEAP Child and Family Services
    Statesville NC, 28677
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  • 6.  RE: Article: Child-care workers are quitting rapidly, a red flag for the economy

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi @Amy Dawson,

    I read the article with a pit in my stomach for very different reasons than you.

    I think your take on the situation is from your experience as a teacher who is not earning a worthy wage. You are rightfully frustrated, But you've made some wholesale assumptions about the entire child care industry that are not fair or accurate. And, in fact, Universal Pre-K may actually do more harm than good for the vast majority of families and child care professionals, depending on the fine print in whatever bill ever gets passed (if anything.)

    First of all, the child care industry is dominated by non-profit organizations and in-home child care providers in sheer numbers of child care slots. The large chains represent a LOT of seats, but the backbone is really smaller programs. Because you have held teaching positions, you may not be familiar with the economics of operating child care programs. No one involved in child care is getting rich off the backs of staff members or parents. I am not defending one type of child care organization or another, but I can assure you that the company for which you work is not doing market surveys to pay you the very least they can. They actually want to retain staff. I agree the pay is absolutely miserable, but there are many, many programs that work hard to allocate every penny they can to pay the absolute most they can because they care about quality.

    Equitable pay is a problem because the cost to deliver high-quality (or any quality) care does not balance with the amount that can be charged to parents. Even in the most affluent areas where tuition is extremely expensive, the labor costs (due primarily to the need for low child to teacher ratios), the costs for insurance, materials, rent, and benefits like leave and if possible, other benefits, workers compensation, and other operating costs eclipse the tuition by far.

    Universal Pre-K only serves children 4 and older. Under Biden's plan, it might (I am not sure) may extend to some 3 year old children. Typically, state-funded Pre-K has only been for children 4 year old children who are economically disadvantaged, not every child. The term "Universal" may or may not mean every child at every socio-economic level, and trust me, middle class families cannot afford the cost of child care of any quality.

    The economics of child care mean that families with infants and toddlers pay higher prices than those with children who are 3 or 4 because the child to teacher ratios go up for older children. This means labor costs go down, so rates are lower. So if a true Universal Pre-K system was adopted without funding for child care for infants, toddlers and 3s, family child care and child care programs would go out of business. Then families would have no child care for younger children at all. That means families cannot work. That means some children who are at risk for abuse, neglect, food insecurities, and lack of developmental stimulation will be left high and dry.

    Finally, one more thing: What do you mean by "childcare centers and daycares?" Are those two things? This is just my opinion, but our profession would benefit from calling child care programs "child care programs," and the hard working teachers and staff members "child care professionals" or "early childhood educators." The article used a lot of terms I wish we could banish: "Child care workers", "daycares" (is that even proper grammar?). Childcare is not even a word. It; is two words. Sheesh! It's the Washington Post. You'd think they could do better, you know?

    Just my $0.02 at 1:30 am when I can't sleep because the world is topsy-turvy.

    Fran
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    Fran Simon, M.Ed.
    Engagement Strategies, LLC
    Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
    Early Childhood Investigations Consultants Directory
    Washington, DC Metro
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