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Quality Care Ain't Cheap

  • 1.  Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 21 days ago
    For years now, advocates have pushed for "Affordable Quality Care".  But who is suppose to pay for the quality care?  No matter what price point your center charges per week, (ie: $100, $150, $200, $250 etc), people state that childcare is too expensive based on their income level.  People assume that childcare providers are making huge profits and are taking advantage of parents because of the perceived "High Cost of Childcare".

    However, for any you that are still in business after the pandemic, you know that childcare was struggling to make ends meet even before the pandemic and the situation has gotten even worse since the pandemic.  Those that are advocating for "Affordable Quality Care" need to have a plan for how it is going to be paid for before and who is going to be responsible for paying for it.  Although there is federal stimulus money coming down the pipeline at some point, that is a one time deal and not a permanent fix to the problem.  Quality care ain't cheap and it can't be delivered on the backs of the providers or the childcare workers.  There is no place for us to significantly cut expenses to where the cost of tuition could be lowered.  In fact, if ratios were to be cut by two or three children per age group and wages were to increase to $15.00 an hour, tuition would have to be raised significantly to cover the increased cost of providing the care.  The pandemic has shown that if there is not enough revenue coming in to pay the bills, at what were our current operating cost, the childcare programs were unable to remain open.  And as we try to reopen and are unable to find qualified staff to hire, because of the low wage scales, we will be forced into a situation of having to pay hire wages to get staff and in turn raise our tuition rates to cover the increased wages.

    Again, if parent's, advocates and politicians want us to provide "Quality Care" then they have to be willing to "Pay" us for what it actually cost to provide "Quality Care".

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


  • 2.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago
    I think that subsidies shouldn't be tied to low income families, grants, or quality rating systems.  If a program meets the standards and regs to open safely, then some financial support should be provided. This would be similar to the foster care system. Those guardians don't apply then have to prove their worth by jumping through additional hoops. They apply, go through the process, then are provided with funds to get the job done. Why do ECE have to continuously prove their worth to the State and get higher education with no guarantee of income? Other countries don't do that. The US is so far behind and its very frustrating.

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago
    Great point.  I think that some of this stems from the fact that the legislation asking for quality care don't understand or are able to relate to the early childhood and child care fields.

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



  • 4.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago
    Another element that has not really been considered globally in US educational policy and ece funding is the impact of the push down of elementary education expectations.  As Kindergarten became the new 1st grade and Pre-K became the new Kindergarten, there was an outcry that children were "not ready for school" and a rush to make them ready.  Aside from the ridiculous idea that early childhood programs serve only as a means to prepare the child for "real school," I would agree that not all children have equal access to the enriching early experiences and that providing support for programs that can help with this access is crucial to giving all children a somewhat common starting ground.  That said, in the haste to create the structure for these programs on the federal level (along with all of the accompanying guidelines, reporting requirements, and ridiculata that is the hallmark of government oversight), it created an unbalanced system in most states and in the country as a whole.

    Early Childhood began to be seen through the same lens as public education (admittedly not a universally successful system, itself), and similar policies and funding streams were created to bring financial support to the programs tasked with giving young children in need better access to high quality programming.  Financially, this is great - monies are going into the care and nurturing of children - but what ultimately happened was that those holding the purse strings demanded such an overwhelming amount of accountability that programs that were originally intended to provide enriching early experiences, by necessity, were forced to become more school-like.  Once this transition occurred, the measures that provided these accountability figures became the norm and all programs, federally funded or not, were soon beholden to these same guidelines.  The financial support, however, did not follow.  So now, we have a system in place in many states where all programs are required to comply with the same guidelines, but only those receiving federal funds have access to the training and resources to fully comply, and, back to Mr. Kaminski's point, those outside of the federally funded system are left to fend for themselves. Even private K-12 schools have access to funding for textbooks and basic supplies, but ece programs do not have this same benefit.  In addition, while all K-12 teachers are entitled to tax benefits, only teachers in federally funded ece programs qualify for tax credits. The same is true for our families in our state - only those children attending Type III programs can claim tax benefits regardless of the quality of the program.

    Full disclosure - as part of a larger school, I have the luxury of not having to struggle with all of the incredible infrastructure elements that stand-alone programs must face to remain solvent and our parents come to us knowing that our price point may be higher.  Our facilities, insurance, maintenance, and day to day operations are folded into the function of the larger institution, so I am free to focus more on curriculum than keeping the doors open, BUT programs like ours still struggle with many of the same issues of salary, enrollment, access to high quality professional development, acquisition of materials, and services for children with special needs without the support of the resources available to federally funded programs.  My hope as we move forward is that all programs will be considered in future legislation and that those who actually work in the field will be allowed input into how best to utilize the funds available. More than that, however, I hope that we will reexamine the system itself so that we can move back to a view of the child's best interests rather than the financial bottom line or how to "get them ready" for a school system that, itself, is not child-friendly.

    ------------------------------
    Holly Dalferes
    Director
    George Cottage at St Martin's Episcopal School
    Metairie LA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago

    Back in the day we used to say "Everyone wants Gucci Child Care at K-Mart prices"; the brands need to be updated but the problem is  still the same.  



    ------------------------------
    Vicki Knauerhase M.Ed.
    Child Development Specialist (retired)
    Weston OH
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago
    Vicki I love that Gucci/Kmart analogy.  In the same vain, last night I was thinking about what happens when someone goes out to buy a car.  You start out with a base model which is stripped down and will basically get you from point A-B.  That model is usually reasonably priced and would fit most peoples budgets.  However as you take that base model and start adding more "quality items" such as leather seats, power windows, etc, you are now at a mid level model and the price goes up considerably.  The car manufacturer doesn't let you get those items for free and if you want that model and can't afford it., you take a loan to pay for it.  Finally if you want the top level model, with a bigger engine, more quality items such as an upgraded stereo, heated and cooled seats, extended warranties etc, you will be expected to pay a premium price for that model.  If you can't afford that model, the manufacturer is not going to lower the price just because you want it.  You will have to accept the base or mid level model if that is all you can afford.

    And in some cases, you may not even be able to afford the new base model and will have to start looking at used car models, that have some wear and tear on them and no warranties.  Due to their age and lack of maintenance they may not be as safe or reliable, but they will get you from point A to point B.

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



  • 7.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago
    Hello,

    I agree one undred percent. It is impossible to operate without raising parents rates to pay for quality help. The government definitely need to increase our rates so when can afford the wages for quality and dependable help. For the most part as a Group Home provider I work alone being in compliance with child/staff ratios. Parents are still skeptical about returning to work and daycare.

    We complete the market rate surveys and still only get a fraction of what we state our operating expenses are. Why ask? Having the majority of your parents receive subsidy and a small percentage being private pay does not equate to the actual cost to operate. We need subsidized to pay what the private paying parents are charged.

    Subsidized parents can not afford to pay the difference in rates. The bottom line is we need our market rates for subsidized clients to remain in business. They are receiving the same quality care as the private paying clients.  We need help to survive and pay our help to make all relationships sustaining ones.



    ------------------------------
    Mary Robinson-Banks
    Owner
    Learn-In-Play Day Care
    Chester PA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago
    I get this. Money does not grow on trees. Some of this money that they are promising is only available today and the future will have to pay for it. I am getting information that the politicians are spending money on crazy things just to make people happy for the meantime. Let's not be fooled. Something is not right.





  • 9.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 20 days ago
    The return on investment in early childhood education far outweighs what is spent- if I remember correctly it is somewhere around $6-8 return for every dollar spent. It reduces things like teen pregnancy and imprisonment and increases things like high school graduation rates. Investing in ece benefits communities at large, not just the families who use the services.

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 19 days ago
    Here is a very simple way to understand what will happen to our center as the hourly wage goes up.  I currently have around 40 employees that work around a combined 1,100 ours per week. The average pay per hour is $10.00.  If I raise everyone's hourly rate by $1.00 per hour, then at a minimum I need an additional $1,100.00 of guaranteed revenue each week to sustain that increase.  That does not include the taxes.  If I raise the hourly rate by $2.00 an hour, then I have to increase my weekly revenue by $2,200 per week.  If I raise the rate by $3.00 an hour, then we need an additional $3,300.00 in revenue per week and by the time we get to an increase of $5.00 per hour we are looking at needing an increase of $5,500.00 in revenue per week.

    In the first scenario my option would be that I would have to add an additional 6 students at an average rate of $200.00 per week or raise every everyone else's tuition by $7.00 per week based on an average enrollment of 176 students between two locations.  In the second scenario I would need to add 11 new students per week or raise every ones tuition by $12.00 per week.  By the time we get to the last scenario I would have to add an additional 28 students per week or increase every ones tuition rate by $32.00 per week.

    So to get to $15.00 per hour and not raise my tuition rates, I have to either find and enroll 28 more students than I have now or get a guaranteed weekly government wage subsidy payment of at least $5,500.00 week.  Here's the catch 22.  If I add 28 more students I will most likely have to add at least two more staff due to ratios so then I'm back to having more labor costs without having more income to cover those two new employees.

    Of course all of these numbers will be different for everyone based on the size and scope of their programs, number of students and employees and other operational related expenses that were not included here.

    This is what politicians, policy makers and many advocacy groups don't understand because they have never actually owned, operated or manage a child care "business".​

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



  • 11.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 19 days ago
    So why not just bump up tuition $32 now, bank the extra until you have to pay $15?

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 18 days ago
    Alison,

    If I bumped my tuition up $32 per week for my families, that is $128-$160 extra per month per child. Sure, that would bring in a ton of revenue for me - with our weekly rates, that means that each month suddenly gained an extra full week of tuition! But there is absolutely no way I could do that.

    Our program is in a relatively poor area of an extremely poor state. We are one of the more affordable centers in the area; I have been shocked by some of the prices nearby. We're a non-profit, too, which introduces its own perks and challenges. Yes, we accept child care assistance through the state, but not everyone qualifies for child care assistance, depending on their household structure, work status, immigration status, and income. Some of my families flipped out when we raised tuition by just $10 per week. One father came in tears to my office to tell me that they were already struggling as it is, and he was working two jobs already, and was in the classic catch-22 of not being able to afford child care but needing child care in order to work and earn money.

    But I also feel for my teachers. They don't get paid nearly what they're worth. I have been able to give them small raises, pushing them above what Albuquerque's minimum wage is (currently only $9.35), but $15/hour minimum per teacher is so far out of my reach that it is laughable.

    We can't just bump tuition without considering the consequences for our families. I understand wanting to look at the issue from a sterile business point of view, or from only the point of view of the teachers' wages, but as a provider of human services, we have to consider the humans. This is why I know we need MUCH stronger federal and state support for child care.

    Right now, New Mexico has waived the copays for child care assistance, so families who have a contract with a state are receiving 100% free care, regardless of what they originally qualified for. Instead, the state pays a flat-rate copay of $200/child/month. This happens to be more than the copays of many of the families in my care - which means that during the COVID crisis, we have been able to make SO much more money through tuition than ever before, even with lower enrollment. What this tells me is that our state governments and federal government CAN give this support for child care - there is just no WILL to actually do it.

    ------------------------------
    Valerie Stefani
    Albuquerque NM
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 17 days ago
    Maybe we need to let our Congressional representatives and Senators, especially the Senators, know that early childhood education and care is an integral part of the country's infrastructure that enables workers who have families to work and helps children of families living in poverty move up. The cost of early childhood education and care hits the lowest wage families the worst but it is also too high for many middle-income families as well. In addition, the teachers working in the field are similar to the Walmart workers who could not afford to take care of their own children and qualified for Medicaid and food stamps. Is this okay? Not in my book.

    I hope that we all get behind this bill in Congress that includes childcare as infrastructure, necessary for the growth of the country, and call our Senators, telling them to support the Infrastructure bill in Congress.

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



  • 14.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    So, here is the deal.

    I know that you can't just raise rates by $35, $20, or even $5 for some families. I think most people in this forum get that, but Nora got it right. Repeating it in this echo chamber won't do anything.

    I am concerned that the federal government is not doing enough to support child care and families. Stipends, grants, and subsidies are all tied to ever increasing hoops to jump through and are not enough to fully support families or child care businesses. Professional educators and care givers with decades of experience and high level degrees are stuck working at poverty rates, because we cannot afford to charge families higher rates without losing many of the families that desperately need child care. It is gross negligence that our babies and young children are not getting the quality of care they need to thrive just because the decision makers don't understand our line of work. Quality care will never come of the employees are burnt out and underpaid - even if you're Mary Poppins.

    Right now my state has a grant available. If you go to apply, it lists everyone who qualifies by their program number. Why aren't they just giving it to those people? Why complicate it by doing an application process? If they don't want it they don't have to cash the check.

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Alliison,

    You are correct.  Sometimes it can feel like we are preaching to the choir by posting this kind of information on this site and yes the politicians are going to have to get their act together to straighten this out.  However, the reason I continue to post this information on this site, is, that prior to COVID no one was actually talking about how much it was going to cost the provider to improve the quality of their services and raise the hourly rate of its employees and offer benefits.  As a business owner, I have to know where the money is going to come from if I am going to be mandated by the government to improve quality and raise employee wages.

    We have to continue to push for reimbursements that cover the true cost of providing quality care which means we have to educate parents, politicians, policy makers and ECE advocates so that they understand to reach those goals it will cost $300-$400 per week per child and how much of that should come from parents and how much of that should come from the government.  If we stay with the status quo, we will go another 25 years without seeing any significant improvements.

    Sincerely,

    Tim Kaminski

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



  • 16.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    And - I don't think we should be pushing for support for minimum wage.  That's ridiculous. Many of us are educated professionals, not entry level workers.  If we were doing as much work as a kindergarten teacher, then we should be paid equally.

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    I certainly understand that sentiment, but the reality is that most of the child care sector is built on minimum wage labor. In that case, I think a higher minimum wage should be the baseline.  If we can get all ECE teachers to that higher rate as a start, then we can begin to do the harder work of Worthy Wage.  If we are talking about starting the argument from the current rates, then trying to advocate for what teachers should really be paid presents a huge jump!  If you consider raising the baseline to a living wage, then you have taken the first step toward the possibility of additional smaller steps in the future.

    The major sentiment in all of the comments in the thread seems to be this: Teachers deserve to be paid more, but those who are involved in the child care industry need support to make that happen. I think a big part of this is starting with the perception of child care vs. early education (which may need a thread of its own), and while it may be purely semantics, it is our responsibility to assure that the difference is clear.  Until we do, child care workers will be seen and paid as just that, and we will continue to have trouble attracting well-qualified educators to the field.

    ------------------------------
    Holly Dalferes
    Director
    George Cottage at St Martin's Episcopal School
    Metairie LA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    The vocabulary we use to describe who works in the early childhood profession influences the way people are perceived. As pointed out in Power to the Profession, the field does not have agreed-upon definitions for what teachers of young children do and the skills and understandings that those who work with young children should have that are used across multiple related academic disciplines. Even the measures of quality are not clear across the many iterations of approaches to/philosophies of teaching and learning in early childhood.

    But the biggest problem right now is the infrastructure debate in Congress that might change the early childhood world - the integration of the work of early childhood professionals and centers in supporting the economy - the view that educating and caring for our youngest children is critical to our society, just like bridges, tunnels, and roads. IF YOU WANT CHANGE IN HOW EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION IS FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED AND VIEWED AS CRITICAL TO OUR SOCIETY, WE NEED TO STOP BEATING AROUND THE BUSH AND CONTACT ALL THE SENATORS WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN INCLUDING EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE BILL AND TELL THEM TO GET BEHIND THIS BILL. ALL OF THIS IS POLITICS - WRIT LARGE!

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



  • 19.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    I totally agree.  Here is contact info if you need help finding who to contact: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

    I think that part of the issue is that child care providers are compassionate, giving helpers. We take care of people all day. Pencil pushers aren't in that business. They are in the business of figuring how the money works. We could tell them all day about our professionalism, best practices, vital supports that we provide to families and it would fly past their head. They aren't concerned with the $5 that a dad can't add to his weekly budget. It isn't enough money for them to be concerned about.

    But on a larger scale the numbers and dates talk. Putting money into ece is profitable for the economy. "In total, the existing research suggests expanding early learning initiatives would provide benefits to society of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent, about half of which comes from increased earnings for children when they grow up." -from the white house's own findings. The fact that the government themselves found this should be stated again and again and again and again and again.

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    I think it would be interesting to look at what it costs in your district to send a child to public school for one year, and then use that number to compare what you charge parents for your services. Do you charge more or less?  If less, why does it cost less for a child to attend your center than it does to attend a public school for possibly less hours a day?  The answer is obvious--in the U.S., taxes pay for children's care and education past age 4.  Perhaps subsidies based on local school district per student cost is a solution?   From what I understand, current subsidies are not based on the same per student cost, but I could be wrong.  If anyone knows how they calculate subsidies, I would be interested to know.

    ------------------------------
    Jenny James
    Director
    First Lutheran Preschool
    Ellicott City MD
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Jenny,

    In Texas the base subsidy rate is based on a % of what is considered to be the going average weekly tuition rate and there is a 4 star rating system that provides a marginal increase in that rate based on your star level.  A survey is sent out every two years to determine the current average market rate per age group.  The survey is heavily dependent on the childcare providers actually answering that survey and providing their information.  I have been told by our local "Workforce Boards" that the response to that survey is typically very low and so they can only make their determinations based on the responses they get.  Often providers that do not participate in the subsidy program, and typically have higher weekly tuition rates, usually do not respond to the surveys so that information does not get included in determining the average market rate.  Also in Texas the providers that do participate in the subsidy program usually already start out with much lower with their regular tuition rates and don't raise their tuition rates significantly from year to year.  So if you are only going to get a % of what is already an extremely low average weekly rate, financially it doesn't make sense to participate in the subsidy program in Texas.  In my situation there is an $80.00 per week difference between my published rate and what the Texas Subsidy system will reimburse me and I cannot collect the difference from the parent, so therefore I have to significantly limit the number of subsidized students I will accept into our program which is between 8-10 and we will not take infants and toddlers on the subsidy program.  I have had to turn away 4 families this week that had just gotten on to the subsidy program and were having trouble finding a location to take them.

    Not sure how the subsidy program works in other States.

    Tim Kaminski

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



  • 22.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    Thanks Tim, I think that this may be similar in other areas as well.  Perhaps it would help leaders to use our current funding of public schools as a metric (no survey needed!) and instead of basing subsidies on current child care tuition rates, base it on the current cost per student in the public school system.  That way, we are saying that yes, it is expensive to take care and educate children of any age, and yes, we have agreed as a nation to fund care and education for children age 5 and up, so why would it cost us less to care and educate any human less than 5 years old?  I know this is simplistic, and that there are many factors in getting that "per child" number, but why base a subsidy on a number that is severely out of whack to begin with?!  Could NAEYC lobby for accountability when the government is setting subsidy protocols for child care?

    I am grateful this this forum as a way to put ideas out there. . .hopefully it will help others imagine new ways of doing things.

    ------------------------------
    Jenny James
    Director
    First Lutheran Preschool
    Ellicott City MD
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    I love that, Jenny. To add: almost all public schools provide some services for preschool age children because of IDEA. So that data exists already.

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    Tim,
    PA seems to parallel TX.  We also have a 4 Star rating system- all licensed programs receive a STAR 1 and you work to increase your level.  Subsidies are also "slightly" increased based on your STAR level here.  Families are assigned a co-pay amount based on their income. We can collect the difference but most of us don't.  If a family qualifies for subsidy, they most likely can't afford to pay anymore than they are. PA also distributed a survey this year but we are required to submit/update our rates annually on the state website that manages subsidies. While it is a bit more busy work, the state has simple access to the rates across our counties to better determine an average reimbursement.
    Pam

    ------------------------------
    Pamela McCullough
    Director
    GSCC
    Holland PA
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi Pam,

    Does the  tuition survey go out to all licensed providers or just to those that participate in the subsidy program?  I think one of the reasons the subsidy program is so bad, is that we, as businesses, have not make a big enough statement about the discrepancies because we continue to accept people on subsidies at the lower rates, knowing that it is not going to cover the cost of the care.  If we collectively just said were not going to do that anymore, they would have no choice but to raise the rates or let us charge the parents the difference.  However I do agree that there would still be some families that would not be able to pay the difference, so the bottom line remains that for subsidy students, the government (state or federal) needs to pay providers at least what they are currently charging for their services and then fund a separate program on top of that to help get our employees up to a higher wage.  Simple solutions never seem to work when it comes to government entities.

    Tim Kaminski

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



  • 26.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    I completely disagree. Why make separate programs? Why do additional surveys? It is wasting time and resources.  Areas are already divided into federal levels of income for title 1, etc. We already know how much it costs to care for a child AND pay professional wages because of public school programs. Why make it complicated? Make a base rate for number of children per program based on the data we already have, then give the money to the programs to provide that care and pay staff competitively. All of them. Public,  private, head start - ALL of them. If a program wants to go higher on the qris scale to get more money, then the could then the could claim a higher quality rating. Or they could charge a higher rate as a private program with specialized programming.

    My larger concern is that additional regulations and visitations will be placed on ece. We do not want something like standardized testing to be pushed down to lower levels in a scenario like above. Meeting the qualifications has to be enough. We have to make that clear to lawmakers.

    ------------------------------
    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi Allison,

    I agree with everything you just said.  We really are on the same page, as I do not want additional regulations to be placed on childcare providers.  Your ideas to use the public school calculations would most likely be the quickest way to come up with the information that is needed.  We just got to keep pushing.

    Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Tim

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



  • 28.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    I agree with you. There are enough regs and I certainly fear the idea that some person who knows nothing about ECE will decide that we need to test kids and also insists on a certain model of teaching and learning, which I already see, to some extent, in NJ.

    But, we do need money infused into ECE. We need the Senators to get off their butts and stop being oppositional to understanding the role of ECE in the economy and its growth.

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



  • 29.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    Tim- the survey went out to all programs but sadly  many don't respond.  The web site must be updated if you are using subsidy but not if you aren't  so those numbers aren't an accurate representation. There are so many things to consider with subsidies, state and federal funding, etc.  As I approach the end of my career, I can honestly say having the federal and state government more involved frightens me in many ways. Decision making by politicians can be supportive or devastating.  I am not sure I appreciate taking that risk.


    ------------------------------
    Pamela McCullough
    Director
    GSCC
    Holland PA
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    ​After reading the highlights of the Infrastructure Bill, I would like to see child care get equal to elder care.  Americans taking care of the elderly and disabled will be getting $400 billion and those taking care of children in their most fragile time are only getting $25 billion.  There was a statement in the Home Care Services and Workforce section that stated caregivers are only earning on average $12 per hour.  I would hazard to guess that those in childcare are earning less than that on average.  Don't get me wrong, I am happy that some money is going into early education.  Just wish is was more!!!

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    Dee Wimberley
    Quality Coach
    Memphis, TN
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  • 31.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 13 days ago
    Dear Deandra:
    I agree with you completely.

    I also agree with Christina Roseli to a large extent. Quality early care and education or ECE, whichever term is used, does not need a fancy building. Centers need adequate equipment that includes teacher prepared/intentional and child-chosen open-ended activities and play, and intelligent and well-prepared teachers who understand child development and know that their relationships with the children and how they interact with the children are critical to each child's development.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
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  • 32.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 12 days ago
    Something to read about the profession:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/26/child-care-center-worker-shortage/

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



  • 33.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago

    As much as we all wish there was a solution to this problem, I don't see early care wages changing much in the near future. Should early care professionals be paid on par with K12 teachers? YES, a thousand times YES! However, here is where the debate begins again. Centers cannot pay their staff those wages on tuition rates. Let's just pretend the state/government decides to drop loads of money into financially supporting this goal - then what? Do you think they will not impose additional regulations and requirements now that they are funding your site? Is that something you are willing to accept?
    On another note, quality care does not need to be expensive. It does not require a fancy building, pricey toys or the newest technology. You can provide amazing quality care outside with only nature based loose parts, or in a family living room. Quality is about the relationships you build with children and how much you stimulate their brains for development. Simply talking continually WITH (not TO) a child activates their brain to develop millions of neural pathways.
    With all that being said, early care professionals are amazing, resourceful people and should be paid what they deserve. I'm just not sure the best way to accomplish that goal.



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    Christina Roseli
    Ventura County Office of Education
    Oxnard CA
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi Christina,

    You are correct.  "Quality Care or EC Education" comes from the person/teacher interacting with that child.  It doesn't come from the building or the materials placed in front of the child.  However the "expense" of providing "quality care" comes from the cost of labor, rent, insurance, utililties, food, licensing fees, training fees, background check fees, local fees and taxes, materials etc.  Even someone providing childcare in a home setting is faced with these same expenses and would have at least a minimum fee that they would have to charge to just break even.

    And you are also correct, that with more government funding for early childhood education, there will be more regulations put upon childcare providers.  We currently operate under a multitude of childcare regulations that are essentially unfunded mandates that were put in place to improve the quality of childcare, but did not take into account the financial strain those regulations would place on childcare providers due to the increased costs to meet those standards, but not being able to charge families more to cover those increased expenses

    Hopefully with the new federal monies we can be a part of the solution to help develop a system of reimbursement that will work for all types of providers.

    Sincerely,

    Tim Kaminski

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



  • 35.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 13 days ago
    I understand fully about. Early Care. I went through my CDA for Infants/Toddlers.I had The TEACH Program fund me  And renew ed 3 years then 5 years. I also finished my Pre School CDA. And Renewed that one twice. Then I continued with ECE at Lincoln University Jefferson City. I finished with an Associate degree and no longer had to renew either CDA Again TEACH Program helped me financed my classes. Early Care is So important. It is the Foundation of Life .   We All Need pay upgrade but we are forced at our center due to 99 children birth to age 5.  Our 3 rooms in our Infant/Toddler wing are wanting more classes for Birth to age 2. All Eleven Teachers are required by Accreditation to earn 18 clock Hours Starting this year to renew in October.  We I/T Teachers need continued learning classes.  Preschool Classes are Great so our section have to adapt to our age group. I'm proud of our Little Explorers Discovery. Center . I've been a Teacher forc38 years there. Centers are needed.

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    Diana Finnie
    I/T Teacher
    Little Explorers Discovery Center
    Jefferson Cty MO
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  • 36.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 2 days ago
    I couldn't agree more. I think it's time for childcare teachers to be paid like teachers. Quality schools have quality teachers and we struggle to pay them their worth. Wheres the grant money to offset teachers salaries. Ive been saying this for years.

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    Shauntrell Thomas
    Owner
    Angel Watch Academy
    Houston TX
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  • 37.  RE: Quality Care Ain't Cheap

    Posted 2 days ago
    I agree one hundred percent. We have to be paid our worth to maintain quality help to. Online to operate.  Someone have to pay the cost. We can not continue operating with a tight  budget hoping our income will increase from year to year. We need to be stress free along with providing quality care.

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    Mary Robinson-Banks
    Owner
    Learn-In-Play Day Care
    Chester PA
    ------------------------------