Staffing support staff such as aides and assistants is quite the challenge. As Maryland makes increasing requirements on behalf of children and the profession of their care and education this difficult task only increases in challenge.
It would be important for you to keep a copy of the State of Maryland regulations (COMAR) http://mdrules.elaws.us/comar/13a.16.06
And those for school aged children http://mdrules.elaws.us/comar/13a
The follow is an excerpt from the regulations pertaining to aides, which are NOT assistants. Keep in mind there are yearly continued professional development requirements in MD.
(1) Be 16 years old or older;
(2) Work under the direct supervision of the staff person in charge of the group of children to whom the aide is assigned;
(3) According to the individual's professional development plan, complete approved continued training, at the rate of at least 6 clock hours per full year of employment as a child care aide, that consists of a:
(a) Minimum of 3 clock hours of core of knowledge training; and
(b) Maximum of 3 clock hours of elective training; and
(4) Document completion of the continued training on the professional development plan.
(1) Proper child supervision;
(2) Workplace professionalism
Best of luck to you in your search for those diamonds in the rough.
Child Development & Educational Professional & Trainer
You raise an important consideration for staffing. I live in Maryland and have worked with many centers and preschools across the country. Each state sets regulations for care centers, family care, and preschools. Since you referred to your center as a school, I am assuming it falls under center-based care and not home/family care regulations.
The staff you note were labeled 'aides' and not teachers, assistant teachers, or volunteers. Hawaii sets forth the requirements for aides as needing to meet one of the following qualifications:
First a child care aid shall be at least 16 years old; all staff in other positions must be at least 18 years old.
Further applicable information is as follows:
With a little digging and checking with your compliance and licensing department you should be able to find out if there are continuing professional development requirements. Here in Maryland everyone (Directors on down) have specific professional development hours required of them each year.
A further contemplation is how you utilize your staff when absences occur. Carefully reading HI regulations for substitutes and whether aides can be a substitute would be very important.
A salient note, you are asking this question on a NAEYC forum, an organization dedicated to bringing focus to the experiences of the child and uplifting the professionalism of the field. Professionalism requires continued education, careful and purposeful engagement of children with the full breadth and measure of current research, knowledge, and evidence-based practices forming the foundation of the work every employee undertakes. Professionalism also implies that strategies, techniques, pedagogy, and philosophical tenents are supported by the knowledge in the fields of cognition, psychology, biology, education, and neuroscience and are implemented with full knowledge of what works and why and what doesn't.Continuing education is ubiquitous with being a professional. As a director it is imperative you find ways to incorporate this element into the culture of your program and school. Best of luck to you.I have included two links for information from the state of HI, I hope they help clarify the regulations that pertain to your particular situation.
Page 27 of PDF document – not page number found on document