“My husband is among about 50 adults who are participating in an Oakland Public Library program to train volunteers to read to low-income three and four year olds in preschool and Head Start classrooms for a half hour each week. He has just completed his 18 hours of mandatory training, plus two observations of storytime conducted by child librarians. Once he presents his assignment to fellow volunteers (which involves two books, several fingerplays and songs as well as ideas about how to handle challenges that might arise with eager and squirmy listeners) he will be cleared to face his assigned preschoolers.
“Some hear about this training and think it is excessive; as a former preschool teacher, I consider this level of preparation appropriate for a volunteer, but far too little for a preschool teacher. Disturbingly, however, my husband’s volunteer training exceeds that of many teachers working with preschool-age children each day across our country…”
“Despite all we have learned about the crucial development in the first years of life and the important role of teachers in facilitating early learning, ECE [early childhood education] jobs offer little premium to those teachers who have earned degrees.”
“It’s time to change how we prepare and support early childhood educators,” by Marcy Whitebook, posted on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website Impatient Optimists, October 19, 2015