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Archive for the ‘Early educators’ Category

 

Last month, MIT hosted the Governor’s Convening for Digital and Lifelong Learning.

The conference on new ideas in digital learning focused on a number of topics, including new opportunities for the early education and care workforce.

Speaking at the conference, Governor Charlie Baker asked:

“How do we as a commonwealth, given our rich and important history as a player in education find a way to maximize the opportunities associated with digital learning and innovation on behalf of our students and, frankly, our working people here in Massachusetts?”

Baker said that he and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, “run into employers over and over and over again who say that their single biggest impediment to growth is their ability to find people who can work for them.”

It’s a problem that’s well known in the early education field. (more…)

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Early childhood teachers increasingly need and want bachelor’s degrees, but it can be tough to find the time and money to go to college. That’s why New America, a Washington, D.C., think tank, is looking at the potential for on-line college programs.

“Online degree programs have emerged as one way to create a more flexible and accessible pathway,” writes Shayna Cook in the New America report, “When Degree Programs for Pre-K Teachers Go Online: Challenges and Opportunities.”

A video of a panel discussion on this topic is posted here.

The report focuses primarily on pre-K lead teachers, “the segment of the early childhood workforce that is closest to achieving the bachelor’s degree credential and commensurate compensation.”

The report findings suggest that while there are great opportunities in online education, there are also great challenges. (more…)

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“Even before my daughter was born, I struggled to find childcare for her. I searched months before she was born. Once she was born, I placed her on two waiting lists—one was three months long, and the other one year. The whole situation was stressful because my six weeks of maternity leave was running out. Luckily my employer allowed me to work part-time until I secured childcare. I relied on my network of family and friends to find a babysitter.”
– a Parent

 

“Our pay rate is not a living wage.”
– Center director

 

“Fifty hours of direct childcare plus 10–15 hours of curriculum and food prep, cleaning, shopping, and paperwork is too much with a family of my own to care for. Employment and tax laws make it too difficult to hire an employee, and if I did, parents can’t afford a tuition increase to cover this cost. I already make far less than minimum wage.”
– Family Child Care provider

(more…)

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Amy and Lisa Crowley

Amy O’Leary, director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All Campaign, is always on the go.

Last month, Amy was at a breakfast hosted by Horizons for Homeless children where Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone, was the speaker. She was also at Jumpstart’s Read for the Record at the Boston Public Library.

But the past part of the day was running into two former students from Amy’s classes at Cambridge College and Wheelock College. Amy teaches Advocacy, Policy and Leadership at both institutions.

The students: (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

The American Public Health Association has adopted new policy statements, including this one on preschool:

 

“Support for universal preschool — With more than 60 percent of American 4-year-olds not having access to publicly funded preschool programs and knowing that education is a key social determinant of health, calls for federal, state and local government to implement a voluntary, universal and publicly funded preschool programs based on sliding fee scales for all preschool-age children regardless of citizenship status. Urges governments and preschools to ensures high-quality preschool standards, and calls on federal, state and local officials to make sure preschool teachers and staff are prepared to work with children and are paid livable wages. Calls on state and local school districts to create and implement anti-racist, culturally relevant and trauma-informed approaches in preschool. Encourages collaborations between health professionals, community health centers and preschool programs to support wrap-around services such as immunizations and health screenings.”

 

The association “champions the health of all people and all communities,” and these policy statements are summaries of full statements that will be posted on line next year.

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“Selma Sanchez spent the summer in a hiring frenzy. She’s the program director of the Child Development Consortium of Los Angeles (CDCLA), and at one of the preschool sites, almost all of the jobs needed to be filled.

“ ‘In July we lost our director,’ Sanchez said. ‘June and July – we lost three teachers.’

“Most of the staff left to work at a Head Start center that’s recently opened nearby – the federal preschool program pays slightly better than her state subsidized program. One lead teacher left the preschool in Canoga Park after 10 years, for a job as a teacher’s aide at Head Start – fewer responsibilities, more pay.”

“ ‘People who are trying to run these programs are tearing their hair out,’ said Marcy Whitebook, who runs the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley.”

“Whitebook, who’s spent decades studying child care employment issues, lays out a simple case for higher wages: ‘If the science says the brain is most sensitive in these early years, and if we know every community has child care centers, and if we can be reasonably assured the robots are not gonna take over this area of work, then why aren’t we making this a middle class job?’ ”

“It’s getting even harder to hire early childhood educators,” KPCC Radio, October 30, 2017

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Georgia continues to break ground on early childhood education.

Some of this work is being done at the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, a program of the Atlanta Speech School.

On its website, “Read Right from the Start on the Cox Campus,” Rollins provides free courses and online resources for early educators. Among these are two compelling videos about how to effectively use language with young children.

One video — “The Promise” — features children explaining how adults and early educators can use their words to help children learn.

“We need you to give our voices power,” one child says. Others advise:

“Talk to us.”

“Sing to us.” (more…)

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