How do we recognize preschool teachers and childcare providers for the important work they do without further raising the cost of high-quality childcare and preschool? We want to hear what you think! Join us and the Oregon Head Start Association for a Twitter chat on the topic. For background information on the topic, check out these recent stories that highlight the issues at stake:
The New York Times: Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?
This article showcases the demanding work done by preschool teachers, and the low pay they receive for such work. The article also discusses the body of research that shows that high-quality preschool can be effective at closing opportunity gaps for low-income children and children of color.
The Washington Post: Will a College Degree Requirement Lead to Better, More Respected Preschool Teachers?
This article highlights the challenges facing preschool teachers, including high demand for early childhood programs, high staffing requirements and corresponding high costs, and limited government support to help families pay for early education. Research has shown that early childhood education has a huge impact on children’s future success, and yet the teachers providing this critical education are undervalued, underpaid, and often under-trained. The article also discusses Washington, D.C.’s efforts at implementing a degree requirement for early childhood educators.
New America: Teacher Stress and Low Compensation Undermine Early Learning (video)
Despite the growing research on the benefits of high-quality early education, wages for the workforce are so low that many teachers worry about how to put food on their tables. This video highlights the stresses facing early childhood educators, who rarely receive compensation, benefits, or professional supports they need to provide high-quality education.
US News & World Report: The Great Degree Debate
This article places the debate over whether or not preschool teachers should be required to have college degrees within the context of larger conversations happening in America on the value of college degrees more generally. How might the backlash against “college for everyone” lead to innovative ways to approach preschool teacher training? If we accept that preschool teachers need to be highly qualified, how can we give more teachers access to the necessary training?
This article explores the impact of raising childcare workers’ pay on families who pay for childcare. While the piece looks at childcare providers more broadly, the issue of how to improve pay rates without pricing families out applies to preschool as well. If families are not provided with enough support, increasing wages for preschool teachers will increase the cost of already expensive programs, and ultimately force parents–mostly mothers–out of the workforce.
This op-ed argues for degrees for early childhood educators, presenting the experience in North Carolina as a successful path to improving educators’ levels of education. Workers in North Carolina were provided with scholarships and guidance that enabled them to earn their degrees without going into debt.
Bellwether Education Partners: What We Can–and Can’t–Learn from New Jersey to Improve Pre-K Teacher Training and Pay
This article reflects on the lessons from New Jersey’s Abbott preK program, which worked to raise credentials and pay for preschool teachers.