Monday, August 22, 2016

PRE-SCHOOLING - Struggling Educators

"Why are early childhood educators struggling to make ends meet?" PBS NewsHour 8/16/2016

IMHO because we are not willing to pay them what they deserve.  Money is more important than child education in our greed-addicted culture.


SUMMARY:  Science tells us that critical brain development in children begins well before kindergarten, so their care and education prior to starting school matter.  But the very foundation of effective early education -- child care providers -- often struggle to earn a living wage.  In fact, nearly half of these teachers require some sort of federal support to make ends meet.  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Now a look at how pre-K teachers and early child care workers struggle to make ends meet, earning little better than subsistence wages, even as parents and the Obama administration say they increasingly value what they do.

It's part of our weekly education series 'Making the Grade,' produced this week in collaboration with The Hechinger Report.

CHANEE WILSON, Teacher, Booth Memorial Child Development Center:  OK.  What color is this?

CHILDREN:  Yellow.

CHANEE WILSON:  Yellow and white.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Chanee Wilson teaches at the Salvation Army's Child Development Center in Oakland, California.  This year, the center received a top quality rating from the state.

CHERYL MURRAY, Program Director, Booth Memorial Child Development Center:  Our teachers are doing a really good job.  They're not just baby-sitting.  They're actually teaching.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  But program director Cheryl Murray says, despite the high rating, she is not able to pay her teachers a livable wage.

CHERYL MURRAY:  We're unable.  If we pay them more, then we wouldn't be able to serve the families, and the families really need the service.  I wish I could hit the lottery and pay more for them.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  The center serves low-income families and gets 80 percent of its funding from state subsidies.  Families pay on a sliding scale based on their income, and teachers are paid minimum wage or slightly higher.

One issue is staffing.  Because they have younger children, child care classes require more teachers than kindergarten.  Chanee Wilson lives in Section 8 subsidized housing with her two children and receives a small amount of money in food stamps.  She makes $13.25 an hour.

CHANEE WILSON:  It's a struggle every month paycheck to paycheck.  You have kids and you have bills.  We more focus on the needs, which is like providing the roof over their heads, the clothes, then the food, and things like that.

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