There is a high turnover with child care and preschool teachers as well, a majority of which are women. According to Groundwork Ohio’s workforce report, the average take home pay for workers is just $11 an hour, and the hours are long, which means they have to find and worry about the cost of care for their own children. If there was support and funding for these educators to make a sustainable wage, it would create more consistency among providers and could help develop measurable standards to be used across the board.
It is no secret that our current system is broken. Funding policies for child care were established to support low-income working parents to help them become self-sufficient. However, parents cannot afford to fund the early childhood education system, just as they do not fund the entire K-12 education system. Thankfully, in our community, the city of Dayton and Montgomery County have invested significant funding to increase access to high-quality early learning. Now we need the state and the federal government to make sure we can provide high-quality education for all children, regardless of race, parent work status, income level, gender, or birthplace.
Investing in early childhood education is investing in our future.
Emily Broughton is the director of marketing and outreach at the non-profit Preschool Promise. The organization works with teachers and students in more than 100 preschools in Montgomery County to ensure that all children are ready for kindergarten. She is also a mother of three.