As the pandemic subsides, returning to normal may be the main goal of cities, states, and ordinary people. But when it comes to the fragmented state of early childhood education in the United States, the status quo will be an unfortunate result, said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
On Tuesday, Cardona held a virtual gathering with early childhood stakeholders and leaders to discuss topics such as early childhood labor, childcare and preschool, early intervention, special education services, and family involvement, hoping to provide early care for the Ministry of Education And education priorities.
“We know that the coming year will be crucial,” Cardona said at the opening of the roundtable. “Today’s dialogue will help shape some of the work we do in early learning.”
Joan Lombardi, a senior scholar at Georgetown University and an expert on child development and social policy, who joined the conference call, said the pandemic has created a mature environment for cooperation between families and early childhood educators.
“I think we have seen parents as teachers and teachers come together again and realize that they are together, and I think you can build on that,” Lombardi said. “I can’t emphasize how much we need to completely change the K-3 system… and childcare and preschool discussions… They should plan together in a community.”
So far, the Biden administration has proposed a Universal Preschool Program For all 3 and 4 year olds in the United States-the result is still up in the Senate balance. It also temporarily expanded the child tax credit to approximately 40 million American families with children under the age of 18. The child tax credit will be provided in the form of monthly federal government payments starting in July.
Lea Austin, director of the Center for Child Care Employment Research (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley, cited the Biden administration’s slogan because she emphasized the need to upgrade the early childhood workforce. First, it means raising wages and addressing racial inequality in the field.
“When we think about’rebuild better,'” Austin said, “For me, it really means getting educators who are the key to the thriving quality of early care and education – and these are good jobs. , So that we will make people cry out to be early educators in this country.”
Today’s reality is far from that dream. Many early childhood educators are leaving their positions for jobs with higher pay, more benefits, and greater flexibility. EdSurge reported Many early educators have not only left the field, they have also worked in K-12 positions, as well as retail or restaurant jobs, which are paid more per hour than most childcare programs provide. CSCCE has Established The average wage of childcare workers in the United States is only $11.65 per hour.
Cardona said he intends to accept the feedback and ideas presented in the conference call and incorporate them into specific plans to improve early care and education.
“Returning to the state before March 2020 is not the goal,” he said. “This is a low standard.”
During this spring’s “Help is Here” school reopening trip, he often participated with educator and first lady Jill Biden. Cardona said he visited 11 states and noted that even educators Disagree with stakeholders, those who put “students at the center of the conversation” are often the most successful. “The places that do the best are those that understand and intend to cooperate,” he said.
“Supporting the development of our young children and families should be a community effort,” he added at last, “because when our children succeed, our community will also succeed.”