Essential Not Expendable

Essential Not Expendable!

I am part of a Facebook group and this is the title.  When childcare in most states was “deemed” essential during this Covid-19 crisis over the last few weeks we got excited!  Finally, someone noticed how valuable we are and what we do!  However, as the days and weeks go on we have been slapped with more regulations and less funding.  Montana, for example, increased the regulations to the point that few can stay open under such rigor and the ones who are forced to close out of lack of staff or any other means will lose all funding while they are closed. Many programs will not survive this and won’t be able to reopen.  The few that remain open are forced to maintain those standards with zero extra funding.
   Meanwhile, they increased unemployment benefits so people staying at home are making more than the essential workers who are on the front lines every day.  Early childhood is an undervalued and underpaid field we aren’t getting hazard pay and because our margins are so tight most owners can’t afford hazard pay and are not even taking a paycheck themselves.  People ask why do you stay in a field with those statistics?  The truth is, we do it because we love it and we are essential to the hearts and minds of the children we care for.  We provide peace of mind for the parents as they leave their most valued possessions with us every day. 

Being essential is much more than a title given by the government, it is a state of mind, it is the fact that we know what we do is bigger than all of us!  The children and families need us but the world needs us too.  Childcare is the heartbeat of our economy.  Without quality care and education for young children, parents either can’t work or won’t feel comfortable doing so.  Early childhood needs the recognition we deserve to run the amazing programs we do and properly compensate our hardworking, self-sacrificing teachers! 
 We are caregivers (just like nurses) we are teachers (just like public school) and we have over 400 regulations we must abide by.  We are educated just like other fields and due to our rigorous regulations, we must continue our education annually.  We are Essential but we are not expendable!  I speak for all the early childhood professionals who love what we do and deserve more!  

Written By, Rachel Supalla 
Founder of Discovery Kidzone Learning Centers in Helena, Montana 
Early Childhood Consultant from Discovery Learning Group
Rachel has over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood Field a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education.

No comments:

Post a Comment