The High Cost of Working in Early Childhood Education ~ Adria’s story
SPIN PreK teacher, Adria Godfrey was one of the esteemed speakers at Start Strong and Children First’s Research Release and Legislative event on March 16, 2023 held at the Northeast YMCA. The research article, released in February 2023, is titled, The High Cost of Working in Early Childhood Education.
Among the findings of this research:
- In 100% of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, Early Childhood Educator’s wages fail to cover their basic needs for housing, food, transportation, and child care.
- Almost 50% of Early Childhood Educators say they do not plan to or are unsure if they will remain in their jobs over the next 5 years.
Highlighting the impact of these findings the speakers, including Donna Cooper, Executive Director of Children First and Shaun Elliot, President & CEO of Greater Philadelphia YMCA, noted the effect of low wages on the volatility in early childhood careers which results in an erosion in quality programming for young children and an early childhood education sector that is literally on the brink of collapse. Steve Dorster, of ReadyNation shared his organization’s findings that there is a $6.65 Billion cost to business and taxpayers related to Pennsylvania’s child care crisis, a figure that has more than doubled since 2018.
Speaking for herself and fellow early childhood educator’s, SPIN’s own Adria Godfrey, shared with those in the audience, including Representative Joseph Hohenstein, Representative Martina White, Senator Jimmy Dillon and OCDEL Deputy Secretary, Shante Brown, that throughout her 20 year career as a Master’s certified Early Childhood Teacher, she has earned only a fraction of what she would have earned if she was working in K-3, which she is also certified to teach. The impact is felt by Adria and all her fellow teachers in their personal lives and also professionally, especially when turnover and vacancies in these positions add to their workload.
Start Strong and Children First are advocating for an investment of $430 Million to be added to the Pennsylvania PreK budget line for FY 2024 to support better Early Childhood Education wages for Teachers and Teacher Assistants. SPIN stands with our Early Childhood Educators in support of an infusion of $430 Million to the state budget for ECE educators.