Kellogg Grant News 2017
Deaeyc has received funding to provide human services to parents with limited income, whose children are attending childcare centers, as well as the educators who work in these centers. The pilot project is called the Early Childhood Education Workforce Stabilization and will be administered by two Family Service Advocates (FSA). They will connect families to much needed community resources and social services. The FSA’s will work to increase staff’s job satisfaction by allowing them to focus more on teaching, as well as, to decrease staff and parent turnover at the centers by addressing families’ basic needs and stressors.
The quality of child care has very important consequences for the development of children during the early years and in comparison to their higher income peers, children of low income families appear to be less likely to receive excellent quality child care. Childcare centers are faced with a high turnover rate, as teachers struggle in the classroom to navigate the daily survival challenges facing the families they serve. Teachers are teaching children who come to school hungry, homeless, in need of clothing, and with behavioral issues that affect the classroom environment.
Having a Family Service Advocate that can provide human services for families and ECE Professionals on site is an imperative link between the school, home, and teachers. By providing social services within ECE programs, the challenges of retention and high turnover rates within the family dynamics and ECE field are being combatted. Just as importantly there are less stressors on the parents and teachers and the appropriate time, attention, education, and basic needs of the child are able to be met more effectively.
Teachers can regain focus within the classroom environment and parents will be able to go to work directing their time and attention to work related opportunities and demands knowing their basic needs of daily survival have been met, thereby, increasing job retention. Through this program, center administrators will be encouraged to accept an increased number of children who live below the poverty level, and not turn them away because of the added challenges they face. Participants will be able to acquire housing, receive referrals for food, clothing, electric and rent, as well as assistance with transportation. This project could serve as a national model for Early Childcare, ultimately becoming a service of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
DAEYC is very excited to be part of the Early Childhood Education Workforce Stabilization pilot project through the gracious funding of the Kellogg Foundation. The Family Service Advocates will provide services for families and staff on site where they are most needed. Much like the Head Start programs and Community School programs, we at Deaeyc, look forward to further stabilizing the ECE field by combining social services, referrals to community resources, and case management services through this project.