Community-based early childhood education providers are facing challenges in the wake of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to offer free pre-kindergarten education through the New York City public school system. Drawing on the efforts of New Jersey’s early childhood education efforts, de Blasio successfully snagged a $300 million dollar allotment from the budget to help ensure that all 3-4 year olds have access to the education they need. The city program is aiming to provide 53,000 full-day pre-k seats this fall, which in roughly twice as many as the previous year. Part of his program also calls for salary increases for early child hood educators in order to help make the field a more viable career option. The base salary for a city position is $48,445 with full healthcare benefits, summer time off and the potential to early salary increases up to $59,000 after the first three and a half years. These attractive promises are luring many of the strongest community educators to apply for city teaching positions, causing quite a problem for community based programs.
Many community based pre-kindergarten facilities are suffering staffing losses due to transitioning teachers looking for more benefits and higher salaries than the private facilities can offer. The Mayor did increase the starting pay for independent programs overseen by the Education Department, to $44,000 for teachers with a bachelor’s degree. Despite that effort, these positions are still compensated less than their city counterparts and offered no guaranteed salary growth assurance. Many of these institutions provide year round care and can only afford to offer limited healthcare provisions to educators, making it them less attractive as long term employers. Community facilities fear that their students and families will suffer as a result of higher turnover rates of teachers passing through their facilities on their way to city-programs. There is however no shortage of staffing prospects thus far. With a rough combined 1,000 open early childhood education positions currently available and 2,000 applicants, the competition is high across the board.
It is not year clear whether de Blasio will seek to further reform the pre-kindergarten system, incorporating more elements of the NJ two year plan education system for lower-income areas. New Jersey’s education plan didn’t come easily and de Blasio could have a long road ahead of him to help New York City’s youth.
Early childcare providers face a wide range of hurdles as education professionals. At Vreeland Insurance, we provide risk management support for New Jersey’s Pre-K educators to help protect themselves and their students. Our Pre-School and Day Care Facilities Insurance Plan is designed to protect you, your employees, and the children you’ve been hired to care for, with a comprehensive portfolio of NJ Preschool Insurance policies that work together to provide coverage for the many risks that come with the territory. We offer everything from Workers Comp to host of liability coverage options to ensure that everyone involved is protected. Call us today at (877) 755-3767 to find out more about how we can help you take care of our community.