Right now, I am trying to maintain patience and understanding with my state. I am trying to understand it takes some time to do things right, and they are attempting to help so many people and deal with so much change and new programming. However, as an Early Childhood Professional, I am concerned about the lack of talk there is surrounding Early Childhood education at this time. Did everyone forget about all of the little people? This is not something new; it is something the Early Childhood Professional deals with every day. It is a constant fight to try and get others to understand the value of what we do, and not only that to see us as professionals.
Advocacy is hard; it is so frustrating. I keep writing to my representatives, but I have to backtrack and make sure my words don't sound like I'm scolding them, or flat out calling them idiots. I just want the changes. I want my state to become a leader in what Early Childhood Education should look like, and right now, I feel my state is the most behind.
For the other advocates out there, I want to know how you got started. What change have you seen?
It's time for ECE to change from the inside out, providers in the field need to change their mindset and start referring to themselves as professionals because they are.
They should believe in the importance of what they are doing each day. Perhaps this will change how others view us. We need to take charge of our paths towards change.
We need to all work towards a collective purpose. I am happy with NAEYC taking the initiative to help lead the profession towards doing that. However, each state and all of the ECE professionals within that state need to get on board. This is a substantial undertaking, especially when states like mine do not even have NAEYC Affiliate.
What's the answer? Where to we start? Or is that the problem we can't get to the answer because we keep asking questions rather than getting started? Are we waiting on someone else to get started to be the one to begin the work?
Abby Lazarus, M.Ed.
Early Childhood advocate,Doctoral student. Bachelors in Child Development, Masters in Early Childhood Studies. Over 15 years in the Early Childhood Profession.
Anyone who depends on childcare so that they can go to work should be worried right now. There's a misconception that this stimulus package is going to bail out your childcare provider and help them to keep their doors open.
This is simply not true. Small business owners own the majority of childcare in this country. Childcare comes in many different sizes and forms.
The ones who will receive the stimulus package money are those who already accept subsidy payments. Subsidy payments are there for parents who need help in paying their childcare costs. So they will continue to receive these payments, even though they may or may not still be providing the care for that child.
They still are only receiving a portion of that regular monthly payment because they are not receiving the parent's share. So they MAY be able to survive and hold out if possibly all of the children in their program are on subsidy and they have fired all of their employees.
Now for all the other programs that don't receive subsidy payments, well, those programs are screwed.
If you depend on childcare to go to work, you should probably be worried that your childcare won't exist when you can return to work.
Don't be fooled by the fact that these places are offered PPP loans and SBA loans, the last thing ANY childcare provider needs right now is some loan they will have to pay back SOMEHOW. The PPP loans aren't going to help keep the doors open, either.
So right now, we are all sitting around worried about our economy, our bills, getting back to work, etc. But if you have kids and you plan to go back to work when this is all over, you better be considering how you are going to go back to work if you don't have childcare.
My state is using the money received through the Federal government in the stimulus package to offer a one time stimulus payment to all licensed Childcare facilities. If there is anything left over, they will have providers submit grant applications for this money.
My state business council is also now accepting grant application for small businesses closed by government health orders. We can apply for these grants by simply stating our financial losses during the forced closures.
Abby Lazarus, M.ed.
Early Childhood Professional and Advocate for 15 years. Bachelors in Child Development. Masters in Early Childhood Studies. Current Doctoral Student.