Worthy work deserves worthy wages
Posted on 05.02.2016, Monday

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, which makes it the perfect time to show our appreciation for the many hard-working early childhood educators here in Durham! Worthy work deserves worthy wages, and there’s no better time to show these teachers how much we appreciate their invaluable work.

The work of early childhood educators is valuable, complex, and chronically underfunded. According to a study conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children:

  • 50% of early childhood educators are worried about their own family’s economic well-being
  • Compensation for early childhood educators grew just 1% between 1997 and 2013
  • 79% stated that finding a job with sufficient salary and benefits was the major obstacle to becoming an early education teacher and remaining in the field

A workforce study by Child Care Services Association found similar results about early childhood educators in North Carolina:

  • One in ten teachers reported working two jobs to make ends meet to care for their own families
  • 40% of all the early education teachers in North Carolina relied on some form of public assistance in the past year
  • Only half of all teachers received some form of paid health insurance benefit
  • Nearly 20% of the teachers stated they were likely to leave the field in three years for better pay and benefits

For the sake of our children’s futures, it is critical that qualified teachers who are passionate about serving young children are compensated and supported – in North Carolina and across the country. Let’s recognize that worthy work deserves worthy wages and celebrate all of our early childhood educators during National Teacher Appreciation Week!