Summer is a time for family fun with thread!
During the summer months in Alaska, thread hosts and joins many community events throughout the state which include everything from activities for dads to street fairs - fun stuff for the entire family.
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Posted in thread News.
by Stephanie Berglund, thread CEO
It is during a child’s youngest years, from birth to three years old, when what and how children are learning can shape their future. Increasingly, studies show when young children experience positive early care and education at home or out of the home in an early care and learning program, they are more prepared for school, have higher wages in the workforce, are healthier and have reduced incidences of crime. These benefits not only impact children directly, they help reduce the costs we all pay for things like juvenile justice programs and health care.
Today, more and more children receive care in an out-of-home early care and education setting. Our economy is driving a workforce where over 60 percent of households with children have all of the adults in their homes working. Child care is a necessity for most working families. Given this high number of children needing care, thread works to increase the quality of the care available for families. Many studies indicate that the level of training and education of a child care provider is one of the strongest indicators of quality care. In Alaska, this includes providing support to early educators by providing tuition assistance and on-site technical assistance and mini-grants focused on improving professional’s skills in their care and education environment. While we know this strong correlation between teacher skills and quality of care, in Alaska less than 10% of the early childhood workforce has above a high school diploma. This greatly impacts the overall quality of care throughout the state.
It is time we invest in our children by supporting Alaska's early childhood workforce, the professionals caring for and teaching our young children. This workforce includes 7,300 early education professionals working at licensed child care centers, licensed family child care homes and group homes, Head Start, private and public preschools and pre-kindergarten, infant learning programs and other early childhood settings. While this large work force is responsible for the care and education of Alaska’s children, their wages are equal to some of the lowest paying jobs in the economy.
One way to fill the wage gap for early educators is through a wage stipend program based on the Alaska System for Early Education Development (SEED), SEED Registry. SEED is Alaska’s Professional Development System and career ladder designed to track early educators’ professional development advancement. By increasing early educators' wages by even $1.00 can help recruit and retain more highly skilled professionals in the early childhood education field.
Professionals caring for our children deserve a livable wage and a wage, like other professions, that is based on educational achievements. With nearly 30,000 children in early care and education each day, let’s work together to ensure Alaska has the best possible early childhood workforce caring for our next generation of leaders.
For more information about Alaska SEED, please visit www.seedalaska.org
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