In the January/February 1991 issue of Child Care Information Exchange, it’s editor, Roger Neugebauer, wrote and published the article “12 Reasons People Love to Work for You.” In it, Neugebauer focuses on the practices of directors at childcare centers where teacher turnover is low. Based on his observations, he determined twelve practices you can implement to motivate people to remain in your employment.
REASON #4: You view people’s welfare as a high priority.
There are few things in our professional life that affect our personal life more than the wages we bring home. The leadership within each program can be advocates or obstacles to progress on this issue.
There are no easy solutions to the compensation dilemma. We can not sit back and wait for someone to save the day. I believe that in my lifetime, or at least the lifetime of my children, the United States will follow the lead of many European nations in acknowledging the contribution to society made by early educators. This contribution includes accepting the responsibility for providing warm nurturing care and engaging, appropriate learning experiences for children. Recognizing the contribution of early educators will lead to a solution for the compensation issue. An encouraging future, however, doesn’t help our employees pay this month’s bills.
What are our options? The interim solution will come through tough choices and difficult compromises made one program at a time. The leader (YOU) who is truly committed to making progress on the compensation issue will gradually raise fees while educating families about the issue and will actively explore creative solutions to improving benefits.
The bottom line is that if teachers believe you place a high priority on their welfare, they will make a strong commitment to your program and to our profession.