House Bill 2556, which supports the development and funding of community-based training pathways for early childhood educators, just passed out of the House with unanimous support! Now we need the Senate to do the same.
Just like construction workers need a scaffold to put up a building, quality caregivers need support to play their important roles in the lives of children. But right now, they’re not getting it, and that’s the biggest threat to the integrity of our early learning system. Early childhood educators have not seen raises above minimum wage in almost 30 years. Low wages severely limit the ability of providers to access the higher education system, and many leave the field for higher paying jobs. In 2019 alone, the turnover rate was 40 percent.
Our Senators can help child care providers across the state today do their best to care for our kids by supporting HB 2556.
When child care providers are adequately supported, they’re more likely to stay on the job. That gives children the consistency and quality they need to thrive.
Every family enrolling a child in licensed care should be able to experience a caregiver who matches their racial/ethnic background, speaks their home language, and shares their cultural practices. The early learning workforce gains much of its knowledge through workplace-based experience. Furthermore, through a combination of experience and community-based training, the workforce gains the skills to carry out high quality work. These providers require professional development opportunities that meet their needs.
Together, we can advocate for an early learning system that centers and supports immigrant providers and providers of color. Washington must invest in a system that provides professional development opportunities that meet the needs of providers today.