$9.00 an Hour for an Ignored Buisness

I watched Fox News’ Bulls and Bears. one of the topics was the President request to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. All on the panel except for one liberal guest panelist was against it. One panelist pointed out that it was a wage for working teens. Well that is not really true.

Child care1In all the arguments, I hear about minimum wage jobs constantly from the fiscally conservative side, they make it sound like a person within a year is making far more. The business of child care where there are minimum wage paychecks or close to it abound, is completely ignored. I know Pres. Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage is not going well with child care business owners.

As a child care teacher, years ago, I was fortunate to worked for a non-profit well-known church organization that paid well and offered great benefits for some years. Being hired during the good times, my hourly pay grew into the early teens per hour before I moved on into center directing.  In the later years before they closed down most of their child care centers, new hires did not get health benefits and received the minimum wage or as close to it as possible.

As a child care director working for a for-profit business chain. I had to learn quickly how my decisions on pay for new hires affected the profit/loss on my center. I wanted experience classroom teachers also called assistant group supervisors to make at least $8.00 an hour. I wanted to pay Lead teachers, also called group supervisors, with experience at least around $11.00 an hour. My profit/loss statements had me bringing that hourly pay down to $10.00.

When I moved on to another for-profit center around 2006, the corporate head took me to task for starting an experienced classroom teacher/assistant group supervisor at $8.15 an hour. The highest she wanted me to start a classroom teacher was $7.50 an hour. If that $900 an hour becomes law, child care businesses will be cutting teacher hours and/or raising child care fees for parents to much higher levels.

Suspension for a Lego Gun!

Lego Gun

This warning of a 2 weeks suspension for 5 year old, Joseph Cardosa’s lego gun is ridiculous. When I worked in the classroom and later directed child care centers for a well-known church organization, children’s gun play was forbidden. With that said, there were plenty of lego guns. Teachers redirected the gun players to another activity. If they did not cooperate, they received a time-out. We never went to the extreme of suspending a child for gun play. In fact, we never technically suspended a child for anything dealing with behavior. When a child was not allowed in the center, it was due to the parent being at least 2 weeks behind on the childcare bill. Suspension is over the top. Redirection is the proper course of action.

Flu Considerations

Gary Varvel_Flu ProtectedGary Varvel Cartoon

I can somewhat relate, because when I was a child, my mother use to overdress me when ever contagious sickness was going around. I assume the mother in the cartoon is a stay at home mother, but then she could also have a home business. Mothers and fathers who work for no-nonsense employers, cannot afford to miss work. This flu scare must be scary them crazy. For many, if they or their children get the flu, they have to stay home. That may mean a shorter paycheck. It could also mean a write-up or termination.

Some parents work for employers who make considerations for illness situations, but for other employers, it is less of a concern. Some years ago, I worked as a child care director for a Day care chain. If you called out sick despite the legitimacy and did not have sick time, it was an automatic write-up that could lead to suspension and even termination. That was tough for someone whose employment was under a year. After the 3 month probationary period, you received one sick day for every fully worked 2 months (tabulated in hours).

Calling out because you or your child has the flu or another illness and returning with a doctor’s note did not help your case at all, if you did not accrue enough sick time. With this current flu epidemic, my heart goes out to those who work in such environments.

Early Childhood Possible Trending…Genderless!

I spent most of my adult working life in child care. I was a teacher and then a director/administrator. Once you start reading of a new trend in early childhood education, it will not be long before you are face with the trend in a required and assignment giving  continuing education class/workshop. Many child care centers did their best to resist the “learn through play” mindset with lesson plan activities full of worksheets and other sit still quiet activities, even for toddlers, until (at least in the state of PA) came up with a star rating system and to achieve that top star rating, the child care center had to become accredited. The hands-on, learn through play activities became essential to getting that accreditation.  Before I moved on to being a director, my center had to return to learn through play to attain those stars especially to the consternation of one of my bosses.

I did have trouble with other trends in early childhood such as presenting same-sex families in the same light as the traditional father and mother led families. My head classroom teacher years were in a child care center run by a well-known church organization; therefore, I never had to deal with reading the Heather has 2 Mommies/Georgie has 2 Daddies type of books to the preschoolers and toddlers. Now, I hope a practice that the Egalia preschool in Sweden put in place will not trend to become an accepted practice in American early childhood and that is not acknowledging a child’s gender in the daily discourse.  I do not think that is even possible.

The Egalia preschool feels that society through gender recognition gives boys an unfair edge. The engineering of equality between the sexes from childhood onward is the plan. They want to do away with the reinforcing of stereotypes that gender recognition elicits. Regardless of these efforts, gender recognition will continue. I know from my work experiences in and out of the classroom in child care that teachers will refer to the children by their names, but also as he and she even with the possible threat of disciplinary write-ups. I wonder how Egalia deals with the bathroom? Genderless bathrooms are not accepted in preschool in my child care experiences. I can see Parents having all kinds of fits over ignoring gender and letting boys and girls go to the same bathroom with 3 or 4 stalls at the same time!

I remember parents, especially fathers who demanded that their sons be kept out of the housekeeping learning center. Of course, teachers could not comply. I really eased one mother seeing her preschool son holding a doll, when I told of how he was the daddy taking care of the baby. Plus the girls playing argued over who was going to be his wife. No one wanted to be the children or the grandmother.  Today, there are still parents who are not that excepting about little boys in that type of activity. But now, there are a few parents who are into this no gender recognition and parents who are not bothered in the least if their child is in to being the other opposite gender. See a previous post about that here. Now, if I where to ever return to child care as a classroom teacher or a director/administrator, I could not begin to embrace and enforce young genderless children.