Post by Jane Stubblefield
Samrya applied for a part-time position at my center. She had graduated from Valparaiso University in social work last spring and was attending graduate school at the U of I. As I was interviewing her I noticed that she did not have any child care or education classes and yet was a head teacher in a classroom. Not putting together where Valparaiso University was located, I questioned how she was qualified to be a head teacher. This is her response: During her undergraduate years she applied and was selected to work as a child care assistant in various age classes always working with a lead teacher. During this time she completed mandated training by the state of Indiana, attended professional development training offered by the organization and was mentored by several lead teachers. After her senior year she was offered the lead teacher position to cover a maternity leave.
Indiana head teacher qualifications state that “lead care givers that do not meet the qualifications of a Bachelor of Art or Science in early childhood or a two year associate’s degree in early childhood education shall have eight hours additional in-service training per year appropriate to the age group with which the caregiver is working.”
This is very close to what our organization is purposing for pathways for qualifications to address the staffing crisis. I believe we can all recognize the value the rationale for highlighting quality at the same time bringing a solution to keep childcare centers open and viable for our families that we serve!
(By the way, Samyra is working as a teacher’s aide and is EXCELLENT as a teacher of young children!!!)