The decreasing value of ECE degrees

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Missus James, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 5, 2013

    I thought I would leave the child care industry for good and just focus on my schooling, but something unexpected happened in these last weeks to where now I have to find a job again. All the retail jobs are hiring seasonal employees. The only other industry that I have been in longer than child care is food industry and I truly hate working in it. So now I am trying to find a way back into child care.

    I've applied to a few jobs and went to a few interviews these last few weeks. Everyone looks at my resumé like it is a message from the heavens, but they won't hire for one of two reasons: I am currently getting my bachelor's degree or I don't have my bachelor's degree. I am now two semesters away from finishing my bachelor's degree. I am at the end of my current semester and next (Spring) semester starts at the beginning of January. Then I do my internship in the Fall.

    I went to a very nice preschool to put in an application. Well instead of an application, the director decided to interview me. Which I wasn't prepared for at all. They were looking for an lead teacher in the toddler room. The leader teacher would have two assistant teachers in the classroom full-time. She loved the fact that I was getting my bachelor's degree. The interview was going well until the very end. She then asked me about my schedule. I told her that my only request is to find some flexibility for three of my classes that I will be taking. All of my classes are online, but I have to do experience inside of an elementary classroom. The total of field experience hours is 20 over spread over a 4-month period.

    I didn't think the request was too much. It's 20 hours over 120 days. However, all the light left her eyes and she said, "I can't commit to that." But you say that you have people always calling out of work or taking days off unexpectedly? I am telling you in advance this is what I need. So she shooed me out of the door.

    As I was driving home, I had a ton of time to be upset and think to myself. It seems like it is a pattern. If you are working on a degree, daycare centers won't touch you because they don't want to deal with the schedule but they still want the degree. Or daycare centers won't consider me because I don't have my degree yet. The funny thing is I have my associate's degree in Early Childhood and a director's credential and they still won't touch me.

    This increasing need for ECE degree (Associate and bachelors) in child care worries me because it lessens the value of it to me. You don't need an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree to teach preschool children. What you learn in child care as an employee is a way more valued than what you learn in textbooks. You can't get a 9.00/hr job for a lead teacher position in a child care center because you aren't finished with school yet, but you have OTHER qualifications that make you QUALIFIED to be in that position.

    Why such a want in ECE degrees now in child care now when the actual pay is still the same? Unless you are a director, assistant director, owner, work in a private school, work in the public school system or in a Head Start program, I don't understand the sudden want for ECE degrees in the private sector.

    First, it was the CDA craze where everyone had to have a CDA and it didn't matter if you had an associate's degree or bachelor's degree. Now it's, everyone has to have a bachelor's degree completed before we can touch you. I might as well wait until I finish my degree and try to get a job as an elementary teacher.

    Do I really need a bachelor's degree to be a 18-24 month toddler teacher?
     
  2.  
  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    1,442

    Dec 5, 2013

    I think that asking people to have any degree for a job that pays $9 an hour is ridiculous.

    I'm in a similar situation as you. I love my preschoolers but work just as hard as any classroom teacher, and so am leaving to finish up my degree and get an elementary teacher salary. It's just not right to pay people so little and expect to keep quality, educated teachers.

    It seems like a lot of preschool jobs are part time (just below full-time), because many places don't want to pay for benefits. Can you find a job that with a schedule less than 40 hours a week so that you can do your observations without requesting time off? Or, if you even had a one hour lunch break, you could go into classrooms for a 1/2 hour each day at a nearby school. Otherwise, since you have such few hours to do, you could request days off once you start working there. One day or less per month, and you could have those hours completed.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 6, 2013

    Oregon is at the bottom of the list when it comes to PS/daycares. ECE is my love, but I would never get another degree in ECE. I got my degree before it included PS to K3. I did quickly become a director, opened my own business, and was CEO of a social agency.
     
  5. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 7, 2013

    Otterpop, I've considered part-time but all part-time positions in my area are strictly assistant teachers or teacher aides. I've been an assistant teacher most of my child care career. Each time I was an assistant teacher, the experience was horrible. I was treated like absolute trash each time. I did just about everything except do my job. I was a floater. I was a cook. I was a van driver. I was a messenger. I was an errand girl. I was a secretary. I was never in the classroom with the lead teacher (and most of the time, they liked it that way), so the children didn't know me or respect me.

    I've had a few brief stints as a lead teacher and loved it. I love the responsibilities and rewards that come with the position. Plus, the pay is even worse as an teacher assistant. In my area, they make about 7.79 (minimum wage) to 8.50 tops.

    Blue,your degree focuses on Birth through 3 years of age? If so, in Florida, there are two different early childhood degrees you can get basically: Preschool Education (Birth-Age 4) and ECE (Age 3 through 3rd grade). Unless, you have Early Childhood Development or Early Childhood Management.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 8, 2013

    MissusJames, my degree is so old that it says Family Life/Preschool Teacher/Home Economics. If I had student taught in a high school, I could teach Home ec. If I took ECE now, I would get a PS to Grade 3. From all the work I read that teachers do, I am glad I did not end up in a classroom. I hated my September experience teaching Home Ec. If I were to go back to college, I would be a nurse or something in the medical field.
     
  7. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2013

    That is so cool, Blue! I don't even think that there is a degree for Home Economics anymore and that is a shame because my generation (21) and younger generations don't know the basic things to survive like budgeting, cooking, and sewing. Those things are important. Knowing how to sew comes in handy when you pop a button on your favorite jeans. My grandmother and mother taught me how to sew for things like that.

    Nowadays, it seems like there is so much focus on academics that kids really don't know basics of the simplest things they need to survive in the real world.

    A lot of teenagers go into college and they don't know how to balance a checkbook or pay their own bills.
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 12, 2013

    I went to Oregon State University--a long time ago. I don't know if they still have a home ec program. I think they may have combined with another department. Yes, the kids of today need more life skills. My GS lives with me, and knows how to sew and cook. He really does not like knitting. He cooked Thanksgiving dinner for us.

    I taught teen parents as part of a high school program, and you can bet that they knew how to cook and sew when I was in charge.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 12, 2013

    I no longer have a homeroom because of my NHS duties. But when I did, I always had a sewingkit in my room. Whenever a uniform needed a repair-- most often for replacing a button-- you had better believe that I got them started, and had them do the sewing themselves. So cute to watch an 18 year old football player sitting there with a needle and thread, sewing his button back on. But it's a life skill, and they learned it.
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 12, 2013

    Good for you Alice. Need to know is a great motivator.
     
  11. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 18, 2013

    I've come to a point in my life, being in my mid fifties, that I do not want to pursue a BS. I have an AA in ECE. However, except as a teaching assistant, I don't believe I am hire able. No one will hire me as a teacher.
     
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    1,442

    Dec 18, 2013

    Wyvern, I am sending you a PM :)
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 19, 2013

    I have considered going back to work. A job that I would love was advertised. It was designing a building to house 200 day care children, writing the policies, hiring, etc.

    I asked for $18 an hour. I have a BS in ECE and years of experience. They were not willing to pay $18 an hour. For $10 an hour, will they get the quality they are seeking?
     
  14. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2013

    Is Oregon really that bad when it comes to ECE pay? We are planning on moving to Portland this summer after my daughter finishes her school year.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    1,442

    Dec 19, 2013

    I can't speak for all Oregon ECE jobs, but for the place I worked, yes.
     
  16. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2013

    Orginially, an associate's degree meant that you were at the top of the totem pole in early childhood. You could teach Pre-Kindergarten during the school year in preschools (summer required you to have a bachelor's degree). Not a lot of people had bachelor degrees a few years ago. It was kind of one of those things where it was a waste because you could get a CDA or an equivalent.

    Now (especially where I live in Florida), it's have an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree within the next two years or don't even bother. In my bachelor program, there are a lot of people getting or finishing their degrees just so they can stay at their job. They don't want to be an elementary teacher. They just want to continue working at preschool level. There is nothing wrong with that. I just think it is very unfair that child care centers can place requirement demands like this, but they don't have the pay to make it up. I just think they want the degrees to get accredited quicker like NAEYC and advertise the heck out of it.

    Most people with BS in ECE are qualified to teach in elementary schools (especially after they take the teacher exams), but they choose to work in preschool. There is nothing wrong with that at all. It's just there needs to be a balance. You spend so much getting that degree, so you can only get a 9.00/hr job with .50 cent raises every year (or excuses as to why you can get that raise) and little to no benefits. Unless you work at Headstart or a private school or you snag a preschool position at an elementary school. Nor there is no choice for advancement. Unless you have a Pell Grant and/or scholarships, it will take you your whole life and some of the afterlife to pay off your student loans.

    I just want to know why is there such a high want, but no willingness to up the pay? We all know that child care not cheap. Especially for private preschools and chain preschools.

    Your situation, Blue, is the perfect example. All of that work and little pay. That is what they want. They want the degree and experience, but they want it with someone who is desperate enough to just any job regardless of the high workload and little pay. Public school systems isn't hiring like they used to. There are budget cuts, forced retirement, hiring freezes, and nepotism at every turn. The field is oversaturated with qualified experience teachers and newly graduated teachers.
     
  17. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2013


    Well, another aspect is experience. I have over 20 years in the field and have learned from experts. And the truth is, usually when I take a bachelor level class, I am not learning anything new. I took a class last year from an accredited online college that cost me $1000. That's insane. My abilities are equal to the newbie bachelors level employees, but they out rank me in pay. It's pretty frustrating. I don't know where I can go with my AA level and compete and make a livable wage.
     
  18. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2013


    That depends on where and what your education level is.
     
  19. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 19, 2013

    There are programs, particularly in Northern Oregon that will pay what you are asking with a bachelors.
     
  20. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 19, 2013

    wyvern. If I wanted to teach in Head Start, I would get nice pay. But, I don't want to teach in the classroom anymore.

    Finding a high paying job in ECE is next to impossible in Oregon. Most school districts do not offer PS, so the only decent paying jobs are in Head Start. Small towns do not seem to offer much more than $9 an hour.
     
  21. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 20, 2013

    I have a Bachelors in ECE, but instead of getting certified my degree focuses on infants and toddlers.

    In my center, certified lead preschool teachers make $40,000, and lead teachers in the two year old rooms who are not certified make about $30,000. That's still way too low in my opinion for the amount of work we have to do.
     
  22. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 20, 2013

    I have never heard of a preschool teacher making that much unless you work in Headstart, public schools with preschool programs, and private schools. At least around here it is. Around here you are luckily to even break the $21,000 mark yet alone 30,000 or 40,000 dollars and that includes certified preschool teachers.
     
  23. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 21, 2013

    You should move to Chicago.
     
  24. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    108

    Dec 21, 2013

    Headstart teachers here make between $16/hour-$25/hour. Daycare teachers make anywhere from minimum wage-$12/hour. I teach preschool for the public school and make around $45,000/year.
     
  25. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 26, 2013

    Once I finish my degree, my goal is to aim for an elementary school position or a Headstart teacher position. Because honestly, around here, Headstart is the next step down from an elementary teacher as a steady gig with decent pay.
     
  26. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 27, 2013

    If you are moving to Oregon with an ECE degree, look for work in a Head Start. That will be the best way to get decent pay.
     
  27. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2014

    I am now officially in Oregon, and the ECE job market here is rough. There doesn't seem to be a lot available even for Head Start. It is a little depressing.
     
  28. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2014

    There are some HS's where you would be a prize. Guess it depends on where you are?
     
  29. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 28, 2014

    I'm in Portland. There just doesn't seem like there is much on the job market.
     
  30. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    4

    Aug 31, 2014

    Wow, surprised I haven't posted in this thread. lol I totally agree with the OP. It's crazy what they expect compared to what they want to pay.

    Good luck in Portland Alesia!
     
  31. tinytotsteacher

    tinytotsteacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 10, 2014

    Depending on where you live and DHS regulations can dictate what your able to do. I live on the Minnesota/Iowa state line. I have my AA in ECE, 10 years of experiance and Head Start would only pay me $8.50 and hour as an assistant. Child care centers paid minimum, $7.25 in Iowa. In Minnesota where DHS requires a degree of any kind to be a teacher in a childcare room the pay was more. I currently teach preschool in a Migrant Head Start in Minnesota and receive more then an Head Start teacher does their first year in Iowa. My sister in Oregon makes more then me with no degree in a child care center.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. waterfall,
  2. nyctimel
Total: 336 (members: 3, guests: 311, robots: 22)
test