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?