Early Edge CA Executive Director, Patricia Lozano was quoted in an EdSource article about the quality and affordability of preschool in California.
A new Learning Policy Insitute report titled, “Building an Early Learning System That Works, Next Steps for California,” examines challenges and successes in early childhood programs across diverse regions of California. The report recommends that California should create one centralized state-level agency that makes early childhood education accessible for children from birth to age 5, increase wages and training for preschool teachers ad child care workers, and analyze the quality of preschool and child care programs.
Currently, the report states that there is no consistency between education requirements for preschool teachers in similar programs.
In early childhood education programs, teacher shortages exist because of lack of training and low wages, the report states. The median annual income for child care workers statewide is $24,150. Preschool teachers earn more than child care workers, but they can earn half the annual compensation of kindergarten teachers. The median income of a kindergarten teacher is $63,940, while the median for preschool teachers is $31,720, it states.
Patricia Lozano, executive director of Early Edge California, a leading early childhood advocacy organization, said a unified system is a necessary long-term goal that will benefit lawmakers and families, and provide professional development training for preschool teachers and childcare workers.
“We have to take care of the providers and teachers and people who are taking care of our kids because that is one of the key elements of quality,” Lozano said. “You can’t have a system unless you’re taking care of the people who are taking care of our children. We have to do both.”