Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle featured a front page article by Rachel Swan, SF pressured to help families struggling with day care, preschool. Ms. Swan has indicated she is interested in additional stories, and while this story focused more on families, she would like to focus on the educator angle as well – how are we faring? See talking points below, and contact us at email@example.com to let us know you have a story to share with a reporter.
Keep ECE in the news! Send a letter to the editor today.
“Child care advocates are pushing the city to set aside $10 million in its next budget to fund education programs for young children.
Yet such measures are small and incremental for an industry that’s being hit on all sides. Many day care centers are getting squeezed by high rents, which force some to shut down and others to raise fees. At the same time, the child care labor force is shrinking: A recent survey by the city’s Child Care Planning and Advisory Council showed that more than a third of centers can’t enroll to their full capacity because they don’t have enough teachers – the jobs pay too little to justify getting the credentials or cover the cost of living in San Francisco.
“Right now, early childhood (care) is paid for by teachers having really low wages, or parents’ fees going up,” said Sara Hicks-Kilday, director of the San Francisco Child Care Providers’ Association.
Salaries for preschool teachers with master’s degrees go as low as $23,000 a year, which is “nowhere near the minimum survival wage in San Francisco,” said Gretchen Ames, Bay Area regional coordinator for the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network – a nonprofit working to boost the state’s supply of affordable child care.
Ames said the low wages are causing San Francisco to hemorrhage child care workers, and putting severe strains on the ones who stay. Some drive in from as far away as Vallejo, she said. Others cannot afford to put their own children in child care. Still others juggle multiple jobs.”
Help keep ECE in the media conversation. See the directions for writing a letter to the editor. This is also a great time to keep tweeting @ your legislators.
Want to get more involved? Write a letter to the editor!
Letters to the editor and elected leaders broadcast our issues and message to the wider San Francisco and Bay Area. Please take a moment to use our guidelines from the SFCCPA ECE Issues Luncheon to write a letter today. Try and incorporate one of the following high level issues that the ECE workforce is facing:
- There are approximately 2,500 children and families waiting to access high quality early care and education programs.
- 65% of the waitlist are 0-3 years of age.
- Education at any age should be a right not a privilege.
- The ECE workforce is in crisis due to suppressed wages, causing programs to have problems attracting and retaining staff.
- ECE teachers are the lowest paid profession with a Bachelors Degree and teachers in San Francisco are well below self-sufficiency.
- 35% of center based providers are unable to enroll to full capacity due to a lack of staffing.
- The pipeline for future early education teachers continues to decline.
- The ECE workforce keeps parents working.
- The return on investment in early education is $7 for every $1 invested.
To send a letter to the editor of any online news organization, the email address for the Letters Editor can generally be found under “Contact Us” at the bottom of the home page. We are focusing on these newspapers:
- SF Chronicle (200 words of fewer), http://www.sfgate.com/submissions/
- Sing Tao Daily, Send to Editor, 5000 Shoreline Ct., Suite 300, S. San Francisco, CA 94080
- SF Examiner, https://posting.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/ContactUs/Page
- East Bay Times, email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Write a letter with a Bay Area perspective for this one.
- El Tecolote, email to email@example.com.
- Send us your letter as well! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know if you have a paper you’d like us to add to our list!
In your letter, use the following format
Heading: To the Editor: (If writing directly to the writer, substitute Dear Mr./Ms. ___)
Re: “headline” and date of article
Body: 1-3 paragraphs
Closing: Your full name
Your phone # (If requested by news organization)
[Pick a bullet point or fact from the list of high level issues above that fits with your personal story. How has the issue impacted you, your colleagues, your family, or someone you know? Or why is this issue important to you? Remember to be concise. Most publications want letter 250 to 300 words, some request under 200.]
Did you know that despite working full time, almost half of Early Childhood Educators need to rely on food stamps and subsidized housing to survive? This is second only to fast food workers. Is that how we should treat the people that care for and educate San Francisco’s children?
[In a sentence or two-or a short paragraph, tell about how this impacts your site, children you care for, you, and/or your colleagues if it does. If you don’t have a story for this bulleted fact, pick another. Then sign your name. Thanks for taking the time to write a letter!]
[YOUR NAME] [YOUR City, State] [Month, DD, YYYY]