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2011 The Jewish Community Federation Early Childhood Education Initiative Janet Harris, Director

BEST PRACTICE ANALYSIS FOR JEWISH EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SITES A focus on wages, professional development, and operations in Jewish Early Childhood Education Settings Study conducted by: Denise Moyes-Schnur & Jasmine Blanchard


Contents Executive Summary....................................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3 A Definition of Best Practices as Defined for this Study ............................................................................... 4 Wage Research ............................................................................................................................................. 5 National Data: ........................................................................................................................................... 5 Bay Area Data: .......................................................................................................................................... 6 Director Salary Information: ..................................................................................................................... 7 Method ......................................................................................................................................................... 7 Results ........................................................................................................................................................... 8 School Aleph ............................................................................................................................................. 8 School Bet ................................................................................................................................................. 9 School Gimmel ........................................................................................................................................ 11 School Dalet ............................................................................................................................................ 12 Summary of Results .................................................................................................................................... 14 Recommendations ...................................................................................................................................... 15 Professional Development Funds ........................................................................................................... 16 Required Education for Teachers in Early Childhood and Judaic Studies: .................................. 16 Mentoring Programs: .................................................................................................................. 17 Adult-learning and Team-building .............................................................................................. 18 Equitable Compensation & Benefits Packages ....................................................................................... 18 Recommendations for Smaller Schools: ..................................................................................... 19 Preschool Tuition & Salaries: ...................................................................................................... 19 Salary Matrix Discussion & Sample: ............................................................................................ 19 Salary Matrix Sample .............................................................................................................................. 21 Effective Operations within the Site/Host Institution ............................................................................ 22 Teacher to Child Ratio: ................................................................................................................ 22 Specialists: ................................................................................................................................... 22 Prep time and Staff Meeting Time: ............................................................................................. 22 Fundraising Models for ECE Centers ...................................................................................................... 23 Committees/Volunteer Involvement ..................................................................................................... 23 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................... 23 Works Cited................................................................................................................................................. 25

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Executive Summary A key focus area of the Early Childhood Education Initiative (ECEI) is compensation and finance in Jewish Early Childhood Education (JECE) programs. With a history of low salaries and unstable benefits in the field of Early Childhood Education, (including Jewish Early Childhood Education), coupled with the increasing difficulties in finding qualified educators, it became clear that realistic solutions must be offered to the numerous challenges facing the profession. This study was commissioned in order to offer recommendations to Jewish preschools seeking to professionalize their staff, increase Jewish knowledge in the classroom, and confront the issue of adequately compensating Jewish Early Childhood Educators. Currently, the mean hourly rate for qualified preschool teachers in Bay Area JECE sites is $19.00 per hour, according to a 2011 ECEI survey. San Francisco Bay Area Directors surveyed in 2008 indicated that benefits for these teachers range from none at all to full health and dental, retirement, sick and vacation pay, demonstrating that there is a large range in the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education, and pay and benefits are mainly influenced by each individual site and host institution. The first step in professionalizing any field is to establish a set of standards, or best practices, that directors can begin to utilize and implement at each individual site. Even with this great variation, this paper addresses ways in which sites can begin to raise the bar for the educators, thus raising the bar for the entire field of JECE. This paper identifies schools that are implementing best and current practice in Jewish Early Childhood Education. In order to identify sites that met the criteria established by the ECEI as fair and equitable compensation, four sites were chosen nationally based on a range of compensation at $30.00 or more per hour. The rate was chosen as a rate of pay that would sustain a teacher living in an urban area where the cost of living was relatively high, such as the San Francisco Bay Area. Of the four sites chosen, two were on the East coast, and two were on the West coast. Schools on the East coast paid slightly higher per hour but offered no benefits, while schools on the West coast had slightly lower hourly rates, but offered benefits to their teachers. Each site director was asked to discuss the following areas: classroom and school structure, State licensing standards for teacher to child ratio and teacher education, annual budget and tuition income, teacher’s salaries and benefits, professional development at the site, and director’s work with parents, lay committees and the host institution. After administering the survey it was clear that, while there were similarities between the programs, each school had the ability to create its own systems in areas such as professional development and teacher education (taking the State licensing requirements into consideration). Results from the survey provided the information necessary to create a guide of best practices for Jewish Early Childhood Education programs across the country. The schools surveyed all had competitive compensation, preparatory time without students present, were consistently better than State licensing standards in ratio, size and teacher education, were moving forward in requiring higher education for their teachers, and had an assortment of professional development opportunities that were funded and coherent. In addition, all the directors surveyed worked with lay committees comprised of parents, and each host institution provided support for the early childhood programs through a variety of in-kind services. There are a number of best practice guidelines that have been identified for Jewish Early Childhood Education programs across the country to use. This paper discusses and elaborates on current best practice found in the four model schools identified, and makes recommendations based on these findings. It is the hope that these findings will prove relevant and useful in advocating for increased

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compensation, benefits and professional development for JECE educators, thus attracting and retaining highly-qualified teachers to the field in current and future years to come. Introduction

The Early Childhood Education Initiative (ECEI) was launched in 2007 in response to the 2006 JESNA Study, which revealed a need for system-wide improvements for Early Childhood Jewish Education (ECJE) in the Bay Area. The Initiative was spearheaded by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation. Additional current partners and funders include the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay, the Bureau of Jewish Education, Gratz College, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Alexander M. and June L. Maisin Foundation, and local Jewish preschools, synagogues and Jewish Community Centers, with past partnerships including the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund. The mission of the Early Childhood Education Initiative is to be an innovator in Early Childhood Jewish Education by advocating and acting on behalf of teachers, children and their families, so that the Bay Area is known as a center of excellence in Early Childhood Jewish Education. In order to accomplish this mission and achieve the long-term vision of establishing the Bay Area as a resource and center of excellence in Early Childhood Jewish Education, the ECEI partners with institutions, foundations and individuals to realize its long-term goals. The Initiative aims to address the four key areas of Professional Development, Connecting with Families, Compensation and Finance, and Standards of Excellence, and does so through innovative planning, programming, research and advocacy. Compensation and Finance was identified as one of the key focus areas of the ECEI. With low salaries and unstable benefits, Jewish preschools are finding it difficult to attract and retain qualified teachers. A study commissioned by the Jewish Community Federation’s Endowment Fund in 2006 states that “According to Directors, the most challenging aspect of their job is finding qualified teaching staff overall and particularly finding teachers with Jewish and Hebrew knowledge” (Rosenblatt, p. 6). Currently, the mean hourly rate for a qualified preschool teacher is $19.00 per hour according to a survey given to Bay Area Directors in 2011 by the ECEI, and benefits vary from none at all to full health and dental, retirement, sick and vacation pay according to a 2008 ECEI survey of Bay Area Directors. At the same time, parents are finding it increasingly difficult to pay high tuition fees. With challenging economic times, parents are re-thinking the notion of sending their children to Jewish preschools. In order to address the Compensation and Finance issue in Jewish preschools, the ECEI has chosen to take a role of research and advocacy. The first step is through this Best Practices Analysis project, where four model schools have been identified based on a $30.00 per hour pay rate or more, and surveyed in order to establish a guide for best practice recommendations in Jewish Early Childhood Education sites. The model schools were asked a series of questions based on four essential elements for high-quality and professional compensation, which includes teacher to child ratio, compensation for staff, tuition, and fundraising. This study will discuss ways in which preschools site operates and offer information on how a preschool, even one with a small budget, can implement best practices for their professionals.

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A Definition of Best Practices as Defined for this Study What are “best practices” in the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education, and how do we go about measuring them? According to Ilene Vogelstein, “The ultimate objective of the Jewish community is to build Jewish identity in the next generation” (2008, p.374). The implications of not investing in our Jewish Early Childhood Educators are vast, considering that these educators will have a profound impact on children’s identity in their later years. How do we then go about attracting and retaining high-quality educators to the field, who will be compensated fairly and equitably, while having access to professional development and a dynamic adult-learning environment for themselves? In a recent study from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment conducted in 2011, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) were discussed in the childcare workforce. One of the quality indicators in an Early Childhood Center was noted as the Adult Learning Environment, in which the research found a “minimal focus on the work environments of early childhood practitioners, although these environments mediate how practitioners attempt to implement new or improve upon existing practices” (p. 9). Other indicators that were cited include, but are not limited to, professional development plans and paid professional development, staff meetings, personnel policies, paid planning, and collaborative planning/job development. In a 2009 report from the Society for Human Resource Management, it was noted that “How teams are brought together and how they work together may be constantly evolving, but the importance of shared goals and objectives remains constant.” It is significant to note that no matter what industry, the importance of team-building remains a key focus. It provides an adult-learning and bonding environment, in which the team can learn to depend on each other, learn from each other, and apply that back to the classroom. Based on the above research and the developed focus of this paper, best practices, as defined by this study, can be broken down into the following categories: •

• •

Professional Development Funds; o Required Education for Teachers in Early Childhood & Judaic Studies; o Mentoring Programs; o Adult-learning and Team-building; Equitable Compensation & Benefits Packages; o Recommendations for Smaller Programs; o Preschool Tuition and Salaries; o Salary Matrix Sample Effective Operations within the Site/Host Institution; o Teacher to Child Ratio; o Specialists; o Prep time and Staff Meeting Time; Fundraising Models for ECE Centers; Committees/Volunteer Involvement.

Based on the above key areas, a range of recommendations are outlined in the “Recommendations” section based on lessons learned from the four sites chosen and interviewed. These recommendations 4


can provide a framework of ideas for sites to implement new ways of addressing compensation, benefits, professional development, fundraising and committee development. It is the hope that these recommendations will assist in guiding Jewish preschools on innovative ways to focus on staff development and compensation issues, while establishing Jewish Early Childhood Education as a professional and desirable career track for current and future educators. Wage Research National Data: In referencing a study conducted in 2004, the median annual salary for a teacher in the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education was $15,000 ($12.50/hour based on formula outlined below), compared to a Day School teacher, who averaged $41,250 annually (Schaap, p.12). Comparatively speaking, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2004, the mean hourly wage for preschool teachers nationally was $11.81 per hour. Based on information from ECEI Director Janet Harris, a Jewish Early Childhood Educator is typically paid for 30 hours per week and 40 weeks per year, which equates to $14,172 annually for the national 2004 rate, when taking this average work time formula into consideration. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national wages for Early Childhood Educators were estimated at $14.04 hourly in May 2010. With the formula referenced above for the purposes of this study, this equates to $16,848 annually. Data for Jewish Early Childhood Educators nationally could not be located, however, if the 2004 data is extrapolated for the national rate, it can be estimated that there was an approximate 18.9% increase in salary during that time frame. This would conclude an hourly rate in the field of JECE of $14.86/hour, and an annual salary of $17,832. Chart 1

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Bay Area Data: According to the 2006 JESNA Study, it can be seen that Bay Area Jewish Early Childhood Educators made a mean salary range between $15.65 to $21.72 hourly. For Teachers Assistants, the mean range was $12.32 to $14.49 hourly (Rosenblatt, p. 34). Information gathered by the ECEI in 2008 and 2011 indicates ranges that can be seen in the table below as compared to data gathered in the 2006 JESNA Study. Chart 2

Using this data and the formula of 30 hours per week and 40 weeks per year, the annual average salary for Bay Area Preschool Teachers and TA’s can be seen in the chart below. Chart 3

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Director Salary Information: According to the 2006 JESNA Study, director’s salaries vary greatly. Director salaries ranged from under $20,000 to upwards of $70,000, with two thirds of those surveyed reporting a salary of $60,000 or more (Rosenblatt, p. 34). In a 2011 survey collected from Bay Area Jewish Early Childhood Education Directors, it is notable that only a little over half of the directors who reported to us indicated salaries above $61,000 per year. The difference in reported salaries could be due to the difference in the response groups between the 2006 and 2011 data. About a quarter of directors surveyed in 2011 indicated that their salaries were between $61,000 and $70,000 annually, accounting for the most common salary range in the surveyed group. From the data, it is evident that not much has significantly changed in salaries for Early Childhood Educators and Jewish Early Childhood Educators since 2006. The rate of increase has risen with approximate annual cost of living adjustments, but not much more than that. Comparatively speaking, Bay Area Jewish Early Childhood Educators make more than the national rate, at approximately $23,000 annually in 2011 compared to $17,800 annually in 2010, respectively. Even with a higher salary compared to the national salary ranges, the costs associated with living in the San Francisco Bay Area must be considered, and it is apparent that supporting an individual and especially a family on a $23,000 salary is extremely difficult. Teacher’s Assistants are in an even more precarious situation, making only $16,800 in 2011.

Method The goal of this paper is to create a guide for Jewish Early Childhood Education sites that provides proven models for compensating educators equitably, and ensuring that teachers have access to quality education and professional development. The rate of compensation chosen was $30.00 per hour for a teacher in a Jewish Early Childhood Education program. This rate was chosen as a rate of pay that would sustain a teacher living in an urban area where the cost of living is relatively high. Using the list serves for the Conservative Movement, the Reform Movement and the Jewish Community Center Association (JCCA), a request was sent out asking directors of programs that paid their teachers $30.00 per hour to participate in a survey. The list serves provide a way for Early Childhood directors in these host institutions to keep informed and to reach out to others who direct ECE programs in their movement, and was chosen as a potentially effective tool to locate sites within this studies parameters. Although no one responded to the JCCA or Conservative list serves that fit the guidelines, several directors on the Conservative movement list serve noted they “wished that they made $30.00 per hour.” One director responded from the Reform movement list serve. The remaining three schools were all identified by word of mouth, mostly by directors in the area who made suggestions of other schools to contact. The Orthodox movement was represented through a phone conversation with an Early Childhood Educator who works within the Orthodox movement, thus establishing outreach to many different sectors of Jewish Early Childhood Education. There were a total of four schools that were contacted and administered a survey for garnering information for this study. The survey was intended to gather information with the hopes of discovering best practices that can be disseminated to other Jewish preschools. The four schools were all on the West and East coasts, meeting the parameters of being located in a place similar to the Bay Area in terms of cost of living. Each school that participated was guaranteed anonymity. 7


After administering the surveys, it became clear that the original intent of the study, to share ways of increasing compensation for Jewish Early Childhood Educators would be modified. Instead of a “how to,” the study will include not only compensation and benefits (where appropriate), but best practice in terms of ratio, ongoing professional development opportunities, and staff retention. Not all recommendations will be for every site; each one is different and unique, however, it is the hope that this guide will provide a framework for ideas in which site directors can pick and choose items that would be a good fit for their particular center.

Results The next section will discuss a brief summary of the individual sites in regard to the following: • • • • • •

Classroom/school structure; State licensing standards for teacher to child ratio and teacher education; Annual budget and teacher’s salaries; Teacher’s benefits; Professional development at the site; Director’s work with parents, lay committees and the host institution.

After administering the survey, it was clear that, while similarities between the programs existed, each school had the ability to create its own systems for things like professional development and teacher education (taking the State licensing requirements into consideration while doing so). In this way, the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education mirrors that of secular Early Childhood Education. In their seminal work, Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Childhood Education, authors Goffin and Washington state that “Efforts to build an early care and education system have made apparent the field’s lack of consensus about its work and the disagreements that characterize attempts to find common ground” (p. 7). One of the participants in the study noted that, “Measuring the salary rate of the schools is like looking at apples and oranges!” The differences between the schools in a variety of areas will be noted below.

School Aleph is located in a synagogue on the East coast. The program has a three hour per day morning program, with approximately 200 children. There is an extended day care option for children to stay an additional two and a half hours per day. The program runs for nine and a half months, with no summer program. The classroom structure has a 1:5 adult to child ratio (state requirements are 1:5 for young toddlers, 1:10 for twos and threes and 1:12 for fours). There are three adults (one head teacher and two assistants) for a group ranging in size from 11 to 15 children. In addition to the director, there is an office administrator and an office assistant who work year round but not full time. A typical teacher’s work week is 22 ½ hours. The teachers all have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, or a related field. Assistants all meet the State Matrix (one year early childhood certificate from an accredited college or university with at least 30 semester hours and six months of age appropriate experience; a CDA [Child Development Associate] credential or equivalent; or one year age appropriate program experience in group care and participation in a staff training plan of at least ten hours in the first year of employment). The school also includes a full time music specialist (funded from the preschool budget), as well as an occupational therapist and a speech therapist (funded through grants). 8


The annual budget of the early childhood program is over $1,000,000 per year. A “large” percentage of the annual budget goes toward salaries, and the director’s salary is covered by the ECE budget. The host institution does not separate itself from the ECE program, and therefore there is no charge for rent or utilities. Maintenance, computers, copying, telephone and playground maintenance are all covered by the host institution. The preschool generates income for the synagogue, but the director noted that “it is all the same money.” A figure for how much revenue the preschool generates was not given. The previous director had changed the teacher’s salaries to reflect the current rate of compensation. The current director believes that the previous director looked at the elementary schools salary structure, and looked at the education levels of teachers on staff (i.e. those with a master’s degree made more per hour than those who did not hold a degree). The range for teacher salary is $25.00 to $49.25 per hour; the range for assistants is $14.00 to $21.50 per hour. In addition, teachers and assistants have three and a half hours of prep time per week with an additional 45 minutes per week for teachers. There is a staff meeting held every other week for an hour and a half that the staff attends and they are all paid at the same amount for staff meetings. Teachers meet every other week and the entire staff meets five times per year. The school closes three days per year for an in-service training, one through the local Bureau of Jewish Education and two in-house. The teachers get five days per year for sick days and seven days for personal leave. Teachers have two weeks in winter and a week of spring vacation, as well as national and Jewish holidays. There is a pool of 1.5% of the teacher’s salary that is available for disbursal by the director to the teachers for salary increases each year. A tuition discount for teachers is available on a case by case basis, but no higher than a rate of 10%; it is also available for the staff of the host institution at a rate of 50%. Both are covered by the preschool budget. Teachers also receive tickets to the High Holiday services, and membership is free to the director, as she works full time. Benefits including health and a retirement fund are only available to full-time staff, and currently, the director is the only one who fits the criteria. The director has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for “25 or 30 years,” with a salary range between $71,000 and $81,000 per year. She holds a Master’s degree in Sociology, with graduate coursework in ECE. Professional development opportunities are funded by the preschool budget, with a budget line of $4,000 annually. The school has had teachers go to the annual National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference, has paid for teachers to attend an Israel trip, and is anticipating a trip to Reggio Emilia in Italy. The teachers are involved in a book club, in which the director has purchased a book for each teacher that they read and discuss at each staff meeting. In addition, educational opportunities (like classes and workshops on Jewish or early childhood themes) are paid for by the school. The director works with a lay committee of parents that “supports the early childhood program.” The parents do several small fundraisers during the year, such as photos and traditional programs that are “part of the culture” of the program, although fundraising from these activities are not a line item in the ECE budget. The director noted that she has been there for five years, and in that time, she has only replaced people from within the program—she has never hired anyone from outside the program.

School Bet is also located on the East coast. There are 120 children in the program. The program runs during the school year and has a six week summer program it runs as well. Originally the program ran 9


two hours and 15 minutes a day. The current director changed that and the program now runs three and a half hours per day. There is care available for one hour before school and an hour and a half after school is over. The current ratios are for the twos 1:4 with 12 children in the class; threes 1:7 with 14 children in the class; fours are 1:7 with 14 in the class. State requirements are 1:6 for twos, and 1:10 for preschool aged children. State requirements for education are that a teacher must be 20 years old, with high school diploma or equivalent, six semesters or 90 clocked hours of approved training or CDA, and either one year supervised work experience in a group program with preschoolers, or one year college or equivalent combination of college and experience; or at least 19 years old and hold an AA degree in early childhood education or recreation. Persons approved by the State Department of Education as a teacher for grades nursery (sic) through third grade are also considered as senior staff. In School Bet all the teachers have a Bachelor’s degree, the assistants are all high school graduates, and only two assistants have not finished their Bachelor’s degree. The current director noted that almost all the staff are “stay at home moms” who got training and came to the school because “they didn’t want to leave.” In addition to the teachers and assistants, the program has an administrative assistant who works six and a half hours per day with a salary level of $31,000 per year, and a teacher who is paid an extra $1,400 per year to do the shopping for the program. There is a music specialist for the program who works for the host institution and is paid from the synagogue, a movement program for the children which is $1,095 per year, and a team of occupational and speech therapists that are paid a total of $4,000 per year through the ECE budget. In addition, there is a fitness program that is paid from monies raised by parent fundraising activities. The ECE program budget is $850,000. The staff salaries, including teachers, assistants, office administrator, parent child coordinator and director, accounts for about $600,000 (71% of the total budget). The host institution provides a music specialist, maintenance, rent, utilities, computers and phones. The school is asked to give $100,000 each year to the synagogue, last year giving only $70,000 and operating as a deficit budget. This is due to increasing the hours of the program, as described earlier. When the hours were expanded, the teachers had to be compensated for working more hours, but the tuition rate was not fully absorbed by the parents (as it was, with the increase of tuition the school lost some families; the director chose not to raise tuition any more so that she wouldn’t lose any more families). The teacher’s salary ranges from $27.62 to $43.37 per hour. Assistant’s salary ranges from $16.63 to $24.49 per hour for the morning program. The school offers before and after care for families, but none of the teachers wanted to work in the extended care program. In order to provide that care to families, the director pays the teachers in before and aftercare a higher hourly rate for this time as an incentive to get teachers to work these extra hours. The range of salary for working in before or after care is $48.71 for an additional two to five hours per week. The prep time for teachers is an additional half hour per day. In School Bet, while the teachers teach 205 days per year, they are paid for 23 days in addition to their sick and personal leave. For sick leave, teachers who work five days per week receive a total of eight sick or personal days per year; for those who teach four days per week they receive seven days per year, and for those who work three days per week receive five days per year for sick or vacation. The teachers also receive two hours per month reflection time, and three of the teachers receive an additional nine hours per month for leading an art program. The host institution states that an employee must work 500 hours during the academic year to receive benefits. Since increasing the numbers of hours that the teachers work, more teachers fell into this category. The teachers had been receiving a benefit that was 5% of their salary, which could go toward 10


health care, retirement, or disbursed as cash. Five teachers were grandfathered in and received a onetime raise of 5%, thus bringing their base salary up. Lastly, at the end of the school year, if a teacher has worked five days per week consistently throughout the year, they receive an additional $500 bonus. Teachers working four days per week receive an additional $400 and teachers working three days per week receive an additional $300 bonus. The director holds a PhD in Early Childhood Education, has been in the field of Jewish Education for ten years, and is in her second year in the program. Her salary is between $70,000 and $80,000 per year. The professional development last year was implemented by a Specialist in Jewish Early Childhood Education, where the consultant worked with the director and staff throughout the year. In addition, the school participated in the local Bureau of Jewish Education workshops, NAEYC and the local Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC) programs that were offered. The director doubled the professional development budget for the next year, with a total of $4,000 for the staff and an additional $2,500 for the director, bringing the professional development fund to $6,500 annually. The director works with a lay committee of parents who do a combination of fundraising and tzedakah projects. There is an advisory group of parents who study ECE, Jewish identity and look at the school as a whole. Currently, the director feels that the budget is bare bones. She would like more money for documenting children’s work and special needs consultants. She said that she has “a good school, with great teachers who are doing good things with children.” She also noted that in her two years at the school she has not hired, and noted that “The teachers have been here forever!” School Gimmel is located in a synagogue on the West coast. There are 350 children between two schools. The school is open almost ten hours per day, with a core program that runs either three or five hours per day. They are in session 42 weeks during the year and have a seven to eight week summer program. The ratio of teachers to children for children two and under is 1:3 and for children three and over it is 1:8; the State standard is for ages three and over 1:6, and for twos 1:12. Most of the teachers work 30.75 hours per week. All staff are teacher-qualified, and work together as co-teachers. Teacherqualified staff by standards of this State consists of 12 units of early childhood education and six months experience working in a preschool classroom. The teachers range from those who have fulfilled the State standards to those with Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education. The school has two assistant directors and two office staff comprised of an office manager and an assistant. There are many specialists that focus in a variety of areas, including music, cooking, sports/fitness, soccer, zumba, and woodworking. The specialists are paid from the ECE budget. The director has a PhD in Educational Leadership, and has been in the field of early childhood and elementary education for 13 years. Her salary is above $100,000 per year. The budget for the program is $2,500,000. Salaries account for $1,100,000 (44% of the total budget), including the director’s salary. The Early Childhood Education program allots $1,500,000 toward the synagogue each year, however, a percentage of the membership fee from program parents goes toward this allocation. The synagogue supplies the Early Childhood Center with IT services, accounting, communication, membership, camp, and maintenance. The range in salary is $15.00 to $32.00 per hour. The director has a salary schedule in place, and hourly rates depend on education and experience. For someone entering the program with minimum units, the range is $15.00 to $16.00 per hour; with early childhood units and some experience it is $16.00 to $17.00 per hour; for a Bachelor’s degree in ECE the starting rate is $19.00 to 21.00 per hour; for a

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Master’s in ECE, $22.00 to 25.00. The director noted that she never starts someone over $25.00 per hour. There is an annual cost of living increase each year. Prep time for teachers is five hours per week, with an additional three hours per month, (90 minutes every other week), for professional development/staff meeting time. Teachers receive ten sick days per year, and if they are not used, the school pays them for any unused sick days. Teachers have a two week winter break and a one week spring break for vacation time during the year. The teachers all have health insurance and dental insurance, where the host institution (temple) pays 80% and the teacher pays the remaining 20%. In addition, teachers have a retirement matching account where the temple matches 5%. Teachers also receive free membership in the temple and free High Holiday tickets, and the program offers a 20% tuition discount for teachers who have a child in the program. Tuition discounts are also available for employees of the host institution at a rate of 20%, which is paid from the department that the synagogue employee works in. The school has a professional development plan for each teacher. Teachers are required to attend every staff meeting and every professional development program offered by the school. In addition, teachers must have an extra 12 hours per year of professional development on their own, pre-approved by the director. These hours must be in one of four categories: Judaics, Child Development, Reggio Emilia and Outdoor Classroom. Teachers choose the subject they are interested in and the school pays 100% up to $100 and 50% over $100 per professional development opportunity. The school has two book clubs, where the teachers and director pick two books together to read and discuss. Additionally, teachers conduct site visits to other programs, such as sites that specialize in an outdoor classroom, as well as attend conferences on topics such as outdoor education and child development, among others. The director has hired specialists such as a speech pathologist, an occupational therapist, a renowned Reggio educator, and a well-known author to work with the program in the past. The director works with a lay committee whose function is to “support the program and fundraise.” The parents have a parent organization, a parent support system, and a parent fund. Fundraising is built into the budget with a fundraising line of $45,000 per year. Fundraising activities range in scope, with the most prominent being an annual Purim fundraiser conducted by the parents. School Dalet is also on the West coast. There are two programs, one with 60 children and one with 250 children. Since the 60 child program runs at a deficit that is absorbed by the larger program, this study will focus on the larger program for the purposes of this research. There are several different programs at this school, and they are defined by the age of the child. After the first year in the program, extended care in the morning and afternoon is available. In the first year of the program the class size is 16 children with four teachers. If needed, that number may rise to six teachers, with two floaters or assistant teachers. In the second year of the program, there are 16 children and three teachers, and again, floaters or assistant teachers may be employed if there is a need. The oldest classes have 16 children and two teachers. The state standard is 1:6 for two year olds and 1:8 for three year olds. Every educator at the school is teacher-certified by the State standards which consist of 12 units of ECE and six months of experience in an early childhood program. The director noted that in going forward they are not going to hire anyone who does not have a Bachelor’s degree, as they are NAYEC accredited and that will help comply with NAEYC standards. There is a fund set up by a former parent that was established to help teachers complete their Bachelor’s degree which assists staff who do not yet have a degree. In addition to the director, there is an associate director, a registrar, and an administrative assistant. There are a number of specialists, including three different music specialists, a sign-language 12


program taught by a parent volunteer, and soccer and yoga programs at a rate of $16.00 per child. There is a Torah Talk program with a clergy member that the school doesn’t pay for, covered by the host institution. The annual budget of the ECE program is over $3,000,000 per year. Personnel expenses run at $1,990,000 (66%) without benefits, and $2,400,000 with benefits (80%), including the director’s salary. A $302,000 allocation of “rent” is charged to the program each year, which covers payroll, maintenance, accounting and IT support. Other sources of revenue include an endowment to help pay for teachers Bachelor’s degree (mentioned above), and a $50,000 fundraising line item in the budget. Teachers typically work 28 hours per week, and are paid for four and a half weeks per month. In this way they are asked to attend events, such as the Purim carnival or Friday night programs at the synagogue, and the time is covered by the additional time they are paid for each month. The salary range is $16.00 per hour for an inexperienced teacher with 12 units in ECE or an assistant teacher without 12 units of ECE to $34.68 for an experienced teacher with an advanced degree. However, the director noted that “we pay what we need to in order to attract and retain staff.” Each year the school receives a 3% increase to be used toward the teacher salaries, and the director has the discretion to use as she sees fit. The director has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis in ECE. The teachers receive five hours of prep time per week. In the upcoming year the staff meetings will be held in the morning. Staff receives winter and spring break off as vacation time, and has ten sick/ personal days per year. If staff does not use their sick days, they are compensated for the amount of days they have not used at a rate of 70%. Benefits are available for teachers who work 28 hours per week or more, with Kaiser and Blue Shield HMO coverage completely free to the employee. Teachers also receive vision insurance and life insurance for free, with dental covered as well. Teachers can upgrade the coverage to include their families. There is a 401K in place that the temple matches after the teacher works 1,000 hours, and then it matches half of the teacher’s salary up to 4%. Teachers receive free High Holiday tickets and temple membership if they request it. The school offers a 10% tuition discount to teachers who have a child in the school, and a discount to employees of the host institution, covered by their department budget. There is a “lunch and learn,” where parents from different classrooms prepare lunch for the teachers as they study with a member of the clergy. There has been a trip to Israel with half of the teachers with a noted Israeli Early Childhood Consultant. As a part of the program, the consultant came to the school and met with the staff and parents separately. There is an occupational therapist on staff, as well as a school psychologist. Staff went to all three days of the NAEYC conference last year and attended the Bureau of Jewish Education conference as well. In addition, the director noted that they have “never said no” to a teacher wanting to take a workshop or class. The director works with a lay committee of parents and meets once per year with an advisory group. The parents fundraise by holding a book fair, a Boutique, a Family Fundraiser for the entire family to attend and a Fundraising Auction off site for adults. Monies raised in the fundraisers help to offset scholarships. There is an active parent association who run the school library and tikkun olam projects as well.

13


Summary of Results Initially this study was to be designed as a “how to guide” for raising teachers’ salaries. However, when we interviewed the directors at the schools, none of them were responsible for setting the salaries at the high rate. In two of the programs, the synagogue had little or no oversight of the ECE budget, and the former director set the salaries high before she retired from the program; in another school, the salaries were raised to compensate for the difference between the salary that ECE teachers and shlihim, (employees from Israel hired for their expertise), made in the program, and in the last school, the salaries evolved from retention and need. The programs where staff made from $16.00 to $49.25 had the lowest paid directors, (between $70,000 and $80,000 per year), while the programs where staff salaries ranged from $15.00 to $35.00 per hour had the highest paid directors (over $100,000). All of the schools had a supportive synagogue staff and lay leadership; only one had a leadership that questioned the pre-set staff hourly rate as “too high.” Table 1, below, indicates an at-a-glance summary of the results outlined for each school. Table 1

School Alef Size Annual Budget Salary range Tuition (full time) Director Salary range % budget toward salaries % budget covered by tuition Minimum teacher education required

School Bet

School Gimmel

School Dalet

200 $1,000,000 $25.00 - 49.25 $10,950 $71 - 81,000

120 $850,000 $27.62 - 43.37 $6,763 $71 - 81,000

350 $2,500,000 $15.00 - 32.00 $9,860 $100,000

250 $3,784,000 $16.00 - 34.68 $15,565 $100,000

69%

71%

44%

60%

100%

100%

100%

100%

BA

BA

Minimum State Required ECE/Experience

BA (from 2011 on)

As can be seen by the table above, all of the programs interviewed were large programs (between 100 and 350 children), with large numbers of teachers. The ratios of the programs were better than the State standards in all cases, ranging from 1:5 to 1:8. A number of support staff operates as part of the ECE program in each school interviewed. This ranged from associate or assistant directors to administrative support, registrars and receptionists. All programs had a number of specialists on a regular basis. These specialists ranged from paid specialists hired by the director (such as occupational therapists and music specialists), in-kind services through the host institution (clergy or camp director), to volunteers (parents providing services). All schools receive in-kind services from the host institution. Maintenance, IT, accounting, “rent”, utilities, phone, computers, and fax machines were the services most commonly offered. Services offered by the clergy were considered by most directors as in-kind as well, ranging from Shabbat services to professional development with the teaching staff. Most directors had an informal salary structure and “paid what they needed to” in order to retain and recruit staff. It should be noted that the higher the hourly rate, the higher the retention rate amongst 14


staff. East coast schools had a higher hourly rate but no benefits; West coast schools had a slightly lower hourly rate, but health benefits were included. For those institutions that offered benefits, in order to receive benefits, the staff must work a minimum number of hours which is determined by the host institution. Benefits range from just health insurance to health, life, vision and dental. In all cases this covered only the employee, with the option of paying for benefits for members of their family. All schools offered sick days, and many combined them with personal days. Two schools paid their staff for days that weren’t used at the full rate and one at a rate of 70%. All teachers received prep time without students present, however, the higher the hourly rate the more the teachers were expected to work without additional pay. All schools interviewed had staff meetings and “team” meetings, where teams of teachers could meet together. All schools had teachers who fit under the State licensing requirements as "teachers," however, State standards can sometimes have minimal requirements. One school said that moving forward, it was only going to hire teachers who had a Bachelor’s degree, not necessarily in ECE, but if not, than ECE units would be required. Most noted that the assistants at their program were teacher qualified. None of the schools interviewed required formal Jewish education for their teachers. In fact, few directors interviewed had formal training in Judaics. Most schools had Judaics as part of the professional development experience for staff; some of this was by clergy at the site, some by Jewish ECE consultants. Professional development opportunities abounded at these sites; all of the programs provide ongoing professional development and cover the cost of workshops and classes. Some programs require an additional amount of professional development in specific areas that relate to the mission of the school. Each director had an amount of money that was designated toward professional development (one school went to Israel and is planning a trip to Reggio Emilia in Italy). Many directors brought in a renowned ECE educator to work with their staff, and in addition, had occupational and or speech therapists on the payroll to provide ongoing professional development and consultation. Some of the schools used in-kind services to supplement professional development. All directors worked with an ECE committee of parents, and some worked with an additional advisory committee. Most committees were created to “support the work of the school and or the staff,” and typically conducted fundraising projects and teacher appreciation. Half of the programs had small fundraisers that were not significant in the schools operating budget; the other half had large fundraisers that offset the budget. All fundraisers were run by the parents in conjunction with the director. Each school gave a significant portion of the ECE budget to the host institution each year.

Recommendations The key areas that this paper will focus on for recommendations are as follows: •

Professional Development Funds; o Required Education for Teachers in Early Childhood & Judaic Studies; o Mentoring Programs; o Adult-learning and Team-building; Equitable Compensation & Benefits Packages; o Recommendations for Smaller Programs; o Preschool Tuition and Salaries; o Salary Matrix Sample Effective Operations within the Site/Host Institution; 15


• •

o Teacher to Child Ratio; o Specialists; o Prep time and Staff Meeting Time; Fundraising Models for ECE centers; Committees/Volunteer Involvement.

Professional Development Funds This paper recommends that every school have a professional development fund to be used to build the capacity of the teachers and assistants in the program. However, understanding that current economic conditions may impact the ability to create and maintain a fund, the recommendations will contain low cost alternatives to increase professional development at the site. Recommendations for utilizing what funds the school has can be seen below. •

Required Education for Teachers in Early Childhood and Judaic Studies: o

Meet the Minimum State Standards: While each State has its minimum requirements for teachers in Early Childhood Programs, most school interviewed used the State standards as the lowest minimum requirement for their programs. This paper recommends that at the minimum, JECE sites use the State standards as the bare minimum when hiring teachers for the program.

o

Become Aware of What’s Out There: Directors should become aware of programs that have funding in their county or State, such as the BA and MA cohort programs in California, funded through private foundations, in conjunction with college or university programs. There are a growing number of online resources for college level course work that could be considered as well. This study advocates for directors to inform themselves of any and all opportunities that would enable their staff to begin working towards a Bachelor’s degree or specialized degree in Early Childhood or Jewish Education.

o

Utilizing Public Universities and Community Colleges: In each State there are programs available for teachers to increase their knowledge of child development, current practice in Early Childhood Education and specialized curriculum through community colleges, and both public and private universities. The research shows that many directors are becoming more interested in teaching staff that hold a Bachelor’s degree and units specifically in ECE. Not all schools can afford to assist their teachers in obtaining a BA degree, however, local community colleges are great resources for coursework in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. In a paper from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, there are three steps listed for the success of Early Childhood Educators: Prepare, Support and Reward. The paper states that "Well-trained and educated early childhood teachers and providers are likely to establish warm and caring relationships with children, encourage learning, fostering their development and readiness for school. Unfortunately, too many educators of young children lack access to the education they need, are poorly compensated, and work in unsupportive environments" (2011). After directors become aware of what programs are out there, they will be better equipped to offer ideas to their educators for increasing their professional education. 16


o

Ongoing Judaic Education: An important recommendation for this paper is ongoing education in Judaics for the teachers in Jewish Early Childhood Education programs. Directors should encourage their teachers to find programs that may interest them, and discuss attending a public college or university, and how the professional development fund at the school can assist with college coursework.

o

Reach Out to Host Institution Clergy: Another way to implement Judaic studies, aside from college coursework, is to reach out to clergy within the host institution who can offer consistent adult education for teachers to enrich their Jewish learning. Based on the findings of this paper, the host institution will typically offer in-kind services for Judaic studies and education, and can be used as a great resource for teacher education. Suggestions here include discussing potential courses, self-study programs, or other opportunities that the host institution already offers to the community, and finding ways to implement that in the sites professional development plan.

o

No Money? Be Innovative: If no funds are available for professional development and Judaic studies, and the host institution cannot offer anything for the site, another program consistently found in this study is implementing a book club that can be both professionally engaging and personally rewarding. Choosing readings that are professionally relevant and include enriching Jewish content would enable teachers to learn while connecting with other teachers as their peers and colleagues. Books such as Blessings of a Skinned Knee, by Wendy Mogel, are valuable and interesting reading material for any teacher in Jewish education, and the discussions that can go along would assist in creating a dynamic adult-learning environment.

o

Everyone is Unique – Customizing Professional Development Plans: Maximizing the professional development budget and/or opportunities that a school has available, and creating an individualized professional development plan for teachers is something that all schools have access to. Finding funding for professional development or fundraising programs that are devoted to teachers professional education (i.e. raising money specifically to be used for coursework at a community college or university) is another suggestion that schools could consider.

Mentoring Programs: o

What’s Out There Now: Most of the schools interviewed noted that “they wished they had a mentoring program in place.” Many directors said that they had been involved in a mentoring program in their area (which was not a Jewish program), but that the resource was no longer available. While none of the programs interviewed had established a mentoring program, it is interesting to note that the Early Child Education Initiative in the San Francisco Bay Area is embarking on just such a program, with five pilot schools. The Jewish Resource Specialist Program is a program designed to deepen Jewish curriculum, focus on professional development for site staff, as well as engage parents in Jewish life and community. The program will utilize an already-existing teacher at the site and give them additional responsibilities of working with the staff and parents.

o

Informal Mentor Programs: Although the program discussed above will be a formal mentoring program, there are ways in which schools can implement more informal versions of mentoring, utilizing the concept of harnessing current resources and staff. 17


Through creating mentor teams and enabling teachers with more experience working with those who have less, this can establish an important career ladder at the site itself, and allow for a consistent team-building and learning experience within the classroom. There are many ways which directors can implement mentor programs within their school if they feel it would add value to the professional environment. •

Adult-learning and Team-building: o

Using Consultants & the Community: Dr. Chaya Gorsetman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Education at Yeshiva University noted, “Ongoing professional development [consisting of] good Early Childhood Practice, Jewish education and working with families” (July 2011, personal communication) are areas that would provide much needed professional development for teachers in Jewish Early Childhood Education programs. It is important for teachers to build their capacity as educators in Jewish programs through ongoing education. To accomplish this goal, a Jewish Early Childhood Educational consultant can be hired to work with the staff, a synagogue program could rely on clergy and Jewish educators, and a Jewish program not located in a synagogue could use a Jewish educator from the community or a community rabbi. In addition, the local Bureau of Jewish Education or Federation may be able to recommend educators for this kind of project.

o

Meaningful Adult-Learning: Larger schools may have some money available for professional development. The task for directors is to think meaningful ongoing professional development. Hiring a consultant to work with the school for a year or more and choosing things which best reflects the mission and vision of the program is one option.

o

Cost-effective Ways for Adult Learning: Smaller schools can use the clergy or Jewish educators, and adult education programs at the host institution, likewise the Bureau of Jewish education programs may provide affordable and relevant study. Schools can have their teachers visit other programs both Jewish and secular using protocols to help shape the observation, and continue the learning well past the visit. Directors could use resources from their local colleges and universities, or buy a text book or book on current practice in ECE, and use it as a guide to share and discuss in staff meetings. Devoting some time during staff meetings as a time for growth and professional development in addition to the business of running the school shows that professional development is a priority. Even the smallest of schools can create a professional development plan for each teacher.

Equitable Compensation & Benefits Packages This study interviewed schools that paid its teachers at a rate of $30.00 per hour, as it deemed that figure as an equitable rate for the high cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some schools had the $30.00 mark at the high end of salaries and some had it in the middle of their salary range. Many schools that are able to pay their teachers higher hourly rates and offer health benefits find that the they retain teachers longer and find that they can recruit teachers more easily.

18


Recommendations for Smaller Schools: o

Preschool Tuition & Salaries: o

Join Together! The economy of scale is certainly a factor in schools having the ability to pay their teachers a higher salary. Small schools may have to “think outside of the box” to find innovative solutions to increasing wages and benefits. Small schools could collaborate to share resources for professional development opportunities, specialists, administrative staff, and perhaps even things like purchasing equipment. Small schools could investigate opportunities for benefits for their staff by finding health care that could include more than one institution, or could contact their local Jewish Federation to see if there would be a way to get health benefits for small schools through the Federation.

The Correlation Between Tuition and Salary: While it is clear that the economy of scale is a significant factor in staff salaries, (the larger the school, the larger the income), there are also other issues to consider. In some cases, there was a direct connection between higher tuition and higher staff salaries. In others, the connection was less apparent. One director interviewed summed up the issue by saying, "I actually don't think that [higher staff salaries are] directly related to revenue. I know of a program, for example, that brings in much more revenue but pays lower salaries. Some of it is how you choose to spend your money.”

Salary Matrix Discussion & Sample: o

Giving Some Perspective: According to data cited earlier in this study, the mean hourly wage for an Early Childhood Educator nationally is $14.04 per hour in 2010 compared to an estimated $14.86 per hour nationally for a Jewish Early Childhood Educator. Salary ranges were noted at $16,900 and $17,800 based on these national hourly rates using a work time formula. To give perspective, the poverty line for a family of four with an annual income is $22,350.

o

Where to Start: For those schools who are interested in creating a salary structure, (or matrix), most public early childhood programs in a State have a salary matrix based on education and experience. For Jewish programs, the category of Jewish Education can also be added. Each school can decide if such a salary structure could work for their particular environment.

o

Why a Salary Matrix is Important: The recommendation here is to look at a salary structure as a method for explaining staff salary decisions to the host institution, as well as the teachers and parents in a program. Instead of arbitrarily assigning salaries, this type of structure enables the director to promote higher salaries based on educational achievement and experience, and establish professional incentive for educators at the school to focus on their adult learning and education as a significant part of their career track. This, in turn, will attract and retain educators who are qualified to teach both Early Childhood and Jewish Education.

o

How to Advocate: While this study cannot offer a how-to guide for increasing teacher salaries, it does advocate for equitable teacher salaries for those in early childhood 19


programs. Finding parents who can be advocates for early childhood education departments, and involving these parents in leadership roles at the host institution, including, but not limited to the Board of Directors, the Finance and Budget committees can help to promote teacher salaries within an institution. A strong recommendation is to create structure in the way that teachers are paid, therefore professionalizing the workforce while offering incentives and motivation for teachers to develop professionally. Whether it be fundraising specifically for professional development or bonuses for teachers through the parent committee, or discussing ways to create more consistent compensation packages with the leadership of the host institution, equitable compensation should be at the forefront of advocacy in the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education. o

Sample Salary Matrix Explanation: The sample salary matrix* (see pg. 21) was created to help Jewish preschools define what elements of the matrix might work for their school. The matrix is based on information from the section on National Data provided by Janet Harris, where a typical preschool work day is 6 hours, and the teachers work 40 weeks per year. The matrix begins in conjunction with California State licensing requirements for a teacher, which are 6 units of Early Childhood Education and 6 months of experience in an early childhood classroom. (Each state has its own set of requirements; refer to your state requirements for a preschool teacher as a guide). The starting salary is $15.00 per hour. As the teacher gains additional education and experience in early childhood, a salary increase at the next step can be given. While many Jewish preschools do not require formal Jewish education, in recommending best practice, the matrix includes units in formal Jewish education. Certificate programs in Jewish Early Childhood, such as the Gratz and Hebrew College programs are recommended as ways to increase an early childhood educator’s Judaic knowledge. Keep in mind that this is just a sample matrix, and each school can customize it to their own unique needs. *Matrix based on the San Diego Unified School District Early Childhood salary scale.

20


Example Salary Schedule: Jewish Early Childhood Educators Starting Salaries for Jewish Early Childhood Educators EXAMPLE:

Category A Years of Experience 6 months

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Category B

Hourly

200 Days Annually

Hourly

12 ECE Units

12 ECE Units 6 hours per day

AA in ECE or Related Field

15.00 15.15 15.30 15.45 15.60 15.75 16.00 16.25 16.50 16.75 17.00

18,000 18,180 18,360 18,540 18,720 18,900 19,200 19,500 19,800 20,100 20,400

17.00 17.10 17.20 17.30 17.40 17.50 17.65 17.80 18.00 18.20 18.40 18.70 19.00

200 Days Annually AA in ECE or Related Field 6 Hours per day

20,400 20,520 20,640 20,760 20,880 21,000 21,180 21,360 21,600 21,840 22,080 22,440 22,800

Category C Hourly BA in ECE or Related Field

19.00 19.20 19.40 19.60 19.80 20.00 20.25 20.50 20.80 21.10 21.50 22.00 22.50 23.00 23.50 24.00

200 Days Annually BA in ECE or Related Field 6 hours per day

22,800 23,040 23,280 23,520 23,760 24,000 24,300 24,600 24,960 25,320 25,800 26,400 27,000 27,600 28,200 28,800

Category D Hourly MA in ECE or Related Field

24.00 24.25 24.50 24.75 25.00 25.25 25.60 25.95 26.40 26.85 27.40 27.00 27.75 28.50 29.25 30.00

Category E

200 Days Annually Jewish Education MA in ECE or Amount of raise based Formal Jewish Related Field on formal Jewish Education Units 6 hours per day education

28,800 29,100 29,400 29,700 30,000 30,300 30,720 31,140 31,680 32,220 32,880 32,400 33,300 34,200 35,100 36,000

6 Units 12 Units 18 Units 24 Units Certificate

$0.25/hr raise $0.25/hr raise $0.25/hr raise $0.25/hr raise $0.50/hr raise

*Note: For each set of 6 credits completed, this indicates a $0.25 cent raise will be given at the completion of those 6 credits. Example: if the starting wage is $17/hr, and the teacher completes 6 credits, the wage will go up to $17.25. If the teacher completes another 6 credits, it will go up to $17.50. A $0.50 cent raise would be given once the teacher completed a certificate and would be in addition to the raises already received for unit completion.

* For Category A, there is a $0.15 cent raise up until the teacher has passed the 5-year mark, and a $0.25 cent raise in year 6 onward. * For Category B, there is a $0.10 cent raise for the first 5 years, a $0.15 cent raise in years 6 & 7, a $0.20 cent raise in years 8, 9 & 10, and a $0.30 cent raise for years 11 & 12. * For Category C, there is a $0.20 cent raise for the first 5 years, a $0.25 cent raise in years 6 & 7, a $0.30 cent raise in years 8 & 9, a $0.40 cent raise in year 10, and a $0.50 cent raise in year 11 onward. * For Category D, there is a $0.25 cent raise for the first 5 years, a $0.35 cent raise in years 6 & 7, a $0.45 cent raise in years 8 & 9, a $0.55 cent raise in year 10, a $0.60 cent raise in year 11, and a $0.75 cent raise in year 12 onward. Disclaimer: This Salary Schedule is merely meant to ILLUSTRATE possible ways in which your school can implement a Salary Matrix; please use it only as a guide to creating one that works for your school.


Effective Operations within the Site/Host Institution There are several recommendations that fall within “effective operations,” which could also be described as “management.” Having clear expectations, a clear vision and supporting these practices help directors to model best practice in Jewish Early Childhood Education for their institution. Some areas to focus on include: •

Teacher to Child Ratio: o

Keep the Ratio Low: Each school interviewed kept the teacher to child ratio low, (1:5 to 1:8). Best practice in Early Childhood Education proves that a low ratio is beneficial to young children.

Specialists: o

Using Your Resources: The schools interviewed had specialists as a part of the early childhood program. While these schools were able to pay for such services, smaller schools without funding could use host institution clergy or Jewish educators to train teachers in different specialties. Volunteers such as parents or community members could also be used to train teachers or, if applicable, work with the children under the supervision of a teacher.

o

Finding Specialists in Unexpected Places: A recommendation would be to survey both the teachers and parents in order to see what skills or specialties they may be willing to offer. The example of a parent teaching sign language to children is a wonderful way of implementing new and innovative ways to enhance both the teacher and student learning environment. Other parents may have skills that they can teach the educators themselves, which they can then impart within the classroom. Managing resources effectively is both challenging and rewarding, and this paper recommends harnessing the vast skill and knowledge that already exists within the school structure and utilizing it to its fullest potential.

Prep time and Staff Meeting Time: o

Prep Time is Important Time: Prep time and meeting time are two vital components of an early childhood educator’s day. Minimally, each teacher needs the time to be able to set up and clean up for the children in their care.

o

Reflecting on Children’s Learning: Current best practice in Early Childhood Education acknowledges that teachers also need time to reflect on children’s learning in order to facilitate the best experiences for the children in the program. The works of Curtis and Carter in Reflecting Children’s Lives as well as the work of the educators in Italy’s Reggio Emilia, notably Loris Malaguzzi (The Hundred Languages of Children), have all made the case for time beyond the set up and clean up in the early childhood program.

o

Staff Meetings are Essential: Staff meeting time can be used a balance between the “business of running the preschool” and an opportunity to help the staff grow and learn through professional development. These are basic needs in the field of Early Childhood Education.

22


Fundraising Models for ECE Centers All of the schools interviewed had some kind of fundraising plan in place. Two of the schools did not have it as a part of the ECE budget, while two schools had fundraising line items that provided significant income for the program for the year. Even the smallest programs can have fundraisers. Some recommendations for fundraising are as follows: o

Have a Goal: Have a stated goal for using the funds that are raised. One director noted that “we raise money but the parents wonder what it’s for.” Another director said, “Fundraising is used for certain school projects. When we are finished with the fundraiser we make sure to tell the parents what we raised, what we used it for and how grateful we are for the parents fundraising efforts.” Another director added, “We try not to ‘nickel and dime’ the parents. We create a fundraising goal for the year and try not to add little things during the year, which could detract from our goal.”

Committees/Volunteer Involvement Working with a lay committee makes sense. All of the programs interviewed had a parent committee or association of some kind. Each parents group was created to support the director and teachers in the ECE program. Fundraising for the program was an integral part of the parent committee, and this happened in large and small ways. o

Involve the Parents: Parents can be involved in many ways, such as staff appreciation and ongoing perks for the staff. One of the programs interviewed stated that parents provide lunch periodically during a “lunch and learn” session with the clergy for staff. In some programs parents have also worked on library donations for the school or for a parent lending library, as well as spearheading tikkun olam programs for the early childhood center.

o

Maximizing Fundraising Potential with Parents & Volunteers: This paper recommends implementing fundraisers conducted by parents for specific uses, with explicit fundraising goals, and to make those expectations clear at the beginning of the year. Allowing parents to have ownership over the fundraisers not only enables the parent cohort to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work with the school, it also gives clear expectations with transparent results. The goals can be as modest as “$200 for art supplies” raised through a small parent-run gathering to “$5,000 directed toward a teachers professional development fund for Judaic education” raised by a holiday event. The important thing is to make expectations clear, and realize that the parents within the school will more than likely want to contribute and participate in fundraising efforts on behalf of the school.

Conclusion There is much that can be learned from the programs that were surveyed for this paper. In reviewing the four Jewish Early Childhood Education programs where compensation is high, there is also a welldefined professional development plan for the teachers in these programs. While these programs have monetary support for their teacher's education, they can become models for other Jewish Early Childhood Education programs across the country, as a professional development plan is something that every school can, and should, implement for its teachers.

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These programs have well-functioning lay committees of parents that support the work of the director and the school. They have the support of a synagogue board that not only understands the needs of teacher compensation and benefits packages, but also the need for continuing education, and a commitment to teacher recruitment and retention. These can also serve as necessary models of how to incorporate best practice and advocate for Jewish Early Childhood Education. Regardless of the size of a school, or the current economy, those involved in Jewish Early Childhood Education, notably directors, teachers, parents, clergy and leadership at Jewish institutions must advocate for adequate compensation and benefits, ongoing professional education, and the best working conditions for the teachers in our programs. It is our duty to work for the best possible working conditions for the people who educate the future of the Jewish people. In each of the schools surveyed, the previous director looked at the wages and working conditions of the staff and compared them to the wages of similar education and elementary education programs in the area. In each school the director seized the opportunity to raise the salaries of the staff to an equitable level. This created a staff that was loyal and devoted; a staff that thought of themselves as professionals in the field, and a staff that raised the quality of Jewish Early Childhood Education for the children and families in their care. In an age where the very future of the Jewish community is a cause for concern, it is imperative that we provide for our teachers, so that they can in turn provide for those who cannot advocate for themselves: the children in our Jewish Early Childhood Education programs.

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Works Cited Austin, L.J.E, Connors, M., Darrah, R., and Whitebook, M. (2011). Staff Preparation, Reward and Support: Are Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Addressing All of the Key Ingredients Necessary for Change? The Center for the Study of Childcare Employment, University of Berkeley, California. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Early childhood educator salary rates from 2004 [Online database file]. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oes/2004/november/oes252011.htm. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Early childhood educator salary rates from 2010 [Online database file]. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252011.htm. Center for the Study of Childcare Employment. (2011). Access to Effective Education. Retrieved from http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cscce/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Access_to_education_One_pager.pdf Goffin, S.G. & Washintgon, V. (2007). Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Childhood Education. Teachers College Press: Columbia University. Rosenblatt, S. (2006). Jewish Early Childhood Education in the San Francisco Federated Service Area: Description of Sites, Educators and Families. Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA), Berman Center for Research & Evaluation. Schaap, E. (2004). Early Childhood Jewish Education and Profiles of its Educators. The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE). Schramm, J., Williams, S., (2009). Innovative Work Teams in a Challenging Business Environment. Workplace Visions速, Society for Human Resource Management, Issue 1. Retrieved from: http://www.shrm.org/Research/FutureWorkplaceTrends/Documents/08-0869WorkplaceVisions-MemberMailing.pdf Vogelstein, I. (2008). Early Childhood Jewish Education: If Not Now, When? In Bloomberg, L.D. , Flexner, P.A., and Goodman, R.L. (Eds.), What We Now Know About Jewish Education (373-385). Los Angeles, CA: Torah Aura Productions. 25


For more information, please contact: Janet Harris, ECEI Director Phone: 415.499.1223 x8104 E-mail: JanetH@sfjcf.org

Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties 121 Steuart Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 | 415.777.0411 | jewishfed.org 26

Best Practice Analysis for Jewish Early Childhood Education Sites  

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