As consumers, we believe quality matters. We look for quality when we purchase anything from as small as a frying pan to as large as a car. We want quality products and services, so why wouldn’t we want quality in our child care centers and pre-kindergarten classrooms - places where children learn, play and grow for several hours every day?
The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®Pennsylvaniahas been devoted to helping staff from child care centers, Head Start and Pre-K Counts expand or complete their early childhood education and/or certification.T.E.A.C.H supports the training of teachers to work with our youngest and most vulnerable learners.
Simply put, better educated child care professionals mean better results for children. More than 51,000 children attend early learning programs in our state that are of higher quality because of T.E.A.C.H.
But now, the program is in crisis and nearly 2,000 Pennsylvania early childhood professionals may have to drop out of college ultimately reducing the quality of care for the children they serve.
Why? The scholarships are gone. The T.E.A.C.H. program will no longer be funded with any government resources. The recently passed state budget included cuts to child care and legislative leaders targeted state funds for T.E.A.C.H. as one place to make cuts. The governor’s office approved the elimination of all the federal funding for T.E.A.C.H. as well.
But the silver lining here is since the governor’s office made the decision to cut federal funds for T.E.A.C.H., they can reverse it!
There are other ways to achieve cuts that will not have such a devastating impact on the quality of early childhood education in our state. (However, it’s important that any restoration of T.E.A.C.H doesn’t occur at the expense of subsidized child care funding.)
If the governor doesn’t take action - T.E.A.C.H. will shut down. Program quality will decline and children will have fewer high-quality early learning opportunities.
What can you do?
You can also join our statewide call-in day TOMORROW, July 19. Call the governor’s office at 717-787-2500 and ask him to restore funding for T.E.A.C.H.
Please join us to help save T.E.A.C.H and spread the word.
Joan L. Benso, president and CEO, PA Partnerships for Children