Managing a room full of young children can be delightful, but it can also be hard and can drain a lot of your energy. The day-to-day challenges you will face can range from dealing with difficult behaviours to crying and cranky children. Throughout the day, you must balance all of their unique needs to keep your classroom functioning smoothly.
Each and every day, you will have to deal with parents, some of whom may be quite demanding. It can be difficult to manage parent requests, questions and complaints as they drop off or pick up their child when you have other things on your mind, like the day’s lesson plan.
On top of keeping an eye on children and managing your relationships with parents, you also have piles of paperwork to handle on a daily basis – attendance, records of children’s activities, lesson planning, meal planning and more. The average preschool educator spends at least 45 minutes per day on documentation, and many ECEs feel that this time could be better spent elsewhere. Have we mentioned there is an app for that?
4. Low Pay
You likely won’t make a lot of money compared to other fields of work. In fact, the average child care worker makes just $21,710, a staggering figure when compared to many other service-based roles. The low salaries associated with early childhood education positions can make it difficult to feel confident in your career path and remain in your role over the long-term.
5. (Lack of) Recognition
It’s possible that, depending on your workplace, you will feel like you don’t receive any recognition for your work. In reality, you play a huge role during the most important time of a child’s life: 90% of a child’s brain development happens by age 5. You’ll feel under-valued, despite the fact that you are contributing to the well-being and development of a precious and important asset.
6. (Lack of) Development Opportunities
You may feel that there aren’t many resources available to you to help with your personal and professional development as a preschool teacher. Your time is so occupied with simply managing the day to day needs of your child care center and your children that there is little time – or funding – for training.
7. Upward Job Mobility
Often, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for upward movement in your position. If you are the type of person looking for new challenges all the time, you may find yourself getting “stuck” with limited options and no room to grow.
Many of these challenges boil down to a misalignment between the expectations and pressure placed on preschool educators and the resources provided to them to meet these expectations. Resources can come in various forms, but at the foundation, lack of funding is the issue.
When preschools are afforded additional funding, they are able to invest in hiring quality educators, staff training and development, technology and more to improve the way their child care center functions. With added staff and technologies to make preschool operations easier, time can be freed up to establish better relationships with parents, plan outstanding curriculums, and of course, spend quality time with children focusing on their development.
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