Career Pathways

Early Education on Boston’s North Shore

56bbc3a2f1598.imageAs of December 2015, according to an article by Carl Gustin and Tom Zarrella’s op-ed in the Salem News, “Just 38 percent of 3 year olds and 66 percent of 4 year olds in the United States are in some kind of preschool, which ranks the United States only 32nd out of 39 countries in the Organization for Economic Development.” This low rate of enrollment is especially disconcerting given that “The most comprehensive study of preschool effectiveness, judged over 40 years, demonstrated that children who attend preschool were more likely to graduate from high school, get better paying jobs, and be less likely to get in trouble with the law.” Additionally, “The study found that a $15,000 investment in a preschool student produced savings of $220,000 in avoided welfare and other social spending.”

Gustin again came to our attention last week, having penned a keen op-ed for the Gloucester Times. We took to Twitter:

The quotes were so universal – we hear the same stories here in Boston and across the state:

And the reason for these early education teacher vacancies seems to always be the same:

Unfortunately for everyone,

We were pleased, most of all, to see that our convesation drew the attention of others:

Let’s keep the conversation going – online and in-person – early education and care is too important to leave behind.

Carl Gustin and Tom Zarella are on the Board of Directors of Pathways for Children.

MA Board of Early Education and Care: 12.8.15 Meeting

We would like to thank the MA Board of Early Education and Care for prioritizing the workforce in its FY17 budget recommendation. Many providers and educators provided powerful testimony on the current need to stabilize wages for the field. The Board’s advocacy for quality shows that our message was heard. For those who could not attend the meeting, below please find highlights:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

We all know the downsides to a career in the early education and care field – the low wages, the high turnover – but there is also some GOOD news for early educators, particularly if you hold a bachelor’s degree and have student loans.

What? Yes!

If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, including licensed or regulated child care, Head Start, and state-funded pre-K, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. There are a lot of qualifiers: your loans must be in good standing, you must have made 120 payments (i.e. over 10 years, beginning with payments starting in 2007), and you must have worked full-time in a qualifying institution for the duration of that 10-year time period. So this is not a program for everyone. For those who meet the requirements, or those who would like to start working towards meeting them, it could mean forgiveness of your Direct Loan balance beginning in October 2017!

For more information on student loans (getting them, managing them, paying them), visit our Student Loan Information Network. Click the image below to be taken to the official Twitter account of the Office of Federal Student Aid.