Pre-School Teachers: Childcare Professionals or Babysitters?

In a proprietary survey of 84 pre-school teachers and staff, the following question was asked:

“What do you feel is the most respected profession and indicate why this would be the most respected?” The top answer at 36% was Doctor as this profession “saves lives”, “helps people”, “cares for people”. In second place at 24% were Teachers as “teachers are the foundation”, “teachers are responsible for the care and growth” and “aid in molding children”.

Fair enough. But here’s where it gets interesting. When these same teachers were immediately asked next: “What do you feel is the least respected profession and indicate why this would be the least respected?”, a whopping 58.3% answered “Teachers” and half of those responded that the reason is that parents and society see them as babysitters, not educators. Further, it is interesting that 30% of those answering teachers as most respected are apparently quite conflicted as they also answered teachers are the least respected.

What is the ingredient of a high performing pre-school?

When asked in this same survey “What is the ingredient of a high performing pre-school?”, the top 4 answers were: “Safety, care and supervision” (27%); “Good teachers, great providers, qualified teachers” (25%); “Know the standards and follow them, follow policies, rules and procedures, compliance” (24%); and “Academic material, preparing children for success, curriculum implementation, higher standards for students” (14%).

Following this, when asked “What is the essential flaw of the low performing school?”, the top responses were: “Carelessness, accidents, negligence, insufficient care and supervision” (30%); “Lack of training, low performing/prepared staff, not knowing procedures, laws, rights” (13%); “No communication with or between staff, miscommunication, lack of information, support and confidence” (11%); “Failure to hold staff accountable to standards of conduct and policies and procedures, lack of accountability” (8%).

So how does one move from negligence to safety, from lack of accountability to upholding standards of conduct and policies and procedures, from individuated staff members to a team of coordinated professionals, and so how does one move a school in a lower performing band into higher zones?

Well first, the staff must know the constitution of care and supervision and the definitions of negligence and accountability and they also must have a firm grasp of what are the standards of conduct and even more basic, the policies and procedures must exist in the first place and be in use.

Childcare Compliance has proven practical, workable and viable solutions for doing just that. Please feel free to comment below.