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Leadership Challenges in Publicly-Funded Preschools

by Margie Carter
March/April 2016
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/leadership-challenges--in-publicly-funded-preschools/5022826/

Even with expanded national attention to the importance of early childhood education and multiple state initiatives funding preschool, it is still a very challenging time to work in the early childhood field. After some initial excitement, we ‘old timers’ wonder if perhaps things were better before people recognized the value of our work. That recognition hasn’t significantly increased wages, only the stress and requirements (Carter, 2014). I’m trying to stay hopeful, but I don’t think we’re getting close to the results we want. In some ways, we’ve created mounting problems and have lost the reins of our profession. It’s a complex story with competing perspectives.

Among those on the frontlines, you’ll find a growing consensus. For teachers, publicly-funded programs come with so many mandates that educators are losing their sense of agency and satisfaction in their work. Time to build deeper relationships with the children and their families is being replaced with school readiness goals. Rather than tools for gaining understandings of who each child is as a learner and how her play pursuits can guide curriculum decisions, documentation and assessment have become extensive recordkeeping tasks to meet requirements. Professional development opportunities are less about deepening understandings and meeting professional learning goals and ...

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