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Feedback on "Quality Need Not Be Expensive"
September 25, 2002

"Progress always involves risk; you can't steal second base and keep your foot on first." —Frederick Wilcox


We hope that our daily news bits are thought provoking. Some end up being more provocative than others. Our story from September 16, "Quality Programs Need Not Be Expensive", generated a great deal of passion. Here is a sampling of some of the feedback we received:

Julie Kincak:  "What a wonderful activity. However, if this was an argument for the inexpensiveness of an early childhood program then it was a poor example. I see a teacher living in a country where the price and standard of living is quite different from America and a 1 to 40 ratio as well. It's just another example of making money off of children and poor women."

Douglas Baird:  "I am uncomfortable with the caption for this story.  No one would disagree that there are some quite simple and inexpensive items one can put in an early childhood bag of resources.  The most expensive one, however, does not belong in the bag.  It is the teaching staff and their compensation should make up 70 to 80% of the total program cost.  You might say that inexpensive manipulatives can be part of a superb program. Inexpensive staff can be part of a superb program only when they are shortchanged in the paycheck. Peace."
Roseann Moore:  "I agree that money will not solve all problems in childcare. However, I am dismayed to hear yet again that money isn't necessary for a quality program. Unfortunately we do need money to provide quality care for children. Quality people are the key to a quality program and they do cost money. An excellent teacher willing to stay in childcare will find the ways to create a loving, nuturing and learning environment despite challenges and lack of funding. A great teacher may not be as successful. We in the profession need to encourage society to dedicated needed funds to their future, the children we care for each day."

Edna Ranck:  "In my 40+ years working in or for early childhood programs, I have learned that it is resources that go into programs - the cost is high if the quality is to reflect the needs of the children in the program and promote the foundations of what all children need to develop beautifully. It's resources which include but are not limited to money. If the staff is excited and informed and willing to commit to their investment, they will use their inner strength, all the free items they can find and make all their equipment, etc. But this takes time, talent and tremendous energy and creativity. I have learned that many ECE practitioners forget their creative training and substitute money for their own creative energy. They forget that staff-made equipment and games takes time and effort, but need not cost a lot of money. ECE folks must remember that quality costs - not necessarily money, but energy and effort, commitment and creativity from all who are involved."

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