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  • Writer's pictureInstitute Staff

Staffing Challenges and Preparedness

Each year, we partner with HiMama, the Council for Professional Recognition, the CDA Council, and National Early Childhood Program Accreditation to create a Childcare Center Benchmark Report. The 2021-2022 Childcare Statistics and Industry Trends Benchmark Report is out and available now. One of the more interesting findings - during the COVID-19 pandemic, the early childhood sector lost 1/3 of our workforce. Sadly, a majority of those positions remain unfilled today.

As we struggle through the challenges of recruiting and retaining qualified staff – we must remember that it is vital for new staff and temporary staff to receive training on our emergency preparedness procedures. When we think back to the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook, Parkland, Florida, Virginia Tech and even Uvalde, Texas – we are reminded that new and substitute teachers have a vital role to play during emergencies. If these staff members are not trained, they will not know what to do.

Consider: During the Sandy Hook shooting substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau was not trained on emergency procedures. Rousseau was assigned to the class shortly before school was set to open when the regular teacher called in sick. Sadly, the majority of the children who were killed (14 out of 20) were in Ms. Rousseau’s classroom. Ms. Rosseau and a teacher’s aide Rachel D'Avino were also killed during the attack.