Nebraska early childhood educators have high turnover rate

    Nebraska early childhood educators have high turnover rate (NTV News)

    Turnover among early childhood teachers in Nebraska is high, and is creating issues for childcare centers and families.

    That's according to the Buffet Early Childhood Institute.

    The Buffet Early Childhood Institute says when early childhood educators leave their job, it takes centers twice as long to replace them.

    According to the Buffet Early Childhood Institute, it's an issue seen across the nation, and Nebraska is affected too.

    "I think what we're seeing in Nebraska reflects quite closely national trends in concerns about the degree to which early childhood teachers are leaving their positions, especially in community-based programs," said the Buffet Early Childhood Institute Director of Research and Evaluation Kate Gallagher.

    The institute found that the average turnover rate for early childhood teachers was 26 percent in licensed child care settings like daycare's and home providers.

    It's 15 percent in state funded Pre-K settings and 16 percent in kindergarten through grade three settings.

    "The leading reason that turnover happens in early care and education is low salary in the context of a very physically, emotionally and mentally demanding job. Also poor benefits adds into that," said Gallagher.

    Unfortunately, the turnover has an impact on young children as they develop bonds with their teachers.

    "The key factor to a child's well being is the relationship they have with their early childhood caregiver. When that relationship is interrupted, children experience the same loss, the same difficulty, the same stress as when any other important person in their life is separated from them," said Gallagher.

    For Kearney Public Schools, they don't see a high turnover rate.

    "Kearney Public Schools we are somewhat at a better stance because the early childhood educators who come in are paid on a teacher scale versus people out in the community who are doing early childhood work in childcare centers," said Kearney Public Schools Director of Student Services Carol Renner.

    However, the institute wants to help solve the problem.

    They gathered an Early Childhood Workforce Commission to collect data.

    "They're preparing a final report that's really going to set the blueprint going forward for what Nebraska needs to do in engagement to raise these issues up," said Gallagher.

    The Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission has been working for three years with the institute, and plans to release their final report by the end of the year.

    For more information on how the Nebraska Department of Education is also helping the turnover rate, you can click this link.

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