The Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP (WSA) will hold a rally on the state capitol steps this Thursday, January 12, to demand fair salaries for early learning teachers and staff. The even will take place from 2:30pm to 3pm.
WHAT: Rally for fair early learning teacher salaries at state capitol
WHEN: Jan. 12, 2:30-3 PM
WHO: Anyone concerned about inequitable access to early learning programs. Children welcome
WHERE: Meet on the steps of the state capitol building in Olympia, Wash.
ECEAP — the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program — is facing a major workforce crisis due low teacher pay and lack of benefits. Organizers of the rally for early learning salaries in Olympia hope to raise awareness of the issue. Advocates for increase salaries say teachers work for “poverty wages” that qualify many of them for public benefits. As teachers leave the field for higher paying jobs in other areas, ECEAP programs have been experiencing declining enrollment, increased turnover, and inappropriately high teacher to child ratios, the advocates say.
Data released by the Department of Children, Youth and Families’ suggests that ECEAP programs in Washington are underfunded by at least 40%. Without new funding ECEAP enrollment may continue to decline. That, say advocates for early learning, puts the state risk of not meeting its legislative mandate to provide early childhood education services for all eligible children by 2026. That commitment is part of the Fair Start for Kids Act.
All members of the public of all ages are invited to join the Olympia early learning salaries rally, which will be attended by several state lawmakers, families enrolled in ECEAP, early learning educators and other providers.
Learn more at www.wsaheadstarteceap.com
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