Forum Newsletter – 2017 Fall Edition – President’s Perspective – Phyllis Kalifeh, Ed.D.

Florida was one of eight states selected by the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center to focus on compensation issues for the early care and education field. The Children’s Forum, along with several state and local level partners, are exploring opportunities to expand awareness of the compensation disparity and seek solutions for these complex issues.  We know the demands for an educated workforce with specialized training in early care and education are increasing. On the same note, child care teachers deserve better salaries and access to benefits.  We also know, however, that families cannot necessarily absorb higher tuition costs to pay for fairly-compensated teachers. Addressing this disparity will require innovative thinking and a multi-prong approach.  We look forward to advancing the conversation with our Florida partners and developing strategies to recruit and retain qualified early care and education teachers during the most important and formative period in children’s lives. Every young child deserves a great teacher and every great teacher deserves a living wage!