“Childcare is too expensive.”
“Staff shortage is crippling.”
“Teachers are underappreciated.”
“Children are our future.”
These statements are true, and yet are at odds with one another. We accept that equitable access to high-quality ECE addresses opportunity disparities at its earliest stages. So, how does FELS strengthen its mission and impact more?
This is our path forward.
We believe in providing the highest quality care to all children. But we need your help. FELS depends on the generous support of individuals and entities so that we may continue to provide excellence in early child care and education to all of the children in our centers.
Hiring to alleviate overworking
- Understaffing leads to our current staff being stretched thin and overstressed. We are refining our recruitment process with Special Projects Manager and former Pre-K teacher, Kelly Levin, to make it more efficient.
Positive work culture to spark joy at work
- With our Director of Programs and Assistant Director of Programs both internally promoted to the Central Team from the Centers, we are working to develop more practical ways to improve the work culture at our centers (including improved communication).
Professional Development to reinforce our staff
- Teachers want to level up and better themselves professionally. We want to encourage growth and provide training for teachers to reach their full potential.
Career Pathways to build hope
- We want ECE staff to recognize that our industry offers them more than a job – it can offer them a career. We not only want to help teachers recognize this, but with effective professional development, we can help realize the upward progression.
Better quality with Ed Tech
- By utilizing existing technology in the ECE space, we can efficiently empower teachers to teach and administrators to administrate.
Efficient use of budget for better programing
- Purposeful and collaborative programming with the highest quality partners will allow us to offer the best experience for our children and families.
Inclusive by design to help maintain productive classrooms
- The rise in the number of children with special needs is well established. To maintain productive ECE and elementary school classrooms, we need inclusive classrooms to help our children prepare to be lifelong learners alongside their peers. We need to embrace this reality to address it appropriately.
Providing Equitable Access to High-Quality ECE:
Subsidized Care and Education
- Pre-K Counts: Pennsylvania’s State-funded program provides quality pre-kindergarten to eligible children in Pennsylvania.
- Head Start: Federally funded program provides quality pre-kindergarten to eligible children in Pennsylvania.
- Child Care Works: state and federally subsidized child care program helps low-income families pay their childcare fees
- When a family earns a dollar more than eligible income guidelines, the family moves from free or heavily subsidized tuition to a private pay tuition rate. We think this is unfair and displaces many hard-working families.
- FELS stands out amongst its peers by awarding donor-funded sliding-scale scholarships to families. These unique ECE scholarships are offered by only 35 out of the 1300+ childcare centers in Philadelphia (including our Philadelphia-based FELS centers)
- FELS knows that building a sustainable funding source for scholarships will be a crucial component of continuing to provide the highest quality early care and education to the communities that need it.
Now that is a lot to take in and its just part of what we are working on at FELS. Our path forward may seem complicated but to the staff on the ground, they are obvious areas of improvement that we must accomplish.
Federation Day Care Services is a registered charitable organization. The official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply Endorsement. EIN 23-1352554.