a teacher helps her students at a table

Recent research suggests that a child’s first years are critical to neurological development. And some education experts view preschool as a prime opportunity to close the educational gap faced by children from lower-income households. With so much riding on the first few years, early childhood education warrants attention … and some say – more funding. A recent article in the New York Times Magazine explored the many issues surrounding how to craft effective early childhood education…In this hour, we’ll talk to the author of that article and explore topics such as increasing teacher pay and training, and talk to experts about how to foster quality early education.

Read the article, “Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid The Least

How to Foster Quality Early Childhood Education 12 January,2018Mina Kim

Jeneen Interlandi, journalist; author, "Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid The Least"
Lea Austin, co-director, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, UC Berkeley
Melissa Moses, Bay Area preschool teacher
Rebecca Gomez, edcuation program officer, Heising-Simons Foundation

  • Pontifikate

    I have a masters degree in early childhood education from an esteemed university. I never used it because jobs in the field pay so little. What we need is 24-hour universal quality childcare, a national solution to the problem of the patchwork situation we have today. Working parents need a reliable and quality solution. But why would anyone get a degree in this field who knows the situation?

    • Rozalina Gutman

      Thank you for speaking out on the subject of he currently lacking logic policy on such critical for the development issue as the education, and further more impact early childhood education

  • William – SF
    • Rozalina Gutman

      very good point!

  • Sheridan Pauker

    What is a competitive salary for a preschool teacher in the Bay Area? If I am screening preschools for my child, what should I look for?

    • Andrew Leonard

      I can speak to your second point. You’ll want to make sure that you go through a licensed program, for starters. Ideally, you’ll find one that is QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System) rated, so that’s something you can ask about. You can find your regional QRIS representative by looking at this map and its associated chart. I’d try reaching out to those people to ask for resources: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/rt/caqrisregionalreps.asp

  • Edward

    Can your guests comment on the randomized controlled study of head start that showed very modest improvements in the head start group which did not last past early grade school?https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/executive_summary_final.pdf

  • Mare Schmitz Williams

    It was a very enlightening program presented by the speakers today. As a former elementary public teacher, I think that early education is often overlooked by educators and politicians alike. The benefits from a quality preschool program in any area of the country cannot continue to be ignored, but must be raised to the forefront of decision-making.

    • Andrew Leonard

      I recently had the opportunity to see the gubernatorial candidates speak at the California School Boards Association conference in San Diego. They repeatedly brought up brain development, investment in early education, universal preschool, and mandatory, full-day kindergarten. I have no doubt we are going to see improvements under the new governor. This last legislative session was also very positive for early childhood education. Brown’s budget for 2018-2019 also increases childcare and preschool programs by $399 million, plus additional funding for maternal home visiting programs. We’re very fortunately seeing a tide shift, and it can’t come quick enough.

  • Kurtis

    Unfortunately, when you look at the cost of childcare vs the income of the parent, the numbers don’t add up. If the parent is making the same wage as the provider and the childcare ratio is 8 to 1, that means just for the base wage, without payroll taxes, benefits, workers comp, etc., the parent would need to pay 12.5% of their AFTER TAX salary. There are many more costs associated with running a preschool as well. This type of “qualified” childcare is not possible for most Americans, nor is it desirable. The true problem with our childcare situation is that we need childcare in the first place. We need childcare because we have chosen in this country, as most of the world has also chosen, to continually use our productivity gains as a means of “higher living standard” instead of using those gains to work less, while producing the same amount of goods and services. This, combined with dual income trends, which are similarly tied to a lust for more stuff and more services, has put us in this undesirable situation where we neglect our own children and can’t afford to have someone do it for us. We need to find a way back to single worker households, whether it be one parent staying at home, or two part time jobs.

  • Rose

    It’s too bad that this story wasn’t broadcast on Monday, a federal holiday when more teachers could have chimed in.

    -A Bay Area Preschool Teacher


Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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