To Re-Build Preschool (RBP) by transforming the current preschool program business will provide a functioning for-all model. Preschool leaders have taught the importance of children attending preschool and the enduring benefits for children as they progress throughout their educational careers (Ansari, Pianta, Whittaker, Vitiello, & Ruzek, 2020). Today’s preschool programs are struggling financially to stay open, and parents need help to pay increasing tuition rates, preschool teachers are leaving, and young children want to play. Now the public preschool dilemma is at the forefront at a time when improving preschool is essential to the economy (Friedman-Krauss & Barnett, 2019).
Preschool business model fiscal responsibilities include the parent’s tuition payments, employee payroll, and the owner benefits from the profit. Making preschool better starts with an ethical question of how children are the commodity of a profit-based system. How many children do preschools need to be able to pay bills and stay afloat? The ethical lesson in a capitalistic society with monetary gain and profit margins that needs to stop using young children as an article of trade. Stop Preschool for Profit.
The government-funded preschool programs offer free of charge to the parents with low or no tuition costs [The Office of Head Start (OHS), 2020]. The problem is preschool teachers are required to maintain the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) comprehensive and ongoing portfolio assessment for each child. The preschool teacher generates funding for that child. The government uses the reports to give to congress or the governing board to access more funds. The ethical question, “Is the child being made into a problem when really, they are not, just to get funding?” Without these reports funding for these programs is threatened.
The preschool program today needs to be revolutionized. The problem is over 70% of preschool teachers are leaving, and mostly because of low wages (NAEYC, 2020). The extended and complicated requirements for preschool teachers to successfully do their job combined with low-wages make teachers leave after the first year. The median annual wage for preschool teachers was $30,520 in May 2019 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).
The process to re-organize and improve the quality of the program includes essential components in a learning environment. The Environment Rating Scales Institute (ERSI) provides a way to measure the quality of a preschool program. The learning environment has a correlation to the child’s behavior and the teaching methods. When a classroom environment is lacking quality, the preschool program has a low-rating and affects children’s behavior (NAEYC, 2020). The Foundation for Child Development study (2019) found that three and four-year-old children are expelled from preschool at a rate higher than school children in grades K through 12.
Preschool programs have increased since the 1970s into a variety of kinds of preschools: private-owned, in a mall, outdoor, franchised, religious, corporate, non-profit, parent co-op, college-run, state-run, and federally-run. Every preschool looks different and has a unique curriculum style and design. The NAEYC provides a referral and resource for parents looking for quality preschools on the Accreditation Portal for Early Learning Programs in California at https://families.naeyc.org/find-quality-child-care. Each owner creates an environment based on what they think the preschool should be to make it thrive and achieve full enrollment.
Re-Build Preschool Formula
While preschool programs vary in a lot of ways, they are similar in many ways too. Three similarities are required to improve the quality across the spectrum of kinds of preschools. There is a better plan for preschools’ future through an awareness of the current preschool situation. The formula for RBP is to create high-quality preschools with Universal Preschool Tuition (UPT), Preschool Teacher Profit-Sharing (PTPS), and a Go-Play Environment (GPE). The combination of these three ingredients creates a formula for a successful preschool program where teachers, parents, and children benefit.
· Universal Preschool Tuition (UPT)
Tuition rates for parents are nearly unsustainable. While universal state-run preschool is an idea to help parents with rising tuition costs, parents should have a choice of whatever preschool they want to attend in their neighborhood. Income disparities create limits for parents and children in a household with a lower income. The RBP formula solution provides a parent tuition grant. The tuition grant will provide choices where they want their child to go and would increase preschool enrollment. Instead of funding for state-run preschools, the preschool tuition would be for parents’ to pay for the education of their choice at a qualified preschool.
· Preschool Teacher Profit-Sharing (PTPS)
Profit-sharing will provide preschool teachers with a percentage of a company’s profits based on its quarterly or annual earnings (Kenton & Wohlner, 2020). Like other businesses where employees have a set pay scale, profit-sharing, and receiving the benefit of a percentage of profits may help to retain preschool teachers. According to Calvello (2020), reward the employees who make it possible to operate the preschool. Profit-sharing employees work together to reach a common goal of success.
- Go-Play Environment (GPE) The correlation between the classroom environment and children’s behavior is the third ingredient for re-building preschool. The go-play environment has the highest quality ECERS-R rating combined with the elements of design arrangement and specific materials. The intricate go-play environment design and development of the classroom environment uses multiple play opportunities. The RBP model of preschool creates a place for a child to live their life and go-play.
Ansari, A., Pianta, R., Whittaker, J., Vitiello, V., and Ruzek, E. “Persistence and Convergence: The End of Kindergarten Outcomes of Pre-K Graduates and Their Nonattending Peers,” (2020). The University of Virginia. Developmental Psychology at https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/10/preschool-advantage
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Preschool Teachers,
Calvello, M. (2020). How to create a profit-sharing plan when business is booming at https://learn.g2.com/profit-sharing
Friedman-Krauss, A.& Barnett, S. (2019). Behind the Numbers: How State Preschool Has Changed Since 2002, National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at https://nieer.org/2019/04/18/behind-the-numbers-how-state-preschool-has-changed-since-2002
Foundation for Child Development at https://www.cwla.org/preschool-children-have-a-higher-expulsion-rates-than-k-12/
National Association for the Education of Young Children at https://www.naeyc.org/
Profit-Sharing Plan, Kenton, W. & Wohlner, R. (2020) at https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/profitsharingplan.asp
The Environment Rating Scales Institute (ERSI) at https://www.ersi.info/index.html
The Office of Head Start at https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/learning-environments