Any early childhood ed teachers/assistants? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-11-2011, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Would love to hear the ins and outs of getting into this field, whether it's worth my time to go back to school or if there's no way I can get a job now anyways...


I have BAs in English and Communications. I'm currently working nights, in my field, in the job I've been training for since 6th grade. Alas, corporate is laying us all off sometime this year, so I'm looking for something else. I need to be in a day job anyways come fall, since my oldest will be going to full-day kindergarten, and if I was working nights I'd never see her.


I also have a 2.5 year old. Ideally, I'd take the little one to work with me, either in "my" classroom or another in the same facility, I'd be a teacher's assistant in a class of 2, 3, 4 or 5 year olds, and I'd be home each day in time to get my oldest off the bus. I also need benefits, since DH is self employed. Oh, and also, since we're talking hypothetical and "ideal," it'd be awesome if this job paid a huge amount of money. Sigh.


Is this in any way shape or form do-able? Are legitimate schools even hiring? I see Craigslist postings for part time day care workers, not what I want. I'm in NY.


Any thoughts? Where to start? My local "teacher's center" couldn't be bothered to talk to me, and the "child care council" just directed me to their website for job search info, but it hasn't been updated in months, it seems. I could go talk to the local community college which has an early childcare ed program, but they'll just encourage me to take classes, whether I need them or not, whether anyone's hiring or not...


Advice, please!




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#2 of 5 Old 06-12-2011, 03:41 PM
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This probably depends on where you live, but I don't suggest going to college to work in the daycare field.  You can usually get a job that pays the same without any formal education by just applying and taking the job.  Daycare is a high turnover position and it isn't all that hard to get in.  It may be harder to find a job that will allow you to have the flexible hours you are envisioning though.  IMO daycare's want you to be available for any of the hours they are open and a lot of people want the earlier shifts so they are either rotated or given to the people with seniority.  Not many daycare centers offer benefits, usually the ones that do are places that receive grant money or corporate support like Head Start, college and university daycares, and YMCA. 


I really recommend that you look at other day job options that have better pay and insurance benefits.  A job counselor may be able to give you ideas about what types of positions you qualify for and where to look for day jobs with benefits.  Job Service often has job counselors you can see for free.

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#3 of 5 Old 06-12-2011, 03:52 PM
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You could make more money doing an in-home daycare. Then you'd be able to get your DD off the bus.

Otherwise, you're probably looking at $8-9 an hour as a preschool assistant. They likely wouldn't work with your schedule, b/c you'd probably need to be there 9 hours including lunch. To have your 2.5 yr old attend, it might be half of your salary - which is one reason you would make more watching a couple kids in your home.

Some places will want a CDA or 45 hour training course, along with CPR. Have you searched craigslist or indeed to see what is out there and what requirements they have?

I know you want early childhood education vs. daycare, but they are usually similar in many ways, including pay and credentials needed (except some preschools - where my DS attended the teachers had Masters in Education, but this was a special needs school. Also, places like Montessori usually require a degree plus additional training. The thing is as an assistant to these teachers, you aren't going to make much over minimum wage).

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#4 of 5 Old 06-16-2011, 06:26 PM
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As a preschool/daycare administrator, I'd say don't count out those "part time day care worker" postings on CL. I work at a HUGE school in a high COL area and we pay our teachers very well. Those that work over 32 hours have the option to receive benefits. We have both your typical "preschool" and also "daycare" classes. We pride ourselves that we use the same curriculum in both sets of classes. The daycare is not just sit and play all day. You become a huge part of these children's lives and this is not a task to take lightly! 


If you are leary about working in a daycare, I'd suggest seeing what people recommend as a place to send your kids and then perhaps tour there and apply if you like it. If a center gets terrible reviews and everyone is leaving there to find care elsewhere, then I'd say stay away.

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#5 of 5 Old 06-19-2011, 04:53 PM
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I am an Educational Assistant.  I am in Middle School until the end of this school year, may be in a  High School for next year & have worked Elementary.


You will not be able to bring your child unless there is a preschool in the school you'd be working in(here there isn't).  Even then it would depend on the start ages(here it is 3).


Preschools here start at age 3, do not have mixed age classes(ie 3yo's go for 2 hours in the am or pm once a week, 4yo's go for 2 hours in the am or pm twice a week).  They are not in the school at the same time.  You would have to register your child for the classes, possibly with a discount but there may not be a discount.  They may not let you register your 3yo for the 4yo classes as you'd be taking a spot away from a 4yo, yk.  Preschool hours WOULD fit into the time schedule you'd want.


Daycares you'd be more likely to take the younger one, however you'd most likely be required to work longer hours than you're wanting.


Both as full time & part time I DO get benefits.  How good they are depends on the district.


What do you consider getting paid alot?  Right now I get paid just over $16/hour plus vacation.  The teachers are in the middle of contract negotiations & once they setting then the EA's will get a raise similar to the teachers.  Once it goes through I'll be retroactively paid for this school year & it will be probably around an extra $1/hour.  Then in August I get another raise.  The max(without any additional COL raises) this school division currently pays it around the $22/hour mark.


I do NOT have my formal education in Educational Assistant.  I could get it but they do not require it here. Whether they would depends on how short they are on staff.   Having it would not get me a higher wage in this district.  In the district I worked in before it would have, however they only have 6 tiers of pay & instead of working my way up through 6 years to the highest I would have hit the max in 3 years instead.  The difference between trained & not trained was about $2/hour.  If you did want your education in it, there are online schools you take while working as an EA. You can usually skip doing your practicums this way too.


Another option is to SUB.  You can pick & choose the days you want to work.  Most divisions do not have enough subs.  Ours has 7 subs who are willing to work in middle school, there were days we didn't have subs so we were moved around to the most needed in the school that day.  There were more subs, but the school I work in hired 3 of them full


In the division I work in right now it is easier to get into a school by subbing first.  Also, you need to be willing to work with some very special needs kids(especially if you don't have a formal education).


The school I work in gets out 30minutes before my kids school does so I am able to drive & pick them up still.

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