The Child Care Services Association held the Pre-K and Early Care Career Expo this year at Durham Tech’s Main Campus to help connect early childhood educators with pathways to gain entry into this critical field as well as prepare those already in it for career advancement opportunities.
“When looking at those child care programs interested in becoming a Durham [Universal] Pre-K program, fewer teachers and assistants meet the stringent educational requirements, creating a gap between those programs who would like to be Durham Pre-K programs and those that meet the higher standards.”
The Pre-K and Early Care Career Expo intended to provide one way to address this gap in interested and eligible preschool programs in Durham. Current educators at the career expo were able to learn what they need to meet the standards of the Durham PreK program. There was also information about a wide range of career options for people looking for employment in early education in Durham.
Some of them include:
Teachers of Young Children – teaching preschool children in center-based settings. These centers are found in non-profit groups, chains/corporations, places of faith, and more.
- Typical Salary Range: $17,490 – $54,780 per year
- Special Education Teacher: $36,890 – $82,960 per year
Family Child Care Educators – often working with a young child or children in a home setting providing a safe and stimulating environment (indoor and outdoor).
- Typical Salary Range: $15,600 – $36,200 per year
Consultants: providing information and assistance to early care and education programs, businesses, and industries. This information helps develop programs, regulations, and public policies.
- Typical Salary Range: Daily Rate: $200 – $1100
Sales Representatives: develop, market, and sell consumable supplies that may be used by or in the care and teaching of young children.
- Typical Salary Range: $28,550 – $86,100
Linda Chappel, Sr. Vice President, Triangle Area Child Care Resource and Referral Services, shared that in the Durham PreK program, a universal education initiative funded with local resources, an educated and licensed teacher receives pay on the public school salary schedule.
- Typical Salary Range: $39,000 – $61,000
Future educators on their way to becoming licensed early child care providers are advised to choose a training program from the Approved Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) list. Students enrolled in EPP’s complete coursework that satisfies the requirements for certifications.
Some of the EPP training programs in attendance offering advancement opportunities were Durham Technical Community College, TEACH®, UNC-G, NCCU, UNC-Chapel Hill, Barton College, NC A&T University, and Campbell University.
After obtaining a certification, the next step would be to apply for the license needed for the Pre-K career field. According to NC Child Care, NC Pre-K Contractors should use this chart prior to teacher placement in the NC Pre-K Plan database.
Option one is for applicants who hold an active or expired professional educator’s license:
• NC Continuing License
• NC Continuing Provisional BK or Pre-K/K Add-on*
• NC Initial Provisional BK or Pre-K/K Add-on License*
• Out-of-State License
The second option is for applicants who do not hold a Professional Educator’s License:
• BA/BS Degree
• 2.7 Cumulative GPA
• 24 Semester Hours coursework in content licensure area as determined by the Educator Preparation Program (EPP)
• Enrolled in EPP
The Expo proved effective with the goal of informing the community of educators on their path to becoming Pre-K and Early Child Care Educators in the private and public sectors. Attendees and volunteers said they were pleased with the success of the event because it helped to clear confusion about the process of getting into the Early Child Care career field.