I spent the (dreary) day in Montpelier for Early Childhood Day at the Legislature. It's always a good opportunity to represent early educators as the professionals they are. Since 70% of the brain is wired by age three, teachers lay the foundation for all future growth and learning. It's an important job. We carry the burden of being thought of as the servers of milk and cookies or "babysitters." However, we are responsible for creating a curriculum for young children, observing, documenting, along with maintaining health and safety.
Considering that 70% of children under five years old spend at least some of their day outside the care of their parents, it seems that monitoring the supervision of these children as well as ensuring they are in a safe environment would be of extreme value to the present and future of our state. However, the startling reality is that, for the 1,600 early childcare programs in Vermont, there are seven licensors. Yes, seven. That's a caseload of 229 programs for each licensor. The recommended caseload is 50.
As was stated in a work session that I attended, the need for more licensors is not a "sexy" topic. In fact, it's kind of dull. However, I hope that our legislators have truly heard how very important this regulation is to our profession. It would be great if we could have enough oversight that we eventually build a relationship with licensors enabling us to work together to ensure quality. While it's clear that we need at least 20 more licensors, it amuses me that we are merely recommending the addition of two. I suppose we must be satisfied with "baby steps."
While I will keep in contact with my legislators, tomorrow is another work-day. Back with the toddlers, I will set aside politics and go back to the stacking blocks and digging for worms. After all there's learning to be done. That's what it's all about.
Wait a minute. Maybe it's not! Thanks to my niece for sending this along. A blending of two of my personalities: A little dramatic. A little childish.
The Hokey Pokey Shakespearean Style
O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke,
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from Heavens yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about.
-- by "William Shakespeare"