As families and children enter a new school year, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching new public service announcements to showcase how communities across the state rely on early childhood teachers.
Part of the Raise NC campaign, the three PSAs feature the important voices and stories of early childhood teachers to raise awareness about their passions and their commitment to partnering with parents to prepare children for success in school and life and create the best outcomes in education, health and well-being for everyone in North Carolina.
The Experts in Child Development PSA, Working in Early Childhood Education PSA and North Carolina Relies on Skilled Early Childhood Teachers PSA are all available on RaiseNC.nc.gov and the NCDHHS YouTube channel or the NCDHHS Vimeo channel. The PSAs are free to watch, download and republish.
“Early childhood teachers partner with families to help raise North Carolina’s children,” said Susan Osborne, deputy secretary for Opportunity and Wellbeing. “Teachers support our children’s physical, cognitive and emotional development and allow parents to work and keep North Carolina business running. Yet, early childhood teachers’ low salaries and limited benefits often force them to leave the profession. It’s time we invest in early care and learning teachers.”
Brain development that happens in the first five years of a child’s life sets the stage for future health and learning. To support early childhood development, North Carolina relies upon highly qualified teachers to provide education and care for more than 265,000 children each year. Demand is increasing, but currently, there are not enough early childhood teachers to meet North Carolina’s growing need.
“The teaching field for early childhood is very small because it’s hard — it’s long days and the pay rate is not that great,” said Director of Small Blessings Felicia Norris. “We care for the children who come into our programs, and we want to do the very best job we can. And to do that, we need to be backed up.”
“My true passion was children — watching them grow, watching them learn,” said Owner and Director of Kid Cove Haley Hartley. “I feel like the biggest reason why it’s harder to stay in early childhood education is support, and that includes state support and local support. Then under that, that would include resources and training.”
Visit RaiseNC.nc.gov to watch the PSAs, explore resources and ways to support teachers, and learn more about early care and learning in North Carolina.