Teachers have always been valued and worth investing in at Jubilee JumpStart.
Updated: Apr 1
From our beginning, Jubilee JumpStart understood that investing in children meant investing in their caregivers - including their teachers. That is why, since our earliest years, we've offered benefits like high-quality health insurance plans for themselves and their families with an affordable monthly premium and minimal copays. In an effort to attract more teachers and caregivers, the DC government began subsidizing health care for anyone employed at a licensed center or home. Now the city covers the full cost of premiums for childcare employees, so our staff are able to maintain the same level of coverage at no cost for premiums and minimal copays. This also frees up our budget to invest in other areas for the staff. Thank you, DC government!
Advocates for ECE fought hard to have teachers who educate and care for our youngest learners receive pay comparable to teachers who work with older children in the public school system and have equivalent education and experience. This led to the passage of the Equity Pay Fund in early 2022, demonstrating that investing in ECE teachers is essential.
Teachers were initially awarded a lump sum of $10,000 for assistant teachers and $14,000 for lead teachers for the 2021-22 school year. The city paid the teachers the same amounts in quarterly chunks this school year. The extra funds have been a huge boost to morale and much-deserved additional income.
Who will pay the additional salary for the 2023-2024 school year?
Unfortunately, the District is turning a majority of the cost for that additional income over to schools and childcare centers. This will drastically increase our budget –the estimate for this line item next year could be a 10% hit to our bottom-line budget. This is on top of the fact that current tuition, subsidies, and education funding barely cover the basics of operating a full-day early learning center with the required number of caregivers and safety measures in place.
We at JJS believe this pay increase is critical to our future but means a significant need to increase fundraising. Making high-quality care and education accessible to all children has always been our mission. That is why we've invested so much into supporting families and teachers over the years and why the support of generous donors and community partners is essential to ensure that our center can offer more than just basic care and education.
Gratefully our community of supporters has shown up for us countless times. Your investments in Jubilee JumpStart have made it possible for us to make professional development accessible, to make college degrees attainable, and to have more than the minimum number of caregivers on our team to reach the bar of exceptional care that we've set for ourselves. We know we can count on our community to help us continue advocating for and investing in the field and our ECE workers.
Our Deputy Director, Dominique Spencer, contributed significantly to this post.