Attracting & Retaining Quality Educators

A question that often arises when mention is made of a waitlist is whether the list is due to a shortage of staff or because all spaces are occupied.  Unfortunately, the former rather than the latter is more common. We are so fortunate at Newtown Discovery Preschool to announce that our waitlist is due to our reputation and space limitation.

How do quality centers combat this issue?  This takes planning, commitment and intent to resolve.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 79,600 fewer early childhood educators than prior to the pandemic. This number is staggering!  

Why are educators leaving the industry at such astronomical rates?  Reading the data supplied by  RAPID-EC (Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development-Early Childhood), a national survey from the Center on Early Childhood out of Stanford University, the rationale is evident:

  •  Retail positions often pay more than jobs in child care programs and offer more flexible scheduling and better benefits.
  •  One in four child care workers nationwide report difficulty affording housing.
  •  One in three child workers report food insecurity.   
  •  Providers also report  high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression 

The average hourly rate for child care workers is $13.22.  This is lower than most occupations nationwide.  Additionally, this is lower than Pennsylvania’s living wage calculation which (while still low) is greater than this average at $16.41/ hourly for a single adult.  

We, at Newtown Discovery Preschool, are proud of our efforts and our results in effecting change in the lives of our educators.  This is accomplished in several ways:

  • Our lead teachers are salaried employees receiving wages commensurate with their colleagues in elementary and secondary school settings.
  • Hourly assistant teachers are paid at a significantly higher rate than local early childhood programs (and those nationwide).
  • We offer medical benefits and free dental cleanings to full-time employees.
  • We provide free athletic club memberships (including the outdoor pool) to our employees.
  • Celebrating milestones and creating a work “family” creates a feeling of community.

It is essential that we focus our efforts on supporting and encouraging our educators just as we do our students.  While we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation week yearly, we do our best to ensure that our teachers feel our gratitude daily.  Remember:  A few kind words can have a HUGE impact! 


Our two main locations are in Newtown and Warrington and we support the Doylestown area.


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