Multi-Media Messaging Aims to Boost Region’s Child Care WorkforcePosted on January 24, 2023
Johnstown, PA (Jan. 23, 2023) – “I love my job. Do you?” That is the call to action of a new multi-media early childhood education staff recruitment campaign that kicked off this week in Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Blair, Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The campaign, which includes television commercials shared via traditional and digital streaming platforms, social media posts, newspaper ads, billboards, and rollout of a new website, is the work of Early Childhood (EC) Alleghenies. The EC Alleghenies Shared Services Alliance is a membership organization of 46 child care providers with 95 locations and 814 staff serving a combined 4,567 children in 13 counties. The Learning Lamp, which is based in Johnstown, serves as the Alliance hub.
Shared Services is a research-based management framework proven to improve quality of care and increase operational efficiencies when members address common concerns and share collective resources for the good of its membership—as well as the children and families they serve. Staffing shortages remain at the top of most providers’ shared list of concerns.
“Child care as an industry has historically struggled with high turnover. Wages for entry-level positions are often lower than other entry-level jobs that are far less demanding. And COVID only made matters worse. Nationally, there are about 100,000 fewer child care workers now than there were before the pandemic,” said Leah Spangler, Ed.D., President & CEO of The Learning Lamp.
The EC Alleghenies campaign is an effort to highlight the benefits of working in child care—from making a very real difference in the lives of young learners to the opportunity to earn a college degree for free.
“Accessing free tuition frees up my finances by not having to pay for college, and all classes are online so I can do my classes while the kids are in bed,” said Tauheeda Midgett, owner of Discovery Kids Daycare Center in Johnstown.
Midgett, who is working toward a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate, is one of four individuals who shared their career goals for the campaign. They represent child care providers across the region including Children’s Express Child Care Center in Cresson and The Learning Lamp in Ebensburg and Trinity Lutheran Child Care & Learning Center in Somerset. The Learning Lamp spent the past 18 months securing grant funding to develop and launch the campaign. Funders included Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Power Grant, and state grant dollars from the PA Department of Human Services, with the support of PA Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) and Rep. Frank Burns (D-72), and a Schools-to-Work grant from the PA Department of Labor and Industry.
To learn more about how to start a career in early childhood education and earn a free college degree, visit ecalleghenies.org.
Early Childhood Alleghenies is a service of The Learning Lamp. The mission of The Learning Lamp is to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high-quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2021, The Learning Lamp served 28,160 youth/adults from 51 school districts and 69 other schools and organizations in 19 Pennsylvania counties. Our programs include: child care and preschool, after school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, online learning, credit recovery, alternative education and specialized classrooms for at-risk students, trauma support groups for children/families, temporary staffing, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.