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“In the past, prioritizing issues around infants, toddlers and preschoolers have paled in comparison to other priorities, like climate change and homelessness.”
“With the results of this election, our state is one step closer (albeit a very large step) to making our youngest keiki a priority. We’re pleased that both Governor-elect Josh Green and Lt. Governor-elect Sylvia Luke have publicly expressed their commitments to keiki.”
“A new report indicates that pay and conditions for Hawaii’s early childhood educators must be improved dramatically in order to attract and retain enough added workers just to resolve the severe current shortage, not to mention expand preschool access to all 3- and 4-year-olds by 2032 to fulfill the state Legislature’s directive.”
“The most important takeaway from the report is that across the board, we do not pay enough, nor are we doing enough to get enough workers in that pipeline.”
“Maui’s early chidlhood workforce shortage is at a critical point and it’s only getting worse. Just recently, Maui Economic Opportunity announced the closure of three of its Head Start classrooms due to staffing and teacher shortages, leaving 60 more families without access to child care and early education.”
“Statewide, Hawai’i can only serve about 25 percent of keiki ranging from birth to five years old in child care and preschool, and nearly 3,000 childcare spaces have been lost since the start of the pandemic.”