Dr. Arielle Levites, Managing Director of the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE), published a blog entitled, "What Will Happen to Jewish Preschool and the Teachers our Children Love?" on eJewishPhilanthropy.com.
In the post, Dr. Levites provides an overview of a current study CASJE is taking part in, and how it relates to fallout from COVID in Jewish early childhood education: "CASJE (Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education), as part of an ongoing study funded by the William Davidson Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation, is currently collecting systematic data on Jewish educators across all sectors, including information on salaries and benefits. Preliminary analysis shows that early childhood educators make lower salaries overall than other full-time Jewish educators (as is also true in general education). And it’s worth noting that recent CASJE research in Jewish early childhood education (ECE) shows that, in some cases, early childhood programs that are profitable often feed those profits back into the larger institutions that house the preschool (e.g. the synagogue) rather than into educator salaries. So while preschools can be important “feeders” into the organized Jewish community, the teachers themselves are often under-compensated. Will early childhood educators who collect unemployment be able to cover their expenses? How will they retain their health benefits in a health crisis? What about the injury to morale that comes with unemployment and to their sense of trust in the Jewish community? Will our preschool teachers want to return when programs can reopen?"