Teach for America model for early child care using seniors

Jim Rettew
by Jim Rettew | Apr 02, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

We know early learning opportunities lay a strong foundation for a child’s future well-being. Yet, many parents, especially those on low incomes, know quality, affordable, and convenient child care is hard to find. The average yearly price is about $8,000 per year, more than tuition at Minnesota State. Roughly three-quarters of households with children under 12 use child care, averaging 20-30 hours per week.
.
Modeling Teach for America (TFA), let’s start a similar pilot program that provides quality, affordable child care in the most impoverished areas of St. Paul. Where TFA uses college grads, we would target seniors, the fastest growing sector of the population, many of whom are looking for encore careers. In return for a two year commitment, these seniors would undergo a three month boot-camp to train them in the best techniques to spark little minds. Child care centers would uses existing buildings in some of the hardest neighborhoods, serving those in desperate need of affordable, quality care.
.
This idea addresses what parents are looking for in child care. A recent Wilder study showed that parents choose their care arrangement based on convenience (33 percent), cost (25 percent), quality of care (21 percent) and trust (20 percent). Our teachers would be trained in high quality early learning methods, costs would be low and affordable, and centers would be placed in locations with the highest need.
.
Child care support is essential to make work feasible for those on modest incomes, but some parents still lack good choices. A third of low income parents report taking whatever child care they could get, and the same percentage say they lost work time or income in the past six months because of a problem with a child care arrangement (not including when a child is sick). These centers would allow parents to work more freely with less trepidation, helping their peace-of-mind as well as their bottom line.

About You

Visit websitemore ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Jim

Last Name

Rettew

City

County

Country

United States, MN

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Title of your idea

Teach for America model for early child care using seniors

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

We know early learning opportunities lay a strong foundation for a child’s future well-being. Yet, many parents, especially those on low incomes, know quality, affordable, and convenient child care is hard to find. The average yearly price is about $8,000 per year, more than tuition at Minnesota State. Roughly three-quarters of households with children under 12 use child care, averaging 20-30 hours per week.
.
Modeling Teach for America (TFA), let’s start a similar pilot program that provides quality, affordable child care in the most impoverished areas of St. Paul. Where TFA uses college grads, we would target seniors, the fastest growing sector of the population, many of whom are looking for encore careers. In return for a two year commitment, these seniors would undergo a three month boot-camp to train them in the best techniques to spark little minds. Child care centers would uses existing buildings in some of the hardest neighborhoods, serving those in desperate need of affordable, quality care.
.
This idea addresses what parents are looking for in child care. A recent Wilder study showed that parents choose their care arrangement based on convenience (33 percent), cost (25 percent), quality of care (21 percent) and trust (20 percent). Our teachers would be trained in high quality early learning methods, costs would be low and affordable, and centers would be placed in locations with the highest need.
.
Child care support is essential to make work feasible for those on modest incomes, but some parents still lack good choices. A third of low income parents report taking whatever child care they could get, and the same percentage say they lost work time or income in the past six months because of a problem with a child care arrangement (not including when a child is sick). These centers would allow parents to work more freely with less trepidation, helping their peace-of-mind as well as their bottom line.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

read more↑ hide↑ hide

What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

We take our most underutilized and fastest growing asset of senior, use the existing and successful model of TFA, plus the $1 million prize to address our urgent need for child care and early learning opportunities.

Family schedules now require child care during non-standard work hours. Ideally, these centers would be available to cover two shifts (7am-3pm and 3pm to 11pm) as well as more traditional 9-5 jobs.

Teachers would also be trained in dealing with special needs children. One in five Minnesota children ages 12 and younger has a special need that affects their child care.

Impact

read more↑ hide↑ hide

This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Better educated kids. Education has been described as the best elevator out of poverty, and most of a child’s brain is hardwired before the age of five. This idea takes our best human assets, retired seniors, and channels their wisdom, love, and care on children when they are the most impressionable. We could see a lifetime of dividends by investing in kids at this age.

Sustainability

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

A sustainable solution will require a strong coalition of partner, each contributing to a piece of the puzzle. In addition to the $1 million, parents will contribute fees, corporations might sponsor schools or curriculum, St. Paul would provide facilities, a nonprofit would manage the program, and different social service agencies might provide training and food. The end result would be a program with a track record of results and longevity.

jandayangacho2013 jandayangacho2013 said: Caring for the seniors is such a privilege because they need care and help. - Aldo Disorbo about this Competition Entry. - 2581 days ago read more >

Jim Rettew updated this Competition Entry. - 2852 days ago

Jim Rettew submitted this idea. - 2852 days ago