In the real world, preschools and day care centers are plenteous. The market is one of near-perfect competition, where rates are competitive, competitors are always coming and going, and there isn’t a lot of quality variance: most preschools fundamentally suck, and the “better” ones are often lesser evils. Preschool workers–as a group–do not make a lot of money. If they pull above $10 per hour, it’s a bonanza.
And yet, there are colleges with entire education tracks–early childhood education–designed to prepare students for jobs with such economic limitations.
Making matters worse, we have a government that encourages this. Here’s a real-life example of how this has played out. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Let’s say that our federal government has $1 million in grant money available for initiatives in “early childhood education”.
Let’s say we have a university: BSU. The initials “BS” can mean whatever the reader wishes.
BSU decides to compete for the grant, proposing the development of an early childhood education center–i.e. a state licensed “preschool”–that will be staffed with faculty, highly-experienced teachers, and students. This will allow students to gain work experience as they work toward teacher certification, and will allow for a high-quality competitor to traditional day care and preschool centers.
BSU receives the grant, and spends the $1 million to build the complex, hire the director, train staff, and ensure that the facilities comply with state licensing requirements. The workers are supposedly the best of the best: they have a minimum of 5 years of experience, and they are paid $12 per hour.
The center at BSU opens on April 1. Their rates average about $50 per week more than the average preschool in the area.
After a month of being open, the number of children enrolled: ZERO!
So let’s get this straight, folks: We, the taxpayers, have provided $1 million in funding to a college, so they can hire overpaid workers and staff, price their services out of the market, and encourage students to accrue a mountain of debt as they enter a profession that–after 5 years of experience–they will pull down $12 per hour if they get a really good break. Making matters worse, they have NO CHILDREN ENROLLED after being open for a month.
When you consider that this is what college education–with few exceptions (such as the STEM fields)–has devolved into, the reality becomes all the more sobering.