The 3 Rs - Recruitment, Retention and Reinforcement

The 3 Rs: Recruitment, Retention and Reinforcement

The Dogwood Health Trust-funded two-year project will address ways to stabilize and increase the number of diverse, qualified, and effective early childhood educators through a provision of practice-based coaching, college instruction, and relationship-building.

Recruit high school and college students to the field of early education and support them through unique paid work experiences that supplement academic instruction received in the Western Piedmont Community College Early Childhood Education (WPCC ECE) department. This will create a stream of qualified ECE candidates.

Retain students and current ECEs by providing relationship-based supports. WPCC's Recruitment and Retention Specialist will focus on retaining current students with an emphasis on those in the Career and College Promise Early Childhood Education Pathway. The Enola Group's Early Childhood Educator Coach will use Practice-Based Coaching to support currently employed ECEs, so they stay in the field of early childhood education. ECEs will receive a stipend for project participation. 

Reinforce effective teaching practice that result in positive outcomes for young children through Practice-Based Coaching. The project will support center directors by coordinating and pay for students as teacher's aides, providing information about coaching targets, guiding discussions about equity with peers, and providing a financial incentive for materials. 

Professional Development

Students, Early Childhood Educators, and child care center directors will have opportunities to learn in individual and group settings. Focus areas include leadership opportunities among members of the ECE workforce, creating a culturally responsive environment for children, racial and implicit bias, effective behavior management strategies, and positive approaches to discipline. 

Students: Will receive college coursework and instruction, increased awareness of available resources such as WAGE$, on-the-job experience, group learning opportunities. 

Early Childhood Educators: Will receive individualized Practice-Based Coaching, time out of the classroom for planning and coaching, group learning opportunities, leadership opportunities by mentoring the students/teacher's aide while in the classroom, Mental Health Consultation to address behavior concerns and support trauma-informed practices.

Directors: Will receive group learning opportunities around racial equity, inclusiveness, and leadership, additional supports to provide professional development for ECEs, benefits from the practice-based coaching process.

Financial Benefit

Students: Ten (10) Western Piedmont Community College students will be contracted as Teacher’s Aides between $13 to $15 an hour.

Early Childhood Educators/Teachers: Fifteen (15) ECEs will receive $200 per month stipend for full participation in coaching process. 

Directors: Eight (8) centers will receive a $3,000 stipend for participating each year. Payment made in two installments.