There are many childcare/preschool centers in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati that have and need good teachers, but may not share the same values as Children, Inc. Working for a Children, Inc. center is about more than just watching the children play all day, it’s about fostering their personalities, guiding them in learning new concepts, and preparing them for their futures. “As an organization they seem to have a strong influence on professional development,” said Adam Keesee, Children, Inc. preschool teacher, “they seem to care about people who want to do this work versus just getting bodies in.”
In the state of Kentucky it is required that childcare workers and preschool teachers have 15 hours a year in training. Children, Inc. goes beyond that, they are NAC Accredited and to maintain that honor infant, toddler, and preschool teachers are required 20 hours a year in training and directors are required 30 hours a year. A benefit to Children, Inc. employees is that they have their own training and professional development department. According to Sheila Hughes, the Director of Human Resources, employees are paid for their training time.
Children, Inc. offers competitive benefits, such as, medical insurance, a pension plan, paid time off, and more. “Our health and dental insurance is evaluated once a year,” said Hughes, “we want the best possible insurance for the lowest cost for our employees.” CEO, Rick Hulefeld, believes in families and that’s why Children, Inc. wants to give their families, including employees, the best they can give. All of these benefits, including paid time off start with in the first month the employee works. “The first 30 days an employee earns 10 hours paid time off, that’s 120 hours within the first year,” said Hughes, “basically you can schedule three weeks off, paid, the first year.” These benefits are for a full time employee.
Amberly Culwell a Children, Inc. preschool teacher has worked for Children, Inc. for 15 years. “The benefits just keep going,” said Culwell. Children, Inc. cares about their families, the ones that they serve and the employees that serve the families. Children, Inc. knows that personal issues happen in life, “There is more flexibility, caring, and understanding of personal situations,” said Culwell. Children, Inc.’s paid time off (PTO) includes sick days and vacation days but if an employee does not have enough paid time off, Hughes says that they figure out how to help their employee in the best way they can. “We’ve even had staff donate hours to a person that had a serious illness and ran out of PTO,” said Hughes.
Children, Inc. looks for teachers that already have a Child Development Associate (CDA), associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. “We want credentialed staff,” said Hughes. If an employee is hired with no credential they encourage the employee to continue their education by first enrolling in the CDA program.
Along with these benefits, working in a Children, Inc. center and working with the children is rewarding, many of the families become friends. “I love the connections you make with the children and families,” said Culwell. Fostering the children’s growth and education is a plus too. “It’s all about watching them grow and learn,” said Culwell, “the ah-ha moments.”
Being a preschool teacher at a Children, Inc. center gives children a soft place to land while in school. Children with behavior issues need even more love and attention, “I like helping children through that,” said Keesee, “I like to be a support system for children who might not have one.”