Because retention of highly qualified staff is a critical element of high quality early care and education environments, MECC is exploring several strategies to increase retention. Currently, we host an annual Early Childhood Professionals Appreciation Dinner at a local restaurant. 80 early childhood professionals attended our third annual event honoring their contributions to the young children and their families of our community. Awards and tributes are given to these dedicated professionals, and everyone has fun visiting “off the job,” although if you listen in on many of the conversations, you realize that there is really no such thing for these professionals. It seems they are never off the job when their commitment to kids is concerned!
The Professional Development Committee, under Lindsay’s direction, is exploring workplace elements that increase retention, leadership training for directors, using anonymous exit interviews to get feedback about reasons providers leave the field, and other efforts to improve retention and decrease turnover.