Greeting Siblings in Christ!
As we are well into the summer months it is typically a time when we see less activity at Grace than the rest of the year. There are a number of reasons why this is, but that is not the focus of this month’s article. Our entire campus does not slow down during the summer and one space that remains busy and vital to the life at Grace is our Preschool. Theirs is a year round time of busyness with many children being cared for, loved and learning about the love of Jesus.
I want to dedicate this article to the group of faithful servants that care for, love and share Christ’s love with those precious children because they deserve to be recognized for their dedication, but also over the last three plus years they have endured unprecedented challenges unlike any time in recent memory. Ms. Christy and the teachers at our Preschool deserve sainthood for pushing through the pandemic and doing it as well as could have possibly been imagined, and truly without complaint. None of us outside of the childcare community will ever understand what they dealt with, and continue to deal with since early in 2020.
More recently the issue Ms. Christy has been dealing with is finding and keeping qualified teachers employed at the school. This year there have been two teachers that have left the preschool for different reasons, leaving just three full-time teachers and Ms. Christy to care for the infants and children. They are still operating with full compliance of the State of California’s requirements for teacher to children ratios, but being two teachers down has made life more challenging for Ms. Christy and her faithful staff.
I have said it before and will continue to say, “We are blessed to have the best preschool director anywhere!” It is a difficult job under the best circumstances, but under the current conditions it is nearly impossible, yet Ms. Christy has never let the quality of care at the Preschool dip even a little. It means that she has to do more in order to ensure the children remain the only priority, never compromising the standard she has upheld for the decades she has been our director. And she has done it with less help than ever.
Ms. Christy is not the only one doing extra work. Ms. Jules with the 2-3 year olds, Ms. Cerise with the 4-5 year olds, and Ms. Shraddha in the infant care room have gone the extra mile, more like 10 miles, in maintain the standard of excellence at our Preschool. I cannot say enough about the dedication of these three extraordinary teachers! They are willing to do whatever is needed to keep things running smoothly, not because they are well paid, but because they love what they do and the children they take care of. Ms. Christy and these three teachers exhibit the love of Christ, His sacrificial love, in ways that are truly admirable.
You may be wondering, “Why doesn’t Ms. Christy just hire more teachers?” It seems as if since the pandemic many people in early childhood development have left the industry to seek employment elsewhere. Ms. Christy has been advertising and networking for months in search of qualified teachers and she has had very little interest from qualified persons. There simply are not qualified candidates to fill those two openings. And it is not just at Grace that this issue exists. According to Ms. Christy and her friends in the childcare business it is an industry wide problem.
So, what can we do? Well, pray…daily…multiple times a day for qualified candidates, but also for Ms. Christy, our teachers and children. Spread the word. Do you know anyone who has childcare experience or is qualified to work at a preschool and is looking for work or a new opportunity? Please tell them about the openings at Grace. Unfortunately, volunteering is not an option unless you have the certification to work at a preschool. But we can offer our thanks to Ms. Christy, Jules, Cerise and Shraddha. Cards would be nice. Maybe buying lunch for the four of them? Gift cards? Flowers? Anything that conveys a message of gratitude and that recognizes how blessed we are to have the dedicated staff at the Preschool. I’m probably going to get in trouble with Christy for writing this article because she does not do what she does to be recognized, but God put it on my heart to let you all know how blessed we are in the hope that that would result in a huge outpouring of appreciation from you all.
Yours in Christ,