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News - World Headlines

Early Childhood Teachers to be Paid Bonuses on Completing Further Qualifications in an Effort to Keep Highly Qualified Teachers



Atlanta, June 2012 - Nearly 1,100 Georgia preschool teachers are getting bonus cheques this week worth between $US250 and $US1,250 for furthering their education.

The cheques are for early childhood educators who have furthered their education by earning a new certificate or a new degree. The amount depends on the level of education. Many will get a second, matching cheque in autumn; others received the first instalment last autumn.

The goal is to keep highly qualified educators in the classroom.

“Continuity of care is very important for children,” said Carol Hartman, assistant commissioner for programmes at the state Department of Early Care and Learning. “Children form a bond with their teachers, and when you have high turnover in early care and education settings, it’s not the best for the children.”

“For children birth to three, 90 percent of their brain is developed in those first three years,” Hartman said. “So we want children who are in childcare settings to really have the best that they can have.”

Eligible teachers make less than $US15 an hour and have been with the same childcare programme for the last year. The bonuses are funded with federal grants.

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