Child Care Now-December 2014

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December 2014

In the News:



Final Rule – Executive Order on Minimum Wage

Effective January 2015 all new agreements for child care centers will incorporate the new minimum wage for workers providing services on Federal property.  The hourly wage rate is set at $10.10.  For more information on the Department of Labor final rule:   



“Good quality care requires an environment that values adults as well as children.”

– National Child Care Staffing Study, 1989


Quote of the Month:

You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Early Education

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On Wednesday, December 10, President Obama hosted a White House Summit on Early Education. The Summit brought together a broad coalition of philanthropic, business, education, advocacy and elected leaders, as well as other stakeholders who are committed to expanding access to high-quality early education. This summit builds on the President’s call in his 2013 State of the Union address to expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America. As part of that effort, the President proposed a series of new investments that will establish a continuum of high-quality early learning for a child—beginning at birth and continuing to age five.

Studies show that for every dollar we invest in early childhood education, we see a rate of return of $7 or more through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these children as adults.   


New Report Shows Unlivable Wages for ECE Workforce

In the New America Foundation’s report “Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Childhood Workforce 25 Years After the National Child Care Staffing Study” by Marcy Whitebook, Deborah Phillips, and Carollee Howes, findings show that many early childhood workforce participants do not receive livable wages and rely on public supports regardless of whether they may have attained post-secondary degrees and certificates.

The report stresses there is still much work to be done. To read the full report, please visit

Historically, child care teachers in GSA’s network are paid 46-47% higher salaries than industry.

This is important because studies find the most important predictor of the quality of care children received, among the adult work environment variables, is staff wages. Better quality centers have:

  • higher wages
  • better adult work environments
  • lower teaching staff turnover
  • better educated and trained staff
  • more teachers caring for fewer children

wage worker stats

In the Spotlight

Region 11- National Capital Region

Kids Eat and Play in a Shared Garden

The children’s garden that started as a joint collaboration between GSA, FAA (DOT), and the Farm Bureau in 2010 has now morphed into a garden playground, which is being shared by several GSA child care centers in the urban Washington DC neighborhood where it is located. 

Children of the child care centers located at HUD, Dept of Energy, FAA (DOT), and HHS / Education are able to take turns using the garden playground.  During lunch time and nap time for the children, the many federal employees in the area can eat at one of the picnic tables located in the garden. 

The area has a circular  walkway around planting beds full of strawberries, asparagus, flowers, a sensory and herb garden, and whatever else the children decide to plant.  This year, they grew tomatoes, radishes, carrots, sunflowers, and beets. New play features added to the area this year are a bean tepee (which not only provides a playhouse, but is beautifully adorned with purple flowers and beans), a wooden balance beam, a tree ring story circle, and a shed full of loose parts for construction and dramatic play.  The children have also helped plant several trees in the garden over the years, and those trees are now full of figs and apples for them to eat.

NRC garden image

Board Business

A Special Thanks! 

Dear Board Members,

Thank you so much for volunteering to serve on the Board of Directors of a GSA Child Care Center!

We know this position is in addition to the many other things that you do, and takes time away from other important roles, including your career, your family, other volunteer opportunities and your social life.  We appreciate that you are willing to serve and want you to know your time and input is valued.  

Thank you for bringing your passion, intellect, insight, experience and resources to the table. Thank you for challenging your fellow Board members. Thank you for putting the children and center first when considering the issues before you.  We appreciate that you used all of your experience, skills, knowledge and education to move the board and center in the right direction.

As 2014 comes to an end it is a good time to reflect on the people working for your organization and helping you move your mission forward that deserve your appreciation, or at a minimum your acknowledgement. On their behalf, please find a way to express it.

                                           - GSA Child Care Staff