Letter: Assistant Shortage

There’s been much discussion about the dearth of babysitters, playgroup morahs and assistants. This is a serious issue and has affected families and schools in many different ways. However, this shortage has had truly devastating effects on a specific population: children with special needs that have turned 3 this school year. These kids are waiting for placement in SCHI, however SCHI cannot accept them as they do not have enough assistants!

Meaning any child that has turned 3 this school year is no longer receiving any therapies from Early Intervention (that stops at age 3) and now is just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And while they’re waiting, the ramifications are tremendous; real regression of painstakingly learned skills, negative behaviors learned for lack of proper support, to name a few. The best Morahs or daycares cannot possibly provide what these children need.

All that’s needed now to remedy the situation is a few assistants. Assistants that will work in a pleasant classroom environment with a qualified teacher with a competitive compensation package.

If you would consider such a position and would like to have a direct positive impact on the lives of these children and their families, please call or text 7323302732.

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  1. What competitive compensation package? The pay for assistants is peanuts. I know young girls who take assistant positions while they do schooling at night in order to get better paying positions, so I guess they leave sooner or later.

  2. In free market economy, the principle of supply versus demand always works.
    If one is willing to pay the right price, there will always be applicants for the positions. What this “crisis” means is that there aren’t enough people willing to perform these jobs at current wages. Such situations occur in every field – from lettuce pickers to CEOs of S&P corporations.

  3. Very true!!! Excellent letter. Was is also bery difficult is the newlywed playgroup morahs who cant find sub and are forced to close playgroup for 6 weeks. What are the kids supposed to do for 6 weeks???
    And those who do find a sub , need to pay $35 an hour cash. That more than the morah makes. So besides not having disability , they need to take their months tuition and add to it from their own very small savings and pay extra for a sub.
    Thanks to the free money from the government too many peole dont work anymore. So there is a shortage in all work places.
    Thankfully the government is giving more money for tuition for schools so less people will go back to work and the school will raise tuition and playgroup stays the same price.
    Moshiach must be here bec its truly an Oilem Hufuch.

  4. That’s terrible!

    On a similar topic there is a tremendous shortage of playgroup subs!

    Even if you get a hold of some elusive name & number they don’t want to work!

    They work 10-2 (“unfortunately” I work 9-3:30). So I can’t be sick before or after the alloted time.

    They won’t take less then a 3 hour minimum so there goes any bris or school play.

    And they charge $35 an hour!

    This is a very lucrative field for someone looking for part time work.

    I know of a few morahs who are closing down next year because of this!

    We have no secretary or principal to take over for us & some of us don’t have assistants or they are not capable for a whole day alone.

    In general the teacher field is falling apart.

    • yup. I’m closing, as well as 2 others I know of, and a big part of the reason is this. And 2 others already closed for this year in the same neighborhood-also due to staff/sub shortage.

  5. L’maase these kinderlach need a school to go to in the environment that will help them. And there is no better place for them than SCHI. We have to help them!

  6. To “Morah in a pickle”, I’m wondering if you ever subbed in a playgroup? You seem to think $35/hour is a lot of money. I, as a playgroup sub who has subbed in many playgroups would like to share with you a different perspective. Do you know what it’s like to enter a 4 year old classroom with 24 boys, where you don’t know their names and their schedules. As much as a morah can prepare the materials, it’s an extremely hard job. Do you know what it’s like to sub for an 18 month old group? You have 10 kids screaming because they’re scared of the sub, the sub needs to figure out how they go to sleep, how they like to eat etc. Any playgroup morah know what the first day of playgroup is like, especially with younger kids where they are crying. A sub is experiencing that every day in a new setting. There is not a sub crisis, there just aren’t enough people willing to do this difficult job at the current going rate. As an experienced and qualified sub, I’ve gotten calls with offers of very high payment, and I went running to the job. When morahs realize the difficulty that goes into subbing and are willing to pay top dollar in recognition of the nature of this position, there will not be a sub crisis and playgroups won’t have to shut down so often due to lack of subs.

  7. If a daycare would pay more than $18-$20 an hr for an assistant maybe ppl would work. If they’d pay the Morah more than $20-$24 an hr again maybe ppl would work for them.

    The solution to the subbing issue in playgroups goes like this, Morah isnt feeling well then cancel school for the day or one mother can take over. The Morah has a play, either cancel the day or let a mother in the group come sub.

  8. @playgroup sub

    Yes, I was a sub for three years before becoming a morah 6 years ago.

    I know EXACTLY how hard I worked meeting new classes & trying to make heads & tails of a morah’s curriculum.

    Do you know the rate was $18 an hour long term & $20 an hour short term?!

    I worked the whole year straight (with only breaks between the maternity jobs to give the morah a drop of leeway if she was overdue) & made the same much I make now cuz there are no expenses or late night pta or shopping for supplies involved.

    And I didn’t have to work any days I didn’t want to.

    I also did those “hour only” jobs on my days that I didn’t have a commitment so morahs could do what they need that time for without losing their whole income.

    Yeah, I do know.

  9. Well at least with all the playgroups closing down there will be some more subs to go around! People should just realize in whatever field you’re in – just because you’re in demand and you can charge whatever you want. It is going to hurt you one day too! Ripping off your neighbor will cause your neighbor to charge more for their business and the Next business has to charge more etc. You end up paying more for these businesses all because you decided to you can demand what you want. While I realize there’s a big world at there and you can’t stop what’s going on. The overcharging locally is only exasperating the situation.

  10. Operator’s of playgroups don’t indoctrinate parent’s on how to run their business’s. Parent’s shouldn’t indoctrinate playgroup operator’s on how to run their business’s. Parent’s are at liberty to shop around. Dachelak already.

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