Employment of Educators in Preschool Mainstreaming: A Survey of General Early Educators

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This report describes a mail survey designed (a) to identify the extent to which various types of educators (paraprofessionals, early childhood educators, elementary school educators, and special educators) were employed in early education programs, and (b) to describe patterns in that employment Respondents represented a variety of programs (Head Start, public school prekindergarten, public school kindergarten, and community preschool/child care) and were selected randomly from the nine U.S. Bureau of the Census regions. The results indicate that (a) higher percentages of programs employed full-time rather than pan-time paraprofesslonal and professional staff; (b) higher percentages of Head Start programs employed paraprofessionals, particularly Child-Development-Associate-degree staff, than did other program types, and the lowest percentage of employment of paraprofessionals occurred in public school kindergarten programs; (c) more mainstreamed programs employed paraprofessionals than did nonmainstreamed programs, but the differences were slight; (d) higher percentages of programs employed bachelor's-degree teachers; (e) nearly equal percentages of programs employed elementary teachers as employed early childhood teachers, and fewer programs employed special education teachers; and (f) about three fourths of the main-streamed programs did not employ special education teachers.

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