Florida Preschool Has Successful 1st Year After Implementation Of New Model

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The Learning Cove Preschool is the first known school of its kind in Florida, and one of a handful in the USA to require lead teachers to have a Bachelor Degree in ECE/Education.

“We could not be happier with the results so far,” says Ed Cwieka, President of The Learning Cove Preschool. "The most exciting aspect will be the outcomes obtained. We expect them to be high." The new increase in lead teacher pedagogy also meant an increase in salaries across the board for all staff, including teacher assistants. We are building a top tier brand and we could not do so without dramatically raising salaries.”

The early education industry has been slow to move on teacher pay. The average salary for a preschool teacher in the USA is $9.12/hr. which equates to 19K annually. Currently The Learning Cove averages 32K annually for lead teachers and 23K annually for teacher assistants.

“We are going to increase those figures next year,” states Cwieka. “We were told it could not be done and still profit but, every expense is closely monitored and nothing is wasted. Our revenue has grown well over 100% since we took the school over three years ago. We invest in the highest caliber teaching talent and continue to show a healthy profit,” Cwieka adds.

Preschools have been grappling with pressures to enhance teacher pedagogy and pay as more studies come out pointing to the importance of quality early childhood education. "We are addressing both pressures," states Cwieka. "Future market forces will continue to drive preschools to make changes in these areas."

One aspect of the model that did not work according to plan was finding degreed, lead teachers for some of the younger age groups.

“We recruited hard and were willing to pay top dollar for a lead teacher with degrees, but unfortunately there is a lack of new grads willing to work with children that young,” states Cwieka. “We have not given up though, I still think it can be done in larger markets,” Cwieka also says.

The Learning Cove is currently talking with potential investors looking to help expand the model.

“I have been a franchisor as well as an owner of multiple, corporate owned sites in prior endeavors,” states Cwieka. “This time around, I want to find the best possible fit for growth.”

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Ed Cwieka
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