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This NC Preschool Teacher Loves Kids. But Low Pay And Lack Of Benefits Make It Impossible To Stay.

May 22, 2019
Lisa Phillip

Almost every day, 27-year-old Aubree Waddell takes her two youngest kids to the public library in Garner, to keep them busy. Today she’s sitting at a little table in the kids’ section with her baby daughter in her arms. Waddell’s four-year-old son, Micah is trying to read with his baby sister.

WUNC’s Lisa Philip reports on the challenge of low pay and insurance coverage for preschool teachers in North Carolina.

“Read it, Auri, read it!” he says as she coos back. “Do you want to talk?” he asks his sister.

Waddell used to go to work every day teaching young children who weren’t her own. She had been doing so for nearly a decade.

“It was actually my first job, ever,” she says.

But when her daughter was born last August, she decided to take a break. And she doesn’t know that she’ll go back.