What are the most important years of a person’s life when it comes to development? Christy Murphy, the chief marketing officer for Signal Centers, believes it is early childhood. The non-profit specializes in early childhood care, and after a life in the private center, Ms. Murphy found her new job a welcome change.
“This is the apex of my working career, and is the best job I’ve ever had.
I love it,” said the speaker, who continued by saying, “I’ve been able to draw on my experiences from other workplaces and use those experiences to lift Signal Centers up, and let people know about the fantastic mission Signal Centers has an what they’re doing for the community.”
The Civitan Club is focused on helping children with special needs and disabilities, which made the club an ideal audience for her presentation. Signal Centers focuses on helping young children with various kinds of disabilities. And as Ms. Murphy said, those children are not isolate from their peers, for good reason.
“We have early childhood education with developing children and children with disabilities. You’ll see wheelchairs and other devices. All of these children are learning together. They’ll grow up without those preconceived notions of what children with disabilities can and cannot do,” Ms. Murphy told the Civitan Club, “Many people don’t understand the push for early childhood education. Most development happens during this time.”
Signal Center has several locations around Chattanooga, including one on McCallie Avenue. That particular location is chock full of assistive technology, which helps accommodate those with disabilities.
“That’s a whole different world. It’s all about technology to help people with disabilities,” said Ms. Murphy, “We’re talking about high-tech braille to help you browse the internet if you can’t see. It’s anything you can think of when you think about assistive technology.”
Ms. Murphy also alerted the Civitan Club to the existence of the “Child Care Wage$” program that’s about to roll out in Tennessee. In Tennessee, childhood care is not a particularly lucrative craft, especially considering the amount of schooling needed to work in the field. Wage$ will take add to early childhood educator’s pre-existing salary.
“The Wage$ contract will be supplementing salaries for early childhood educators. That will not only help them thrive, but also will keep them in the field,” said Ms. Murphy. “It also rewards workers who go on to college and pursue other kinds of degrees and education. The city of Chattanooga has funded us for the last six months. There are 73 recipients. It’s about to roll out and go live next week, and it’s a $5 million contract.”