This story originally appeared in Denver Preschool Program’s 2021-2022 Impact Report. It has been updated with current data on pay rates. Abbey Homberger, who is featured in the family story, is a great example of how DPP tuition credits can help all families, particularly those like Abbey’s who work in early childhood education.
Abbey Homberger always knew she wanted to be a teacher. While she originally went to college for elementary education, she found herself working in early childhood education and was quickly hooked.
“I’m fascinated by child development and saw working in early childhood education as a great fit between my passions,” she said. “Being one of the first teachers in a child’s life is such an incredible opportunity.”
Abbey was in school for early childhood education but took a break to get married and have her twin boys, Luke and Lennon, who were born prematurely at 30 weeks. Once the boys were home, Abbey returned to school and work, eventually landing at Fisher Early Learning Center. Her sons are both on the autism spectrum, and Abbey was committed to getting them into Fisher as she knew her sons would get the attention and services they needed. But to do so, Abbey had to pick up a second job working as a driver for DoorDash so she could afford tuition for her sons.
“All of my paycheck from Fisher would go straight to tuition,” she said. “My husband and I had no idea what childcare costs.”
The median wage for preschool teachers in Colorado is $15.25/hour. A DoorDash driver in Denver can make up to $29/hour.
Fast forward to 2022: Abbey’s sons were four and eligible for DPP tuition credits. Abbey no longer had to work for DoorDash and had funds every month for extra activities for her children. Abbey had not heard about DPP until she started working in early childhood education.
“DPP tuition credits changed our lives,” Abbey said. “My kids were in high-quality preschool, and I got to spend more time with them, rather than working a second job.”
1 Sources: https://cscce.berkeley.edu/workforce-index-2020/states/colorado/, https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Doordash/salaries/Delivery-Driver/Denver-CO