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Meet Kayleigh Roach

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Butler Institute for Families

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Introducing Kayleigh Roach, Research Associate at Butler Institute for Families. Kayleigh sheds light on her journey to early childhood work at Butler, delving into current projects she is passionate about and highlighting how Butler initiatives are instrumental in supporting educators and addressing their challenges.

Kayleigh Roach

Butler Staff Spotlight - Kayleigh Roach

What interested you in working for Butler?  

Prior to working at Butler, I worked for many years as an early childhood (EC) educator. In that role, I became frustrated with issues that my students and their families were facing within the broader EC system, and it felt like there wasn't much I could do to help with those systemic issues in my role as a teacher. I had some experience with systems level work through my master's degree program, so I decided to start looking for opportunities to work in a research capacity on EC system-level issues and came across Butler. I applied for a research assistant position, and here I am four years later--still grateful that I found Butler and took a leap of faith on this career change!


What is your position at Butler? What do you enjoy most about your position?  

I am a research associate on early childhood projects here at Butler! What I love about my role is the ability to be involved with all of the different aspects of research from design to data collection, to analysis. I also really enjoy being able to talk to educators and families about their experiences and learn directly from them.


What projects are you working on currently?

I'm on a handful of projects at the moment, but I'll share one that I'm really passionate about: the Denver Preschool Program Workforce Evaluation. We are conducting a mixed-methods evaluation of the DPP's current workforce to better understand their needs, with a specific focus on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) educators. This means gathering data through surveys and interviews, and providing feedback to DPP on how they can best support these educators!


What are the outcomes you hope for with this project? How will this project impact the community?  

The EC community knows that the workforce is struggling right now, with issues like low pay, inadequate staffing, and increases in disruptive classroom behavior. DPP already engages in initiatives to help support the workforce through things like coaching, training, and scholarships. Hopefully the information that we provide through our evaluation will help DPP to tailor those supports to best meet the needs of *all* educators.

Learn more about Butler's early childhood, child welfare, tribal child welfare, & behavioral health initiatives

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