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It can be tough to discuss difficult topics with kids, but having candid conversations can help your child understand and cope with disturbing current events. ACM partnering organization Nickelodeon put together Nickelodeon’s Guide to Talking to Kids About Difficult Current Events. This guide was created to help parents, educators, and caregivers prepare for conversations with children about current events.
In addition, Nickelodeon recently shared the interview on CBS Mornings with Jamie Howard, PhD, Sr. Clinical Psychologist at Child Mind Institute, who shares age-appropriate tips for parents for navigating questions that kids may have about what is happening in Israel and in Gaza.
Traumatic and tragic events in the news can deeply affect the children and families the children’s museum field serves. As community resources and advocates for children, children’s museums can help build socioemotional supports for children and those who love and care for them.
For more information, the 2023 ACM-ASTC Workforce Survey Report can be retrieved via ACM or ASTC. A digital download of the report is available for purchase ($199 ACM or ASTC member/$499 non-member).
ASTC members may purchase their report via myASTC.astc.org.
The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) are pleased to announce the release of the 2023 ACM-ASTC Workforce Survey Report. This report presents findings from 138 participating institutions, 36% of which are active ACM member museums, and 81% of which are active ASTC member museums. ACM and ASTC worked together on previous efforts to capture this data and share with the community, most recently in 2016.
The purpose of this joint data collection effort is to provide museum professionals and leadership with an understanding of important staffing trends in the museum world, as well as analysis that can help institutions understand how their own policies relate to institutions of similar size or type.
• Full-time staff numbers are rebounding to their pre-pandemic levels, but part-time positions remain down by almost 15%, and volunteer numbers are lower as well.
• 65% of institutions report that they are currently hiring floor/frontline staff, far above the percentage that reported currently hiring for any other positions.
• Full-time staff salaries are up by 15% since 2019 and approximately 6% in the past year.
• Part-time hourly wages increased 23% since 2019 and approximately 7% in the past year.
• Benefits that institutions offer staff have not changed dramatically since the 2016 workforce survey. Currently, more than 80% of institutions report contributing to employee health insurance.
• Questions on remote work arrangements show that the majority of museum work is still being done primarily in-person. At the same time, many respondents said the demand for remote work flexibility is a major challenge in recruiting new staff.
• 11% of institutions reported have some unionized staff, but unionization is typically limited to only certain roles or departments.
• Demographic information on staff is quite limited, raising questions for how institutions can measure their progress toward diversifying the field.
The 2023 ACM-ASTC Workforce Survey Report paints a picture of a field that is moving forward from the pandemic, but not without challenges. Compensation is rising and staff numbers are rebounding, but these trends are not consistent across all types of staff. Museums are looking for ways to attract and retain staff in a time when many workers are navigating career transitions, but they are also encountering obstacles as workers sometimes find more competitive pay, benefits, or work policies in other fields.
The full 2023 ACM-ASTC Workforce Survey Report provides a closer look at these numbers and issues, with breakouts by institution type, size, and location to help organizations understand where their own policies and practices lie in comparison to the larger field. A robust executive summary is available open access for free.
Monday, July 17, 2023, 3:00 PM ET
Please join ACM and ASTC for a free webinar—open to all—to learn more about the survey instrument and our findings. Attendees will hear from ACM’s Jennifer Rehkamp, Director of Field Services and Research, and ASTC’s Melissa Ballard, Director of Programs.
Mental health is important.
Children’s museums have long been invested in creating environments where children thrive. Mental health is a pressing current issue for the children in our communities, and children’s museums have expansive opportunity to meet those needs with comprehensive, collaborative experiences that supplement the essential work of mental health professionals—providing all children with the skills to navigate their world with joy, wonder, and wellness.
ACM’s latest information brief “The role of children’s museums in supporting children’s mental health“, provides an overview of some primary research trends about children’s mental health and then shares insights about how children’s museums—community-serving organizations that reach millions of U.S. children each year—can bolster children’s mental health.
Paper commissioned by ACM | Written by KT Todd, Director of Learning and Research, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh