Advancing the discussion about and support for the early childhood workforce
The Center creates and distributes open-source materials that:
- Raise awareness about the workforce and barriers to college
- Share information with policymakers to help them advocate for the workforce
- Aid in data systems development
- Grow the capacity of higher education systems to support the articulation of college credit
- Champion the need for increased compensation
- Give voice to the workforce and our partners in easy-to-understand language about how we make a difference for young children
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® and Child Care WAGE$® strengthen supports for early childhood compensation, education and career pathways and transforming the workforce. Learn more through our series of policy briefs.
A Series of Briefs from the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center at Child Care Services Association, an Introduction
More than ever before, federal, state and local policymakers and the public recognize the need for high-quality, affordable, and accessible child care that depends on an educated, well-compensated early childhood workforce. Likewise, the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® National Center is the hub of a network of T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® and Child Care WAGE$® Initiatives across the country. The Center licenses statewide early childhood non-profit organizations to administer T.E.A.C.H.and/or WAGE$. Through our technical assistance and quality assurance program, we support our state partners and ensure all state projects are accountable, effective and high performing.
Career Pathways: Supporting Early Childhood Educators
A career pathway is like a highway with its entry, exit and re-entry ramps, marked by increasing levels of education and experience, each step linked to increasing compensation. For early childhood educators, career pathways include roles working directly with children in programs, positions in coaching, higher education faculty, curriculum development and program administration in government agencies, include direct work with children in classrooms, directors of programs, faculty teaching in early childhood degree programs, curriculum developments, professional development coaches and state and local government administrators of publicly funded programs.
Affordability, Accessibility, Support and Compensation: Higher Education and the Early Childhood Workforce
Every child in an early childhood setting should have a teacher with specialized education to promote that child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development and who prepares them for success in school and in life. The National Research Council’s report from a panel of experts, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, lays out several recommendations for programs serving children from birth through age 8, notably that teachers “should have at a minimum a bachelor’s degree and specialization in the knowledge and competencies needed to serve as a care and education professional.”
Retaining Educated Early Childhood Educators
Research shows that the quality of early care and education children receive is lowered by high turnover rates and inadequate teacher education focused on young children’s development and learning. Parents also suffer from instability in early childhood programs.
Creating Equity for and within the Early Childhood Workforce
In the last year, the country has faced two pandemics: the pandemic of the coronavirus and the pandemic of systemic racism. Both have impacted children, families, and the early childhood workforce. While the COVID-19 pandemic may be on the wane, the toxic stress of pervasive racism will continue for early childhood educators of color, who are immigrants, or indigenous people unless there is a significant shift in policies, resources allocation, and practices.
Each number and quote should be attributed to T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center at Child Care Services Association with a footnote or in-text citation, rather than simply listing T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center at Child Care Services Association on a bibliography page.