On April 26-27, 2023, the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center, a division of Child Care Services Association (CCSA), hosted the 2023 Early Childhood Education Workforce Convening at the William and Ida Friday Conference Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This annual event brings together professionals from across the country who are working on advocacy, policy, funding, strategy development and systems building toward implementation and sustainability of programs, as well as strategies and funding that support early education systems nationally and in states and communities across the country.
The Convening started with a fun, uplifting and heartwarming keynote, From Tiny Seeds Grow Mighty Trees: The Power of Early Childhood Education, from the 2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy, followed by remarks from Dr. Calvin Moore, CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition.
During the plenary session, Katie Hamm (deputy assistant secretary for early childhood development, Office of Early Childhood Development, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and Lauren Hogan (managing director of policy and professional advancement, NAEYC) each presented information on the status of the early childhood education field and the workforce and took questions from the audience.
Lauren led with From a Moment to Momentum, the Power of the Profession in Action, highlighting how we got where we are and where we are going. Recognizing both recent wins including policymakers’ understanding and priorities, media attention, advocacy engagement and increased funding; the challenges in staffing and supply, increased calls for deregulation and standards and those in the higher education milieu; and road to building sustainable change.
Katie followed with an overview of federal early care and education priorities and highlighted current resources and increases in funding; $1.85 billion in new Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) discretionary funding, $2 million for Tribal College and University Head Start Partnerships program, $25 million increase for Preschool Development Grants Birth through Five, $30 million to support the new National Early Care and Education Workforce Center and finally the signing of an Executive Order by President Biden for $600 billion in new early childhood funding ($400 billion for Affordable Child Care for America and $200 billion for Universal Preschool).
This excellent news from two of our national partners left convening attendees with hope for our field and for families seeking affordable, high-quality early child care and education.
Attendants also had the opportunity to participate in 34 workshops across six breakout sessions on topics related to the early education workforce and systems building, including advancing equity and diversity in the field and emergent leadership development of T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ program staff.
Thank you to all the speakers, presenters, panelists and staff members who helped make the 2023 Early Childhood Education Workforce Convening a success! We will see you next year at the Convening on April 10-11, 2024.