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Early Childhood Workforce Index

February 22, 2021

The existing early care and education (ECE) system does a disservice to the educators — largely women and often women of color — who nurture and facilitate learning for millions of the nation's youngest children every day. Despite their important, complex labor, early educators' working conditions undermine their wellbeing and create devastating financial insecurity well into retirement age. These conditions also jeopardize their ability to work effectively with children. As we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, child care has been hailed as essential, yet policy responses to COVID-19 have mostly ignored educators themselves, leaving most to choose between their livelihood and their health. Unlike public schools, when child care programs close, there's no guarantee that early educators will continue to be paid. Even as many providers try to keep their doors open to ensure their financial security, the combination of higher costs to meet safety protocols and lower revenue from fewer children enrolled is leading to job losses and program closures. Many of these closures and lost jobs are expected to become permanent. Over the course of the first eight months of the pandemic, 166,000 jobs in the child care industry were lost. As of October 2020, the industry was only 83 percent as large as it was in February, before the pandemic began.1

Careers in Early Childhood: A North Carolina Directory

June 11, 2015

This directory was created to introduce you to the variety of careers in the early childhood field. As larger numbers of children live in families where all parents work, more early childhood professionals are needed to educate and care for these children. Families also need people to help them find the right early care and education program and assistance paying for it. In addition, our society has become more concerned about how this experience affects young children and what quality early care and education really means. These concerns have led to an increase in resources to support improving the quality of programs for young children and have simultaneously increased employment opportunities. Today, we need more researchers to find out what produces quality child care programs; we need more professional development specialists and technical assistance consultants to help early childhood programs and partners use the information researchers have found; we need more facility regulators to make sure child care, Head Start and Pre-K programs are meeting the requirements for quality; and we need more administrators to help the workforce meet the needs of increasingly diverse children and families.

Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating PreK-3rd Grade Approaches

March 1, 2013

Co-written by Education & Learning National Advisory Committee member Kristie Kauerz, this report helps to address key questions facing those who are developing PreK-3rd grade approaches in their school, districts, and communities.

Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensure and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten and the Early Grades

March 7, 2011

Outlines the challenges in teacher preparation and licensure, with a focus on pre-K through third grade; promising practices such as increased classroom experience and selectivity; and suggestions for improving teacher preparation programs and policies.

Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California: Issues, Policy Options, and Recommendations

May 25, 2009

Examines achievement gaps among K-3 students, the quality of and access to preschool education, potential efficiencies in the funding system, and policies and resources needed for the state's children to meet K-3 standards. Makes policy recommendations.

Prepared to Learn: The Nature and Quality of Early Care and Education for Preschool-Age Children in California

June 18, 2008

Based on surveys and observational data, analyzes the features of California's center-based early care and education programs, their quality in both classroom structure and process, and access by disadvantaged groups. Discusses policy implications.