May 18, 2021
Quality early learning opportunities for children require a well-prepared, well-supported, and diverse early childhood workforce. This necessitates a system that creates equitable pathways to preparation, career development, and career advancement. Join us for a webinar to discuss supporting the workforce to rebuild a more sustainable and equitable early childhood system.
“Family Child Care IS early care and education delivered in a residential setting.” -Lanette Dumas
The National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) provides professional opportunities geared to family child care providers that may need nontraditional opportunities as well as offering peer-to-peer support. NAFCC also offers an accreditation program meant to measure the delivery of quality care and education that happens in family child care.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic is the attention and reinvigoration of family child care in the country. Statistics imply that family child care has been in a decline in recent years, but states are seeing families reach to family child care programs due to smaller group sizes and more flexible hours. The pandemic has put a spotlight on the fact that family child care is the workforce behind the workforce. Family child care stayed open and available for families and communities as essential workers continued to need child care. Family child care providers are usually sole proprietors and have a unique set of skills, but may not be able to articulate what they need to maintain their business as many providers lost revenue during the pandemic. Training to support providers to create budgets and develop business plans has been identified as a need of many providers.
The Council for Professional Recognition promotes the improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages birth to five years old. The Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) is the best first step for many early childhood professionals. Forty thousand CDA credentials were awarded last year as many professionals sought to renew their credential during the pandemic.
“We start honestly looking inward and make sure that we are inclusive and culturally responsive with our own recruitment and outreach to different entrepreneurs. And then also in attracting families, parents, educators, and young people who want to create new inclusive and culturally responsive learning models.”
“If we aren’t talking about compensation, we aren’t talking about equity.” – Lauren Hogan
Power to the Profession is a national collaboration that defines the early childhood education profession, establishing a unifying framework of recommendations related to educator roles, responsibilities, aligned pathways, infrastructure, and shared accountability. As states are considering adopting the framework, it is an opportunity to provide an accountability system addressing professional development and compensation of the field. Educators created the framework with the understanding that they can be a prepared, compensated, early childhood provider working with children from birth to eight. Three elements of the Framework advance equity in the early childhood workforce: compensation (wages and benefits), redirecting funding to the workforce itself, and owning our own accountability. With the federal relief funding heading to states, the early childhood system needs to define the impact they hope to see to promote equity within the field.
There’s not a shortage of teachers, but there’s a shortage of master’s level teachers willing to work for $35,000. – Lanette Dumas
The pathway for family child care providers needs to be meaningful and relevant. The educator is wearing all the hats and providing experiences that lead to school readiness and lifelong success. Compensation needs to be equitable with benefits and family child care needs to be a viable field to enter into and stay in.
“Many black and brown women across the country do not have access to higher ed degrees.” -Dr. Calvin Moore
A recent report, Broader, Deeper, Fairer: Five Strategies to Radically Expand the Talent Pool in Early Education from the National Head Start Association, the HeadStarter Network, and Bellwether Education Partners, calls for creation of a new Credential, the Child Development Professional Credential (CDP). The CDP could fill the void between associates and bachelor’s degrees and master’s level. “Many black and brown women across the country do not have access to higher ed degrees, to the institutions and the finances. We have to figure out how to pay a livable wage, but we also have to get access to those credentials to people. If we don’t, we won’t have a diverse pool of candidates to employ.”
Livable Wages are Crucial to Advancing Equity within the Early Childhood Workforce
“The real problem is you can’t make a living teaching young children.” – Karen Ponder
States have an opportunity with the American Rescue Plan funding to stabilize the needs of child care. With some reluctance to address compensation with one time funds, states have looked at stipends, bonus pay, and other on-the edge opportunities. Spending money without any structural or long-term changes, we have no hope for gaining future money to fix the problem. We have the opportunity to address compensation and can use the results to get the money in the future.
“The early education of children is in the public interest, so the public has to pay its share. Until we view early education as a public good, establishing that it needs to be universal, people won’t see it as for the public good.” Dr. Calvin Moore
“We could solve around all the challenges, but if we don’t solve the thing that matters most, we’ll keep the challenges we have now.” – Lauren Hogan
“We’re going to look back and wonder later why we didn’t.” – Karen Ponder