The foundations for learning and health are built in the first years of a child’s life. Adults who work with young children want and need to understand child development, and have the professional skills, supports and pathways for growth to give our youngest children the strongest start in life.
In January 2016, stakeholders in California began a process to create a plan to improve the education, training, and support of those who work with children.
This work stemmed from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC)’s 2015 report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. The report offers extensive research about early childhood development and the competencies and supports that professionals working with young children need. California’s plan, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Plan for the State of California outlines priorities for improving California’s early childhood workforce, and details specific next steps. Three Priority Areas to drive this work:
Please use the links below to access Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Plan for the State of California and associated materials.
Professionals working with young children need specific knowledge and skills to help children learn and grow during their most critical years. However, current requirements for early childhood professionals in California vary depending on funding, program type and age, and they don’t consistently measure what candidates should know or be able to do to perform their jobs.
We need to prepare the workforce to help children grow and learn, no matter their story, background or ability. A research-based standard for all the adults in children’s lives will ensure all early childhood professionals are learning the skills and have the supports they need to help children succeed.
The plan offers recommendations for:
California aims to attract and retain a high quality early childhood workforce, especially given an imminent teacher shortage. But it is unclear in the current system how to move up within a profession and laterally between professions. This lack of clarity makes professions less accessible for many professionals and less desirable for the best candidates, a lesson made clear by the high turnover rates for early childhood educators in the state.
The early childhood workforce needs a way to plan out their careers and grow in the field, and we need to understand where barriers exist and what resources are required to address them. By outlining all the skills, knowledge, degrees and experiences needed for different careers, professionals will feel empowered to grow, learn and contribute to the field.
The plan offers recommendations for:
California’s early childhood workforce needs to be prepared to meet emerging permitting and credentialing requirements. This will require improvements and changes to California’s higher education systems and institutions. This work should build on and extend the significant ongoing collaboration and articulation work among degree-granting institutions.
We need an education system that teaches future early childhood professionals the skills and knowledge they need to help children thrive. And we need to build mentoring, coaching, and other programs to support lifelong learning at all levels of the early childhood workforce so that they can better support children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development throughout their careers.
The plan offers recommendations for:
Over the last year, California stakeholders have continued to work together to advance the specific objectives and actionable recommendations found in the implementation plan.
The Constellation Model of collaboration allows multiple organizations to work collaboratively and mitigates challenges such as wide differences of power between stakeholders, a need to sustain interest and do more than talk, and the desire to quickly harness innovations. The Constellation Model is made up of four components: magnetic attractors (themes, issues, or ideas that make the network a necessity), constellations (sometimes called action teams) to address defined issues, a stewardship group, and a secretariat to provide third-party coordination support. These components are described in more detail as they relate to TWB8, below. You can also access more information about the Constellation Model here.
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The Early Childhood Education Professional Learning Team (ECE PL Team), co-convened by EESD and F5CA, is working to develop and review iterative drafts of an ECE Career Lattice (Recommendation 2.1). EESD has presented two drafts of this career lattice to California’s State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care (SAC). Once completed, the ECE Career Lattice will show the education requirements for different positions in ECE (including educators, administrators, specialists/mentors/coaches, and early learning infrastructure/support providers) and outline pathways for professional advancement and achievement for ECE professionals. This lattice will be presented to the SAC for adoption in June 2018 and will fulfill the state’s Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requirements for developing career pathways. Eventually, this lattice will be aligned with California’s ECE Workforce Registry and F5CA’s Coach and Trainer Certification Processes.
The ECE PL team has received initial feedback from a targeted group of stakeholders on the draft lattice to inform revisions to the draft and future communications about the lattice. Overall, stakeholders felt that the career lattice would be beneficial for the field, noting that the lattice will benefit workforce development and assist students to understand that there is a clear career pathway in ECE, and that the lattice can help early childhood educators assess and chart progress on advancement and setting goals towards their future. Others noted that a career lattice is critical to the discussion of compensation.
In addition to the career lattice, the ECE PL Team is supporting the development of communications materials that will explain how efforts to create a comprehensive professional learning and support system for professionals working with children from birth through age 8 in California are aligned. These communications materials will serve as a tool to engage partners and build support and coherence across the programs, investments, reforms, and systems-change work necessary for creating this system.
In October 2017, CTC staff presented a work plan for developing and implementing performance expectations (for permit candidates) and program guidelines (for prepararers of the early care and learning workforce) for the Child Development Permit. CTC staff received significant feedback from higher education representatives and other ECE stakeholders expressing their desire for CTC to engage key stakeholders in a participatory review and revision process. CTC staff are working collaboratively with a small Technical Advisory Work Group (see here for a list of members) to move this work forward. The Technical Advisory Work Group will review and provide feedback on draft performance expectations and program guidelines during a series of meetings this Spring. CTC will then circulate these documents for statewide stakeholder feedback prior to presenting them to the Commission for review and adoption. (See Child Development Permit Revisions in Aligned Efforts below for more information).
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At the February 2017 Commission meeting, staff presented the final recommendations of the Commission’s Child Development Permit Advisory Panel (CDP AP). These recommendations focused on potential changes to the Permit structure as well as to candidate requirements for the Permit levels. Staff also presented a draft set of performance expectations for the current teacher level of the permit and draft program guidelines for preparers of the early care and education workforce, both of which had been widely shared with the field (including review by the CDP AP and feedback from stakeholders via field surveys). Staff returned at the October 2017 Commission meeting with a set of draft performance expectations for the Master Teacher level of the permit and further information on the progress of other parallel efforts to update and improve preparation for CD/ECE professionals, particularly statewide TWB8 implementation efforts.
Staff recommended that the Commission not adopt structural changes to the Permit at the present time given concerns expressed by the field regarding the potential impact on supply and demand, costs of implementation, and the current lack of infrastructure to support many of the recommended changes. Staff also recommended, however, that the work relating to the Child Development Permit should move forward via a process of:
CTC is engaging a Technical Advisory Work Group comprised of the TWB8 Higher Education workgroup and additional stakeholders (see here for a list of members). Staff will work with this Technical Advisory Work Group to finalize a set of draft performance expectations and program guidelines and will then circulate these documents for statewide stakeholder feedback prior to presenting them to the Commission for review and adoption.
CAP is working to provide models and resources for community colleges that are interested in adopting non-unit-bearing courses and certificates. The intent of the project is to support colleges in their development of bridges for early learning professionals who don’t yet have college experience but may eventually need units and/or skills to onramp to the career lattice. This coursework will also provide pre-college preparation in the basic college success skills of reading, writing, and speaking. This coursework would be completed prior to transitioning to unit-bearing courses and college level Child Development/ECE certificate and degree programs. Results of this work are anticipated in the Spring of 2018 and will be published on CAP website.
CAP is creating a crosswalk resource document that shows where there is alignment between EarlyEdU elements and CAP course content. The project will include a professional learning institute as technical assistance for CA community college faculty in their implementation of the EarlyEdU elements into their CAP aligned courses. Results of this work will be published on CAP website.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has funded PEACH to expand to the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas as PEACH North. The PEACH North collaborative includes ECE/Child Development faculty members from 24 Northern California institutions of higher education to date, including 18 community colleges, 5 California State University campuses, and UC Berkeley.
PEACH has received a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation grant to work with ECE/Child Development faculty in northern and southern California to explore essential elements of quality teacher-child interactions and teacher-teacher interactions in ECE settings, and how faculty can support student learning on how to engage in these interactions.
PEACH has received additional 3-year funding support from First 5 LA to support faculty use of the ECE Competencies Mapping Tool and integration of ECE Competencies into coursework and across academic programs.
F5CA, CDE EESD, and WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies are implementing the California Statewide Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Infrastructure Development for the California Quality Rating and Improvement System (CA–QRIS). CA-QRIS is now referred to as Quality Counts California (QCC). This work is considerably aligned to the TWB8 effort and includes: identifying statewide standards required for coaches and building a coach preparation system, and developing statewide standards for trainings and trainers. These infrastructure components will provide quality assurance for early childhood training professionals, and this effort will generate materials for faculty to integrate into existing coursework in teacher preparation programs about rating quality of care and about professional development pathways.
In December 2017 GPG launched the California Early Care and Education (ECE) Network Maps, two interactive maps that show the organizations and collaboratives working to affect ECE policy at the state level in California.
In relation to TWB8 implementation efforts, these maps are serving as a tool to help align and connect ECE workforce efforts and organizations focusing on ECE workforce in California.
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