The 570 page Report provides a blueprint for action, including 13 recommendations to elevate the early learning workforce.

  • Recommendation 1: Strengthen competency-based qualification requirements for all care and education professionals working with children from birth through age 8.
  • Recommendation 2: Develop and implement comprehensive pathways and multiyear timelines at the individual, institutional, and policy levels for transitioning to a minimum bachelor’s degree qualification requirement, with specialized knowledge and competencies, for all lead educators working with children from birth through age 8.
  • Recommendation 3: Strengthen practice-based qualification requirements, including a supervised induction period, for all lead educators working with children from birth through age 8.
  • Recommendation 4: Build an interdisciplinary foundation in higher education for child development.
  • Recommendation 5: Develop and enhance programs in higher education for care and education professionals.
  • Recommendation 6: Support the consistent quality and coherence of professional learning supports during ongoing practice for professionals working with children from birth through age 8.
  • Recommendation 7: Develop a new paradigm for evaluation and assessment of professional practice for those who work with children from birth through age 8.
  • Recommendation 8: Ensure that policies and standards that shape the professional learning of care and education leaders (elementary school principals and directors in early care and education settings) encompass the foundational knowledge and competencies needed to support high-quality practices for child development and early learning in their organizations.
  • Recommendation 9: Improve consistency and continuity for children from birth through age 8 by strengthening collaboration and communication among professionals and systems within the care and education sector and with closely related sectors, especially health and social services.
  • Recommendation 10: Support workforce development with coherent funding, oversight, and policies.
  • Recommendation 11: Collaboratively develop and periodically update coherent guidance that is foundational across roles and settings for care and education professionals working with children from birth through age 8.
  • Recommendation 12: Support comprehensive state- and local-level efforts to transform the professional workforce for children from birth through age 8.
  • Recommendation 13: Build a better knowledge base to inform workforce development and professional learning services and systems.

Leaders in early learning might consider how state-level birth to 3rd grade policies and practices align with the 13 recommendations and begin a dialogue with teacher preparation networks throughout the state.

For more information and to download a copy of the report, visit The National Academies Press.

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