A recent article appears in Slate as part of its Better Life Lab series that address challenges around advanced degrees for early childhood professionals. As states across the country are increasing the postsecondary degree requirements of early childhood providers, its causing parents everywhere sit back and reflect on what their children need in the classroom. People pursue degrees because it is expected or because they want to grow knowledge and skills; because they want to be better in their jobs, or because their jobs required it; or because they want to increase their compensation, advance in their field, achieve better outcomes, and help support their families. Why is it difficult to understand that early childhood providers might want advanced education in their field for these same reasons?
Research shows have educated educators is good for kids. But it’s also good for the educators as well. As the article notes, “It’s good for their own families and communities. It’s good for the school systems in the towns where they live; it’s good for the tax base of the nation.” The article also notes that compensation cannot be an afterthought and there should be more dialogue about how to help educators attain postsecondary degrees.
Advocacy & Communication Solutions, LLC (ACS) works with client National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on their Power to the Profession initiative (P2P) initiative to develop a common vision and framework for a comprehensive policy and financing strategy for the early childhood profession. This effort involves more than 40 national stakeholder organizations and is funded by the Foundation for Child Development, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Alliance for Early Success, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation. As part of its process, P2P gives early educators an opportunity to contribute input on a comprehensive set of guidelines that is intended to advance their livelihoods and improve their profession. ACS will continue to provide updates on this work as it progresses.