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ZERO TO THREE Proud to be a Partner Organization for New National Early Care and Education Workforce Center

Siobhan Mueller
[email protected]
(202) 857 2609

$30 million investment over five years to support recruitment and training of vital early childhood workforce 

Washington, DC – February 14, 2023ZERO TO THREE, the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to ensuring babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, today announced it is one of six core partners in a National Early Care and Education (ECE) Workforce Center collaborative that was awarded $30 million over five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children and Families. The National ECE Workforce Center will coordinate and provide technical assistance and rigorous research to advance the recruitment and retainment of a diverse, qualified, and effective workforce.   

“The ECE workforce is vital to fostering a safe and nurturing environment for the health and development of the nation’s infants and toddlers, and its care and education providers are the backbones of communities,” said ZERO TO THREE Executive Director Matthew Melmed. “We are honored to be a partner in this transformational work alongside several of the nation’s leading early childhood organizations, and we are immensely grateful to the Department of Health and Human Services for entrusting us with this responsibility.” 

The ECE Workforce Center is designed to examine and address the need for fundamental changes to career advancement systems, compensation, and ECE workplace policies. The Center will work to advance change across the full range of ECE settings (e.g., family and center-based child care, Head Start) funding streams. 

ZERO TO THREE’s role in the new ECE Workforce Center will be to serve as a core partner in delivering technical assistance to states, territories, tribes, and localities, with a special emphasis on building a highly qualified, diverse, and well-supported infant and toddler workforce. 

“With the announcement of the ECE Workforce Center, we are seeing a real investment in addressing the systemic challenges and barriers that undermine the well-being of the early care and education workforce,” said Miriam Calderon, Chief Policy Officer, ZERO TO THREE. “We have an opportunity to elevate the voices and expertise of ECE professionals engaged in this work, and that is fundamental to bringing about long overdue change in the areas of compensation, career advancement, and working conditions, and ultimately achieving an equitable early care and education system that is worthy of our youngest children and families.”   

The National ECE Workforce Center is a collaborative staffed by six core partners: BUILD Initiative, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley, Child Trends, DE Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood at UDel, Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at UMass Boston, ZERO TO THREE, and additional consultants, ECE educators, and fellows.  

Additional organizations will provide consultation support, including All Our Kin, Child Care Services Association, EDvance, National Association for Family Child Care, Early Care & Education Pathways to Success, Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies, Start Early, National Workforce Registry Alliance, and the Donahue Institute. The ECE Workforce Center will also include ECE educators who will advise the Center in its efforts to develop the innovations and improvements needed to reimagine and support a stronger ECE system.   

Read more about the Administration for Children and Families and the National ECE Workforce Center can be found here. 


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