Earlier this year, ZERO TO THREE joined more than 60 early childhood education leaders at the launch of Power to the Profession, an initiative to develop a unified framework of professional guidelines for the early childhood education profession.
Power to the Profession is spearheaded by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Together, the collaboration represents nearly two million professionals in the early childhood field.
“For too long, early childhood educators have not been able to advance as a unified profession. We continue to have significant variation in preparation, practice expectations, and compensation,” Rhian Evans Allvin, NAEYC’s Chief Executive Officer, said. Rooted in the voices and perspectives of the professionals themselves, Power to the Profession is our opportunity to come together to create unified expectations and deliver on the promise of investing in early childhood.”
Power to the Profession comes in response to a report by The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8. The report concluded that the early childhood workforce is in need of uniform qualifications, career pathways, and professional supports. This fragmentation is one of the major contributors to the varying levels of access to and quality of early childhood education programs throughout the country.
While there are many roles and occupations that work on behalf of children birth to age 8 in the early childhood education field, Power to the Profession will first define the unique responsibilities of early childhood educators and then establish measures of accountability for those responsibilities. The collaboration is also researching professional guidelines established for other professions. Power to the Profession has already heard from the Maryland Nurses Association and the Center for Emerging Professionals at the American Institute of Architects.
Power to the Profession has a two-year time frame for establishing a unified framework for the early childhood education profession. Once established, a robust policy adoption and financing strategy will begin. Throughout the two-year process, the collaboration is actively seeking input from the field. Click here to add your voice to the discussion and stay informed.