Recommendations for those Facilitating Educator Preparation and Professional Development
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- Prepare current and prospective early childhood educators to provide equitable learning opportunities for all children. Ensure that prospective educators understand the historical and systemic issues that have created structural inequities in society, including in early childhood education. Ensure that their preparation and field experiences provide opportunities to work effectively with diverse populations.
- Prepare prospective early childhood educators to meet the Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (formerly NAEYC’s Professional Preparation Standards). Ensure that curriculum and field experiences reflect a focus on diversity, full inclusion, and equity within each of the competencies to cultivate culturally and linguistically responsive practices.
- Work with students, community leaders, and public officials to address barriers to educational attainment in the specific community you serve. Pay special attention to assumptions about academic skill attainment in communities with inadequate public schools, transportation barriers (e.g., limited public transit), financial constraints (e.g., student loans, tuition balances, outstanding bookstore bills), course scheduling during the working day, lack of child care, and the like. Design educational programs that put students’ needs first and take identified barriers into account while also working to remove those barriers (e.g., loan forgiveness programs, evening and weekend courses, extended bus or train service, child care services aligned with course and professional development offerings).
- Implement transfer and articulation policies that recognize and award credits for students’ previous early childhood courses and degrees as well as demonstrated competency through prior work experience. This will support a wide range of students in advancing their postsecondary credentials.
- Work actively to foster a sense of belonging, community, and support among first-generation college students. Cohorts and facilitated support from first-generation graduates can be especially useful.
- Set and achieve measurable goals to recruit and retain a representative faculty across multiple dimensions. Consider establishing goals related to race, ethnicity, age, language, ability and disability, gender, and sexual orientation, among others.
- Provide regular time and space to foster a learning community among administrators, faculty, and staff. Create opportunities for reflection and learning about cultural respect and responsiveness, including potential instances of implicit bias and microaggressions toward both children and adults.
- Ensure that all professional standards, career pathways, articulation, advisory structures, data collection, and financing systems in state professional development systems are subjected to review. Assess whether each of the system’s policies supports workforce diversity by reflecting the children and families served and offering equitable access to professional development. Determine whether these systems serve to increase compensation parity across early childhood education settings and sectors, birth through age 8.