Child care providers—regardless of whether you refer to them as early childhood professionals, educators, or teachers—play a vital role in the early education and care of children. This is especially important given that the early years of a child’s life are the most critical for development. We know that children who receive high-quality child care benefit long-term from these early learning experiences. However, despite the importance of high-quality child care, child care providers earn less per hour than many other professionals within the personal care industry.
It is also important to focus on the quality of child care when considering the role providers play. Child care providers should have access to the proper training and resources to develop the skills needed to support children’s growth and development. Effective training should be ongoing, multi-faceted, and competency-based. The early childhood workforce must be adequately trained, supported, and prepared to ensure that children reach their fullest potential—across all areas of development—as outlined in the Child Care Aware® of America 2016–2017 Public Policy Agenda.
We are proud to partner with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on Power to the Profession, a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards, and compensation. In May, Child Care Aware® of America worked with NAEYC to submit comments to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), addressing the importance of career pathways for child care providers and early educators and highlighting the role child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) play in connecting providers to resources and opportunities for self and professional improvement. We look forward to participating in this important initiative with NAEYC and hearing from the child care profession on how we define child care providers and the important work they do.
Visit naeyc.org/profession to learn more about NAEYC’s Power of the Profession initiative. We also invite you to explore our 2016–2017 Public Policy Agenda to discover how child care provider training and compensation is directly linked to high-quality child care.