For Immediate Release:
August 3, 2012
206-933-3093 (Seattle, WA)
New NAEYC Brief Offers Policy Recommendations to States on Early Childhood Professional Development Systems and Technical Assistance Professionals
Growing field of professional coaches, mentors and consultants working with early childhood programs needs greater attention and support
WASHINGTON—The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading voice for high-quality early childhood education for children from birth through age eight, released a new brief of public policy recommendations on key professionals working to improve early childhood program quality—coaches, mentors and consultants—providing technical assistance.
With the increasing attention to helping all programs—child care, Head Start, schools—improve the quality of early development and learning of young children, the number of technical assistance professionals has grown significantly. Yet as NAEYC found, through interviews, focus groups and a national survey, state public policies related to these professionals, as well as data and quality assurance policies, remain very fragmented and are not fully integrated into the developing state professional development systems.
The report, “Strategic Directions: Technical Assistance Professionals in State Early Childhood Professional Development Systems,” offers states policy recommendations in four key areas: common terminology for the diversity of technical assistance professionals; standards along with competencies, qualifications and credentials aligned to these roles; career pathways, ongoing support and appropriate compensation; and data, evaluation and quality assurance.
The report is part of a series of work by NAEYC’s Early Childhood Workforce Systems Initiative (ECWSI) to help states design and implement high-quality, well-financed early childhood professional development systems for those working directly with and on behalf of young children in the range of settings and sectors.
“As we strive to help all programs raise the quality of services and teaching, we must be clear on how we will set forth the qualifications, pathways, compensation and ongoing support for those who work with program leaders and staff to make those improvements,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, PhD, Executive Director of NAEYC. “This brief sets out the necessary state policies so that we can meet both goals: specialized professionals who have the tools and knowledge they need and programs that have the support they need so that children have the best possible experiences.”
The ECWSI, assisting states in developing, enhancing, and implementing policies for an integrated early childhood professional development system, is supported by the Birth to Five Policy Alliance and the McCormick Foundation.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.