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For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2007
Rep. Hirono Legislation Would Support High-Quality Early Childhood Educators
(Washington, DC) –- Today, Representative Hirono (D-HI) introduced H.R. 3966, legislation developed by NAEYC, which will provide grants to states for comprehensive professional development and career systems for early childhood educators. If passed, the measure would benefit teachers in child care, Head Start, state pre-kindergarten, and other settings.
“Every child, regardless of the program setting, deserves to have high-quality early childhood educators supporting their early learning and development,” said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D, Executive Director of NAEYC. “By focusing on a cohesive and comprehensive system of support for early childhood educators, more high-quality educators will remain in the field and more children will have the benefit of knowledgeable, skillful and consistent teachers and staff who help prepare them for school and for life.”
The bill, the Early Education Workforce Act, is a companion to the Senate bill introduced by Senators Brown (D-OH) and Voinovich (R-OH) last spring and which was included in the Senate-passed reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
NAEYC believes that efforts to promote a high-quality system for early childhood professional preparation and development can be a catalyst to provide better-quality programs for all young children. Research shows that children are more likely to achieve success later in life when they are in programs with teachers who have specialized knowledge of child development and early learning. However, the ongoing professional development and compensation of early childhood educators is very fragmented, and varies widely among program settings. In addition, low compensation and high turnover make it difficult for programs to attract, provide ongoing professional development, and retain skillful teachers.
Under these grants, states would be required to address all aspects of comprehensive workforce development system, including:
- Core competencies and career lattices;
- Compensation of early childhood educators, including initiatives linked to additional education;
- Articulation agreements to provide seamless advances in education;
- Quality assurances so that educators know they are receiving high-quality professional development; and
- Resources to support educators as they move forward in their development and careers, and for the system elements.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the United States.
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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.