Recruiting and retaining skilled staff is a long-standing challenge for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. OECD countries are increasingly demanding that ECEC staff be highly skilled and highly qualified, but a combination of low wages, a lack of status and public recognition, poor working conditions, and limited opportunities for professional development mean that recruitment and retention are frequently difficult. What can countries do to build a highly qualified and well-trained ECEC workforce?
Recognition of the profession
Understanding the personnel-related opportunities and challenges the early childhood education (ECE) sector faces, as well as how these differ from those encountered in grades K-12, in order to adopt an early learning strategy for the U.S that is capable of improving educational outcomes for young children is of central importance. To that end, this paper begins with the public perception of early childhood teaching, followed by a brief discussion of the history and purpose of education for children of different ages.
There is broad consensus that high-quality environments for young children depend on teachers who are skilled at nurturing their development and learning, yet low pay and inadequate working conditions routinely hamper teachers in their efforts to apply their skills and knowledge. Yet, the voices of early educators — those working with children from infancy through preschool — are rarely heard, and public awareness of the challenges facing this workforce remains low.
This report reveals how states and cities are closing the gap in compensation between equally qualified pre-K teachers and kindergarten and elementary school teachers. The report indicates states and cities across the country are moving to improve pre-K teacher compensation as recruiting and retaining skilled educators is critical to delivering the high-quality learning environment these programs promise.
This report addresses the following four research questions:
1. Understanding the attitudes and beliefs of current educators about the profession
2. Identifying factors that will be most helpful in encouraging educators to make the field a long-term profession
3. Assessing strategies for attracting new educators to join the field
4. Developing messaging to enhance public appreciation of, and support for, the work of early childhood educators
Resisting Neoliberalism: Professionalisation of Early Childhood Education and Care focuses on the professionalization of early childhood in Australia, Chile, England, Germany, Ireland and the United States.
The Wanda method: overview and steps forward report is the result of an ISSA Peer Learning Activity and involved several members of the ISSA network.
WANDA is a method developed in 2010 in order to support professional group reflection, with specific attention to valuing each other, with respect towards the child, the family, the colleagues, the community. WANDA aims to improve quality in ECEC for children and families.
The specific objectives of the PLA were: