Mounting evidence on the positive link between early childhood development (ECD) services and the physical, social, and cognitive development of young children has encouraged governments, development partners, and families to invest more in the early years. Despite a growing body of knowledge on the importance of the early childhood workforce as a key component of quality services, there remains a lack of basic data on factors such as the qualifications of personnel, their pay experiences and training levels, and the availability of support staff.
Under the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative, Results for Development (R4D) and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) carried out key informant interviews (KIIs) across 15 countries in diverse regions to learn about country priorities around the early childhood workforce, promising approaches to supporting the workforce, current data gaps, and interest in piloting a needs assessment tool. The interviews reinforced the fact that government officials and program managers lack access to basic data on the workforce and desire additional information that captures experiences across levels of government. Such lack of information prevents policymakers and managers from identifying and diagnosing gaps in the workforce that could inform future policies and programming.
In response to these data needs, R4D and ISSA developed a needs assessment tool to support policymakers responsible for policy planning and personnel management of ECD programs around the early childhood workforce. The tool focuses particularly on personnel supporting home visiting programs delivered across sectors for pregnant mothers and caregivers with children under 3.
The webinar will share more on this Tool, addressing the following topics and questions:
- Structure, content and relevance of the Tool: What makes this Tool relevant and innovative?
- Results from piloting the Tool in two different countries with two different home visiting systems: How useful was the application of the tool, what were the main takeaways, findings and benefits?
- Future applications and adaptations: How can the tool and process be improved following the pilots? What might come of using the tool across a set of countries or in tandem with other tools? In what other sub-sectors could the tool be applied and how would that increase alignment across the broader early childhood sector?
Moderator and Panelists:
- Zorica Trikic, Senior Program Manager, ISSA [Bio]
- Kavita Hatipoglu, Program Officer, Education, Early Childhood Development, Results for Development (R4D), USA [Bio]
- Dr. Elizabeth Omondi, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Coordinator & Early Childhood Development (ECD) focal person, Siaya County, Kenya [Bio]
- Vera Rangelova, Early Childhood Development Officer, UNICEF Bulgaria [Bio]