Happy New Year! The National Early Care and Education (ECE) Workforce Center is gearing up for another year of progress in our collaborative effort to support and strengthen the ECE workforce.
Last year, we launched the National ECE
Workforce Center and spread the word about the center’s focus on advancing ECE compensation and financial resources, workplace policies, educational supports, and workforce data. Through these efforts, we were excited to engage more than 320 partners in our Communities of Practice cohorts, another 700 leaders in our ongoing Foundational Technical Assistance Series, and countless others as we undertook an environmental scan and landscape analysis to understand how we can build off existing research and technical assistance efforts to meet the needs of the field.
In 2024, we aim to spend more time connecting and collaborating. Here are five ways we will work towards that goal this year:
We will launch an Early Educator Advisory Board to ensure the work of the National ECE Workforce Center is meaningful and impactful to the workforce. With approximately 30 educators representing various program settings, demographics, and expertise, these board members will serve as thought partners and advisors across our activities.
We will attend conferences and convenings and have individual and group conversations with ECE leaders, experts from allied fields, and others interested in the ECE workforce to inform our research, technical assistance, and dissemination efforts, and to identify resources to lift up the field.
The Research and Knowledge Development team has been hard at work on an environmental scan that identifies opportunities to support the ECE workforce through technical assistance, as well as gaps for additional research. We will use this comprehensive resource to support partnerships with policymakers, systems leaders, and program administrators by sharing findings and developing tools to support their work with the workforce.
To bolster innovation in states and communities, we will expand on the targeted efforts, such as Communities of Practice, we offered in our first year and begin intensive technical assistance. This support—provided to small teams of agency and program leaders—will focus on planning, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based strategies to enhance educational supports and compensation.
By April, we plan to launch our permanent National ECE Workforce Center website! This site will house original research and technical assistance products; a library of high-quality workforce-related resources, many from our partners and allies; National ECE Workforce Center campaign materials; and much more. For now, please continue to access our interim site for resources and updates.
Want to stay informed of these efforts and get involved? You can connect and collaborate with the National ECE Workforce Center by engaging with us on social media, registering for our remaining foundational technical assistance series webinars, sharing related resources we can elevate, and expanding the network by signing up for our newsletter and forwarding it to colleagues and friends.
Wishing you a happy, healthy new year—we cannot wait to connect and collaborate in 2024!