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Analysis – Developing the early years workforce: what does the evidence tell us?

There is mounting evidence that high quality early years provision can have lasting positive effects, not only on the children who participate but on society overall. According to a recent study, children who attended high quality childcare with skilled and caring staff started school, on average, three months ahead in literacy and language, were 20 per cent more likely to do better on their GCSEs and earned more as adults than those from low-quality settings.

Four ways policymakers can support the early childhood workforce

Child care workers, preschool teachers, teacher assistants, social workers, community health workers, nurses — these are just a sampling of the many women and men who work with our youngest children to ensure their healthy development. Through their day to day work and interactions, these individuals have the opportunity to transform a child’s developmental trajectory, but often do not receive adequate pay, training, support, or incentives in order to maximize impact. We know that these individuals, collectively comprising the early childhood workforce, need to be better supported, but how?

Teacher Pay in Latin America & the Caribbean

Teachers are an essential component in the success of any education system. High-quality teachers are critical to student learning, and competitive salaries are one of the most effective ways to attract and retain effective teachers. However, teachers in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region have fewer opportunities for salary raises compared with employees in other sectors, and the raises they do receive are often small relative to their compensation. The consequences of these salary policies can be felt throughout the region: rising rates of teachers—especially the most talented—leaving the profession, poor learning outcomes for students across the region, and limited opportunities to recognize effective teachers. A review of current policies reveals that most LAC teachers receive a salary heavily linked to seniority and qualifications, with limited opportunities to earn financial compensation for strong performance, and those opportunities that do exist are often for a one-time bonus rather than a permanent raise.

Challenges and opportunities in integrating early childhood services – a spotlight on the workforce

The discussion around the integration of early childhood services is not new at all, but it became more heated in the recent years because of increasingly complex challenges that families with young children face in the current dynamic social, economic, cultural and political contexts they live. There are many experiences of both bottom-up and top-down initiatives for strengthening integration in various countries, but all indicate a series of barriers. And many related to a manner of thinking and working which pays tribute to a highly specialized and silo-ed approach. The barriers also point to a weak or ‘dysfunctional’ relationship between practice, research and policies, which should be meant to make services more responsive and efficient and to bring them closer to children and families, and to communities.  

What Lies at the Heart of Teacher Education? Boxes Within Boxes, Worlds Within Worlds, Seeing and Being Seen

As a teacher educator, I tell trainee teachers that their starting point should be each pupil – not the lesson plan, nor the books. Try and see the encounter in the classroom, I urge them, from the perspective of the individual pupil as you engage with her or him. How does the pupil experience this moment within education, in the here and now? What experiences and emotions has he or she brought from the world outside and what perceptions are uppermost in her or his mind today as the lesson proceeds?