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All work and low pay: Why we need to pay more attention to the early childhood workforce

Lucía walks 30 minutes to the first home. When she arrives, she greets a mother and her son. She is a facilitator, or volunteer home visitor with Cuna Más, a public early childhood development (ECD) program in Peru that runs daycare centers in urban areas and a home visiting service in rural communities, like this one. She asks how things are going and asks about the mother’s daily routine — feeding, bathing, washing her son’s hands — providing guidance and feedback from time to time. Next is playtime, and she takes out a toy for the mother and child. While the child explores, she encourages the mother to talk to the child and ask questions about what he is doing. After, they sing a song together, or tell a story. When the hour is over, Lucía says goodbye to the family and walks to the next home. 

Strengthening & Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce: A Global Overview

Evidence is growing that early childhood development (ECD) services have a strong, positive impact on children’s development. Research from diverse contexts shows that interventions which promote nurturing care in early environments significantly improve childhood development and later adult outcomes. For example, a study of the Hogares Comunitarios de Bienestar program in Colombia, which provides child care and nutrition services to children under age six, found that adolescents ages 13-17 who had participated in the program were almost 20 percent more likely to be in school than those who had not participated. 

Thinking differently about the early childhood workforce to deliver quality results

On July 12 and 13, 2016, the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative hosted its first webinar entitled Diversity and identity: the early childhood workforce. The webinar kicked off the first learning event for the joint learning initiative between the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) and Results for Development (R4D). The Early Childhood Workforce Initiative aims to build learning to empower those who work with young children by bridging the gaps in policy and practice so as to build high quality services for all children under age 8. The initiative seeks to strengthen competences and standards, as well as training and professional development, improve monitoring and mentoring and increase the recognition of the profession. Other webinars will be proposed in 2016.

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