The recently released Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education lays out a framework for a funding strategy aimed at providing accessible high-quality early childhood education and care to those from birth to kindergarten.
Why focus on the ECE workforce?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine appointed the Committee on Financing Early Care and Education with a High Qualified Workforce to prepare a report, outlining a framework for a funding strategy aimed at providing “ reliable, accessible high-quality early care and education for young children from birth to kindergarten entry, including a highly qualified and adequately compensated workforce…” The report focused on different aspects of early childhood systems, including the early childhood workforce, stating that “high-quality early care and education requires a diverse, competent, effective, well-compensated, and professionally supported workforce across the various roles of ECE professionals.”
Criteria for assessing funding
The committee developed a set of criteria in order to assess current ECE financing mechanisms. The criteria aimed at assessing funding for the early childhood workforce is as follows:
- Are the total funds available, combining private and public support, adequate to cover the full costs of high-quality early care and education, including the costs of recruiting and retaining a highly qualified workforce?
- Do the financing mechanisms promote the maintenance or creation of a racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse workforce across job roles?
- Are funds available to facilitate the development of a highly qualified workforce, with support for higher education and ongoing professional learning?
- Are funds available to ensure work environments support effective educator practice and promote the well-being of the workforce?
- Do the financing mechanisms promote rational workforce compensation commensurate with qualifications, responsibilities, and competencies, across funding streams and ages of children served?
- Are financing mechanisms available to support training for the ECE workforce in leadership, administration, and financial management?
A highly qualified workforce...
A highly qualified workforce is essential for the provision of high-quality education and care. Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education recognizes that in order for the workforce to be well qualified, staff must “…be well compensated, have affordable opportunities to access higher education, and receive appropriate ongoing support and professional development.” The report explores both service delivery level a system level mechanism of financing a qualified workforce. It examines the following aspects of early care and education:
- Onsite staff supports
- Professional development
You can find Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education on our Knowledge Hub.