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What is meant by the "Early Childhood Workforce"?
The Early Childhood Workforce consists of the volunteers, paraprofessionals, and professionals who promote the healthy growth, development, and learning of young children (under age 8). This diverse workforce, which is supported by a broad ecosystem of actors, is defined as the frontline workers who deliver services to young children and families, as well as those who directly train and supervise these practitioners.
Whether employed by government or non-state actors, this workforce operates within and across a variety of sectors, including education and care, health and nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, and social and child protection. The Early Childhood Workforce is complex, it is essential to children’s development and it is too rarely considered when making decisions about early childhood systems. While these workers may share common objectives, the specific sectors and settings in which they work, as well as their functions, training, and remuneration can vary significantly by context.