The Early Childhood Workforce Initiative takes a holistic, multi-sectoral approach to bridge the gaps in policy and practice to support the development of a quality workforce at scale. 

We aim to strengthen…

Competences and Standards

Competences and Standards ensure that there are agreed requirements and expectations for what early childhood workers should know and be able to do as well as the core principles guiding their work with young children and their families. This also entails professional profiles of different roles within diverse early childhood services and defining competencies at individual, team, institutional, and systems levels.

Training and Professional Development

The early childhood workforce is very diverse, and both pre-service and in-service training opportunities need to be up-to-date, evidence-based, and linked to practice so to support a competent workforce. Given the diversity of the workforce, including many volunteers or staff without formal education, it is important to develop career pathways with diverse entry points/levels and a clear progression route.

Monitoring and Mentoring

Creating systems for continuous feedback and coaching are important for ensuring that workers receive information they can use to improve their practice on ongoing basis and are linked to pathways for career advancement.

Recognition of the Profession

Currently, the level of remuneration, working conditions, and status of the early childhood workforce is poor, including relative to primary teachers, nurses, social workers and other similar professions. Recruitment challenges, high turnover, and low morale compromise the quality of provision. There is a need to explore ways to improve the attractiveness and perception of the profession and to promote ways to give voice to practitioners in their daily work and in policy discussions, including through collective action.


Who is the early childhood workforce?


Learn more