spotlight archive

Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education

Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education

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.

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. The committee developed a set of criteria in order to assess current ECE financing mechanisms. These criteria are organized around principles determined by the committee. Principle 1, which focuses on the early childhood workforce states, “High-quality early care and education requires a diverse, competent, effective, well-compensated, and professionally supported workforce across the various roles of ECE professionals.”

The criteria 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?

Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education recognizes that a highly qualified workforce is essential for the provision of high-quality education and care. You can find Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education on our Knowledge Hub.


Did you find this interesting? Sign-up for our newsletter to receive updates about new resources and join the conversation about the early childhood workforce on Twitter.

Top 10 resources in the Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge Hub

Top 10 resources in the Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge Hub

Over the last several years, the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative has collected over 150 resources for the Knowledge Hub hosted on this website. These resources come from a total of 70 countries – making the Knowledge Hub the place to go for diverse literature on the early childhood workforce in different contexts and locations. In order to support those working in the Early Childhood Workforce, and those charged with making policies regarding this workforce, we offer free access to this large variety of well-researched documents about the profession. Read on to find the most downloaded resources in the second quarter of 2018.

1. Achieving Excellence through Continuing Professional Development: A CPD Framework for Early Childhood Educators
This Framework provides child care personnel with a structured pathway to develop, update and specialize in knowledge and skills relevant to their profession. It is designed to help child care personnel continue to deliver high quality programs and services to children and families.

2. Supporting the early childhood workforce at scale: The Cuna Más home visiting program in Peru
The first country of three country studies from the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative focuses on Cuna Más in Peru. The study shares valuable workforce lessons that resonate more broadly with ECD programs and policymakers seeking to reach young children and families around the world.

3. Workforce Development Framework
The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute of the United States developed this a framework tailored to reflect the complexity of the work and these unique features of child welfare. This framework is intended to help agency leaders understand the best and promising practice in developing competent, committed, and diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace. The framework illustrates an integrated approach to consistently assess, plan and implement strategies designed to address workforce gaps and evaluate the results through continuous quality improvement.

4. UNICEF ECD Resource Pack
This Early Childhood Resource Pack is designed to help program planners and managers understand the basic elements of the best start in life for children and how to most effectively work together to achieve those goals. It combines advocacy arguments with experiences, exercises and information that can be used to develop skills and understand programming for young children in development and emergency situations.

5. Strengthening and Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce: Training and Professional Development
The second in the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative’s series of landscape analyses is the first attempt to review global literature and experiences across early childhood sectors and roles. The study identifies shared experiences, challenges and approaches in an attempt to support efforts to strengthen the training and professional development opportunities available to members of the early childhood workforce.

6. Strengthening and Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce: Competences and Standards
Though there is recognition that competences and standards are important, there have been few efforts to date to systematize the various approaches to developing and implementing them for the early childhood workforce. This study from the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative aims to begin filling the gap in order to identify common approaches and challenges.

7. Child Care Staff: Learning and Growing through Professional Development
This publication from offers insights and shares innovative practices about the current professional development and support activities currently offered to the Australian early childhood workforce. Drawing on the views and experience of 684 child care service directors/managers/owner-operators and staff across Australia, this publication aims to answer questions about how professional development impacts children’s outcomes and what the measures of effective support services are.

8. Quality Assurance in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) in Southeast Asia
This regional study examines the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) quality assurance policies, mechanisms and models in Southeast Asia. Researchers gathered important information on: ECCD quality assurance policies in the different countries, the ECCD policies and standards, the development and implementation of early learning development framework being used as a quality assurance tool, the ECCD teacher qualification standards and its implementation and the issues and challenges on quality assurance of ECCD programs and services.

9. A Review of the Literature: Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Personnel in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
This literature review was commissioned to inform the development of a common survey instrument for the UNESCO pilot Survey of Teachers in Pre-Primary Education (STEPP) which will collect data on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) personnel in selected low- and middle income countries (LMICs). The authors address three questions in this literature review:
• What is the evidence on the relationship among personnel characteristics, the quality of ECCE services and child outcomes?
• What are the training requirements, working conditions, setting characteristics of ECCE personnel in LMICs? What beliefs do these personnel hold?
• What are the trends and main issues surrounding the above-mentioned characteristics and their implications for access and quality?

10. Gender Inequalities in Early Childhood Development Education Teaching Profession in Kenya
This research paper focuses on the gender imbalance in early childhood education in Kenya. There is an emerging trend of men training as professionals in the field. Still, they are underrepresented. This paper presents a case study in Kenya, and further investigates the factors influencing the gender imbalance among preschool teachers.

The Initiative continues to update the Knowledge Hub on a regular basis, in fact 40 resources have already been added this year! Choose from one of the above resources, or see the Knowledge Hub for yourself here.


Sign-up for our newsletter to receive updates about new resources and join the conversation about the early childhood workforce on Twitter

Supporting the Early childhood Workforce at Scale: Preschool Education in Ukraine

Supporting the Early childhood Workforce at Scale: Preschool Education in Ukraine

This study, the second in this series, focuses on the role of preschool teachers in Ukraine. The country, with a predominantly public network of preschool education, has achieved coverage for a significant proportion of the population. Nevertheless, it struggles to meet demand and ensure quality of services. In addition, Ukraine is at a unique moment where increasing attention is being paid in the country to improving the quality of preschool education and supporting inclusion, which have been elevated in recent policy reforms. Taking into account the significance of preschool teachers to the system of preschool education, this study aims to gain a better understanding of their experiences, including their backgrounds, the support that they receive, as well as the challenges that they encounter.
By illustrating the experiences of preschool teachers in Ukraine and identifying the size and scope of the challenges they face, it is hoped that this study will support officials within the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministerstvo osvity i nauky) in Ukraine as well as local education departments to strengthen and support preschool personnel through targeted policies and programs and contribute to the knowledge base around the early childhood workforce.

Find the Executive Summary and the Full Report, in English and Ukrainian here.


About the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative
Strong and growing evidence on the impact of early childhood development (ECD) services on children’s development has contributed to efforts to increase access to ECD programs, although there are persistent challenges related to ensuring their quality. Although evidence indicates that the workforce is one of the most important factors influencing quality of center-based services, relatively little is known about it. Through the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI) – a multi-stakeholder effort to support and empower those who work directly with young children led by the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) and Results for Development (R4D) – R4D is carrying out a series of country studies to understand the experiences and challenges faced by those in particular roles in several countries. The country studies intend to focus on a range of roles including professionals and paraprofessionals, paid and unpaid workers, and frontline workers and managers, from the education, health and nutrition, and social and child protection sectors. You can sign up for our newsletter here.

Money, love and identity: Initial findings from the National ECEC Workforce Study

This summary report shares the initial findings of a National Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce study – a three-year national study funded by the Australian Research Council. In addition to findings from the study, this report shares key takeaways from conversations during a workshop hosted by the researchers. Capturing responses from participants of this 76-delegate workshop, here you can find observations and insights into emerging themes and the implications they have for policy and practice.

This report reviews the following topics:
1. An overview of initial findings from the ECEC Workforce Study
2. Interesting and surprising findings about tensions in ECEC
3. A summary of participant responses to the study findings and other prioritized workforce topics
4. Key themes responding to the question – looking forward, in an ideal world, what is one ‘must have’ in a national ECEC Workforce Strategy?

You can find out more about the outcomes of this study and the personal, professional and workplace factors that influence the recruitment, retention and engagement of educators in center-based ECEC services on our Knowledge Hub.


​​Did you find this article interesting? Sign-up for our newsletter to recieve more from the Knowledge Hub straight to your inbox. And, keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Teachers in Asia Pacific: Status and Rights

More than half of the 70 million teachers (primary and secondary) in the world’s formal educational system are from the Asia-Pacific region – making it essential to document the current situation for teachers in the region. Teachers in Asia Pacific: Status and Rights (2015) examines the trends and policies affecting teachers’ status and their emerging needs and challenges. It provides a general picture of the current situation of teachers in Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Why is this report so important?

Raising the status of teachers and upholding their rights is a critical and global issue.

This study reviewed essential elements of the current status and working conditions of teachers, examined the rights and privileges of teachers and developed recommendations for policies and strategies to attract qualified teachers and motivate them to remain in the teaching profession. The key recommendations, which are based on this research, are aimed at improving the status and rights of teachers in each of the countries studies, and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

Though country contexts are diverse, this report gives a snapshot of the region and highlights the importance of advancing teachers’ status and providing multiple career progression pathways to motivate them to remain in the profession.

What’s included in the recommendations?

The results and policy recommendations presented in this report provide insights that are valuable to governments in advancing the status of their teachers with the view of retaining them in the profession. These include recommendations on selection criteria, pre-service teacher education, professional development, career development, salaries, measuring teacher performance, school leadership, teachers’ voices, teachers’ working conditions and gender within the workforce.

To read the full report. Visit our Knowledge Hub.

Top 10 resources in the Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge Hub

May 7, 2018

Over the last several years, resources from more than 70 countries found their way into our Knowledge Hub – making it the go-to for a variety of geographic contexts. Our Knowledge Hub, or resource library, is home to 140 resources highlighting various professions within the Early Childhood Development field. In order to support those working in the Early Childhood Workforce field with free access to a variety of well-researched documents about the profession, the Initiative continues to update the Knowledge Hub regularly. So far, 30 resources have been added in 2018!

Take a look at the Top 10 downloads in the first quarter of 2018.

1. Strengthening and Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce: Competences and Standards
Though there is recognition that competences and standards are important, there have been few efforts to date to systematize the various approaches to developing and implementing them for the early childhood workforce. This study from the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative aims to begin filling the gap in order to identify common approaches and challenges.

2. Strengthening and Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce: Training and Professional Development
The second in the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative’s series of landscape analyses is the first attempt to review global literature and experiences across early childhood sectors and roles. The study identifies shared experiences, challenges and approaches in an attempt to support efforts to strengthen the training and professional development opportunities available to members of the early childhood workforce.

3. National Guidelines - Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention
National Guidelines from Early Childhood Intervention Australia presents eight recommended best practices in Early Childhood Intervention. The clear and plain-language text also offers rationale for each of these practices.

4. Child Care Staff: Learning and Growing Through Professional Development
This publication offers insights and shares innovative practices about the current professional development and support activities currently offered to the Australian early childhood workforce. Drawing on the views and experience of 684 child care service directors/managers/owner-operators and staff across Australia, this publication aims to answer questions about how professional development impacts children’s outcomes and what the measures of effective support services are.

5. Supporting the early childhood workforce at scale: The Cuna Más home visiting program in Peru
The first country of three country studies from the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative focuses on Cuna Más in Peru. The study shares valuable workforce lessons that resonate more broadly with ECD programs and policymakers seeking to reach young children and families around the world.

6. Early Childhood Education Pre-Service Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Teaching Psychosocial Skills Across the Kindergarten Curriculum in Ghana
This study assesses early childhood education pre-service teachers’ knowledge in teaching psychosocial skills across the kindergarten curriculum in Ghana. The thorough research, published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education, questioned 123 pre-serve teachers pursuing a degree in early childhood education.

7. Early Years Workforce Strategy
This strategy from the United Kingdom details how the department for Women, Equalities and the Early Years plans to support the early years sector and remove barriers to attracting, retaining and developing the early years workforce.

8. Achieving Excellence through Continuing Professional Development: A CPD Framework for Early Childhood Educators
This Framework provides child care personnel with a structured pathway to develop, update and specialize in knowledge and skills relevant to their profession. It is designed to help child care personnel continue to deliver high quality programs and services to children and families.

9. NESET II : Transforming European ECEC services and Primary schools into professional learning communities: drivers, barriers and ways forward
At the European level, there is a lack of comprehensive comparative research that reviews existing professional learning communities in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services and schools. This report focuses on how ECEC services and schools can become professional learning communities.

10. Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators – Related Professional Criteria
The appendices from the Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators, provide clear and concise guidance on essential knowledge and skills for infant-toddler educators. They complement related professional criteria, tools and child development benchmarks.


You can join the conversation about the early childhood workforce on Twitter.

European Journal of Education

February 28, 2018

Recently released resources from the Early Childhood Development field are creating a stronger focus on issues important to the early years workforce, such as continuous professional development (CPD). 

The March 2018 edition of the European Journal of Education is a  Special Issue on Continuous Professional Development in ECEC in Europe. Below we highlight two articles from this special issue. You can purchase these articles from the European Journal of Education here.

Continuous professional development and ECEC quality: Findings from a European systematic literature Review
This article, written by a team of experts, presents findings from an analysis of the effects of continuous professional development on the quality of the pedagogical practices of Early Childhood Education and Care practitioners.

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) assistants in Europe: pathways towards continuous professional development (CPD) and qualification
Recently, the NESET II report reviewed profiles of ECEC assistants in 15 countries. This article describes the report's findings and focuses on the roles of assistants and the creation of pathways toward their qualification and continuous development opportunities.

Published in January of 2018, Moving from programme to place: What are the implications for continuous professional development? is a "Thought Piece" written by Joan Lombardi. This article discusses how local communities are coordinating efforts and integrating services to improve the lives of young children, and the implications these systems have for continuous professional development. This piece is also available for purchase on the European Journal of Education's website.

 

Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?

Raising preschool teacher salaries and providing high-quality training for preschool teachers improves the outcomes of their students. Why are they preschool teachers still so undervalued and underpaid?


The New York Times Magazine recently took on this issue in an article titled, “Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?” The article focuses on Kejo Kelly, a lead teacher at a preschool center in the Massachusetts, who works long hours for low pay. She is overburdened by extra work due to staff shortages at the preschool center she works for. The article makes poignant and crucial points about the importance of quality in early childhood education, especially for disadvantaged populations.

Read the article here.

Workforce Profiles in Systems of Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe

January 2, 2018

Thirty new or updated country reports have been complied and released by the SEEPRO-R project. SEEPRO-R revised and revamped the SEEPRO project, which reviewed and analysed the professional education and training, occupational profiles and work settings of early childhood personnel in the context of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems in the 27 European Union Countries. The study was conducted between 2006 and 2009.

SEEPRO-R aims to review the expansion and consolidation in Europe. The project takes a look at many of the new fundamental reforms including qualification and competence requirements for early childhood workforce and the structures of professional studies and continuing education.

The data from this project can be used by Germany, as well as in international contexts, to make informed decisions about staff qualifications and continuing professional education. Furthermore, it can be used to scrutinize in-country policies and promote mobility of ECEC staff among European countries.

Longstanding contacts in European universities, higher education institutions, research institutions and policy institutions were used to find partners. Additionally, new partners were recruited through international collegial networks. A 5-day research visit was organized in Croatia in order to conduct interviews with ministry officials, professional education/training specialists, researchers, representatives of professional organizations and other key stakeholders. Contacts with Russian and Ukraine were enabled by a German agency specializing in the recruitment and mobilization of staff from these nations.

Country experts worked along with the project team on their Workforce Profile reports. Tedious work was necessary to ensure that key concepts were comprehensible in both English and German. Constant probing and revisiting was necessary to make sure that key terms were correctly understood across languages.

Key contextual data was compiled by a two-person team. The main sources were international reports, websites and European and national statistical sites. A triangulation approach was used for checking and cross-checking data. As ECEC systems are continuously changing, these reports are only a representation of the systems included in these reports at the time the data was compiled.

Find SEEPRO-R reports on the ECWI Knowledge Hub.

NESET II:Transforming European ECEC services and Primary schools into professional learning communities: drivers, barriers and ways forward

December 20, 2017

Transforming European ECEC services and Primary schools into professional learning communities: drivers, barriers and ways forward focuses on Professional Learning Communities, within competent early years systems, which help professionals better serve the complex needs of families and their children.

The diverse societies in which we live make it impossible to find standardized solutions for all families. New competences like negotiation and reflection must be integrated with additional forms of continued professional development (CPD) that focus on the active and democratic participation of staff.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a valuable answer to this complex issue. PLCs are ‘groups of people sharing and critically interrogating their practice in an on-going, reflective, collaborative, inclusive, learning-oriented, growth-promoting way’.

Competent systems are essential for the creation and maintenance of PLCs. The latter require a multilevel network of competences, structural conditions, engagement, and awareness. This report seeks to  1) provide a framework to explain the need for PLCs today; 2) offer a clear definition of the essential criteria that define a PLC, with concrete examples from several European countries; and 3) provide four in-depth case studies—from Belgium (Flanders), Croatia, Italy and Slovenia—which illustrate different ways of establishing and sustaining PLCs.
The report includes specific conclusions and recommendations for policy makers in Member States.

Please note that the report focuses on services and schools for 0 to 12 years old children. However, the key concepts and conclusions could also be readapted for secondary school.

Find Transforming European ECEC services and Primary schools into professional learning communities: drivers, barriers and ways forward ​is now on the Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge Hub.