Training & professional development

Prioritising the Professionalisation of Early Childhood Education and Care Staff

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services for children under six years of age play a fundamental role in laying strong foundations for lifelong learning and wellbeing, especially in the first three years of life. Quality ECEC services can make an extraordinary difference in children’s lives, especially for the most disadvantaged. Research indicates that children from vulnerable groups derive even greater benefit from high-quality ECEC than their peers from more advantaged families.

Our Recommendations:


Professionalisation of Childcare Assistants in Early Childhood Education and Care: Pathways towards Qualification . NESET II / Analytical Report

European Commission identified staff professionalization as one of the key issues for the ECEC field. In many countries, part of the workforce is represented by low-qualified ECEC assistants. Studies have shown that assistants have fewer chances for qualification and professional development and are not taken into account in policy documents. Improving the competences of all staff (core practitioners and assistants) would improve the services’ quality, which would in turn help eliminate barriers in front of families in using ECEC services.


Challenges in Working Conditions and Well-Being of Early Childhood Teachers by Teaching Modality during the COVID-19 Pandemic

While a global understanding of teacher well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to emerge, much remains to be understood about what early childhood teachers have felt and experienced with respect to their work and well-being. The present mixed-method study examined early care and education (ECE) teachers’ working conditions and physical, psychological, and professional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic using a national sample of 1434 ECE teachers in the U.S.


An Ecological Perspective on Early Educator Well-Being at the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Early educator well-being is increasingly understood as a critical ingredient of high-quality early education and care. The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened educator well-being by exacerbating existing stressors and introducing novel stressors to all aspects of early educators’ lives, and early educators have had differential access to resources to cope with these new circumstances.


Policies, Initiatives, and Resources to Support the ECE Workforce

A stronger, more effective early care and education (ECE) workforce is essential for supporting children’s development. Yet the nation’s ECE workforce faces many challenges, including inadequate compensation that varies widely by jurisdiction, high staff turnover, and disparities in training and resources across the ECE sector. To address these challenges, states are working to implement new policies and establish new requirements to better support their ECE workforces.


Caring for the Caregiver Implementer's Guide

The success of a child’s healthy development is largely dependent on their primary caregiver’s capacity. The 2016 Lancet Early Childhood Development Series1 highlights that efforts to support children are not likely to bear success unless they concurrently provide support for the caregivers upon whom children depend for care.


Many barriers exist to caregiving including that:


Bulgaria Grows with It's Children: Building Professional Competences of the Early Childhood Workforce

The goal of the research ‘Bulgaria grows with its children: Building professional competences for early childhood development’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘research on the early years workforce’ and ‘the research’) is to outline the main directions for improvement of the professionalization of the early years workforce on the basis of data – quantitative and qualitative – as well as to formulate recommendations for policy development in this area.



This summary shares the main results and recommendations derived from this research.


Supporting the Workforce: Parenting Programs Adapt to COVID-19

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has upended families’ lives, with school closures, social distancing, and stay-at-home measures limiting their access to support systems, while adding to health concerns and economic uncertainties. As families face these varied stressors, it is even more important that parenting programs, which seek to promote positive and responsive caregiving, improve health and nutrition, and enhance social and child protection, continue to operate.


Strengthening and Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce: Landscape Analysis Continuous Quality Improvement

Early childhood development (ECD) services have a strong, positive impact on children’s development. Research from diverse contexts shows that interventions that promote nurturing care in early learning environments significantly improve childhood development and later adult outcomes.


Home Visiting Workforce Needs Assessment Tool: A User's Guide

This Guide accompanies the Home Visiting Workforce Needs Assessment Tool, which aims to help Ministries and government agencies reflect on the ways in which they can support personnel delivering home visiting programs across sectors for pregnant mothers and caregivers with children under 3.