Chapter One of the project to Advance ECE as a Recognized Profession began as a workforce engagement project to determine whether Vermont’s early childhood education workforce was interested in working toward advancing as a recognized profession.
From June 2018 through June 2019, with support from Let’s Grow Kids, VTAEYC led a collaborative project working toward this goal:
To engage a critical mass of members of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce in facilitated conversations and follow-up surveys on the topic of ECE advancing as a recognized profession, so as to gauge their collective will for advancing as a recognized profession.
More than 700 members of the ECE workforce (12%) participated in conversations about advancing as a profession. Of those, 38% responded to a follow-up survey.
In response to the question “What course of action do you favor?” a resounding 72% chose “continue the work to advance as a recognized profession.” A report by project coordinator Susan Titterton details the history, methods, and results of this year-long collaboration.
The report marked the culmination of Chapter One. The overwhelming support for working to advance set the stage for Chapter Two.
Recommendations for Next Steps
During the Chapter One process, workforce feedback provided essential recommendations to frame next steps. These are:
- Learn from Chapter One of this project. Build on it in Chapter Two.
- “Do nothing about us without us.”
- Cultivate a cohesive workforce. Question stereotypes and assumptions.
- Encourage a “change” mindset. Begin the work of building a bridge to a new future.
- Build from Power to the Profession’s national-level work.
- With ongoing policy and funding changes, hold in mind the goal of early childhood education advancing as a profession.
“We work hard to meet the demands of this job (education, regulatory compliance) – not just anyone can do this job. It should be considered a profession.” – Family Child Care Provider