We are deeply grateful for the thoughtful responses we received on the first draft of Decision Cycles 3, 4, and 5 related to preparation, specializations, and career pathways for the profession. This all-in initiative is made stronger when everyone’s perspectives and voices are heard, and indeed, we heard from thousands of educators and stakeholders across the early childhood field, including participants in 22 focus groups; 1,296 survey respondents with more than 4,000 individual comments; 24 formal letters and statements; and dozens of key informant interviews.
We also saw the name of the initiative made real, with the early childhood education profession showing its power: nearly 75 percent of survey respondents identified as part of the early childhood profession across age groups, states, and settings, as educators, family child care, higher education faculty, or early learning program administrators. We were pleased to see new people contributing to the conversation; more than 56 percent of survey respondents were responding to a Power to the Profession survey for the first time. We have steadily maintained the percentage of respondents from communities of color at 20 percent (of those who responded to questions about their race / ethnicity). We also intensified our work directly in communities, with focus groups designed to intentionally engage underrepresented voices to inform and guide the conversations.
We know that there are many more conversations, dialogues and debates happening across the country, in workplaces, gatherings, conference sessions and online. This is exactly what needs to happen for Power to the Profession to be successful. The Decision Cycle 3, 4, and 5 Draft 1 intentionally raised critical questions for the purpose of unifying the early childhood education profession across all sectors and settings. Your comments, letters, statements and survey responses showed how essential it is that we, as a field, deliberate on these questions in order to advance as an effective, diverse and compensated profession.
The broad range of feedback highlighted both areas of consensus and areas that require additional discourse. All feedback received by the Task Force was assessed and discussed. Some feedback posed tough questions that the Task Forces continues to grapple with as we advance the work. As the Task Force prepares to release its next draft, edits will focus on strengthening and clarifying the content (particularly as it relates to distinct levels of preparation and responsibilities), field engagement, and the decision-making process. Ensuring that the Task Force’s commitment to diversity and equity is more tangible and visible will also be key. Many comments and questions elevated the need for public financing, shared accountability, and a solid infrastructure. These latter topics will be addressed in the decision cycles released in fall 2018, allowing this feedback to inform initial drafts.
By early August 2018, we will share next drafts on the proposed framework for the profession, additional questions for consideration, and more opportunities to participate in the reciprocal decision cycle process.
We invite you to continue to contribute and help shape your profession. There are a number of ways you can be involved:
Thank you for your dedication to advancing a diverse, supported, equitable, prepared and well-compensated profession. This is the collective call to action we have all been waiting for.
The National Power to the Profession Task Force
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Federation of Teachers
Associate Degree Early Childhood Teacher Educators
Child Care Aware of America
Council for Professional Recognition
Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children
Early Care and Education Consortium
National Association for Family Child Care
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Education Association
National Head Start Association
Service Employees International Union
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