Each and every child, beginning at birth, has the opportunity to benefit from high-quality early childhood education, delivered by an effective, diverse, well-prepared, and well-compensated workforce.
Where We Started: Power to the Profession
The National Academy of Medicine’s seminal 2015 report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, highlighted the urgent and important need for a collective effort to address the fragmented early childhood workforce.
In response to this report, Power to the Profession was established as a national collaboration to define the early childhood education profession, birth through age 8, across states and settings, by establishing a framework for career pathways knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards, accountability supports, and compensation to define the early childhood education profession.
Beginning in January 2017, a broad-based Task Force of leaders from 15 national organizations that represent members of the early childhood education field convened to systematically and sequentially work to establish a Unifying Framework for the Early Childhood Education Profession and set a vision for how to drive the significant and sustained public investment that will allow all children, birth through age 8, to benefit from high-quality early childhood education provided by well-prepared, diverse, supported, and compensated professionals.
Power to the Profession National Task Force
Karen Ponder, Power to the Profession National Task Force Chair
Named Power to the Profession because the initiative committed to elevating educators’ voices in the decision-making process. Through a series of “decision cycles”, Power to the Profession benefited from engagement and input of over 11,000 individuals across states and settings through surveys, focus groups, key informant interviews, webinars, and conference sessions. The voices of educators, administrators, higher education faculty, system leaders, advocates, and allies across states and settings informed and inspired the deliberations of the Power to the Profession Task Force that resulted in the Unifying Framework.
- We will not advocate for increased educational requirements without advocating for funding to provide requisite supports and attendant compensation.
- We will not advocate for new regulations or requirements for early childhood educators without advocating for increased funding and capacity supports so that programs, institutions, and educators across all settings can implement them.
- We will not advocate for policies that advance the early childhood education profession without doing the work to mitigate unintended consequences and create meaningful pathways for advancement.
- We will not advocate for policies that disproportionately and negatively impact educators from communities of color.
- We will not advocate for new regulations or requirements for early childhood educators without advocating to establish and implement realistic timelines that recognize the challenges faced by the existing workforce, across all settings.
- We will not advocate for new regulations or requirements for early childhood educators without advocating for implementation plans and timelines that recognize the particular challenges that family child care and other community-based providers face, so as not to contribute to or worsen their widespread decline.
Power to the Profession is being supported by the Alliance for Early Success, Bainum Family Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Foundation for Child Development, Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation, W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
- AASA – The School Superintendents Association
- American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
- American Indian College Fund
- Association of Teacher Educators
- BUILD Initiative
- Center for American Progress
- Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes
- Center for Law and Social Policy
- Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
- Council of Chief State School Officers
- Council on the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- Data Quality Campaign
- Early Childhood Personnel Center
- Education Development Center
- First Five Years Fund
- McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership
- Military Child Education Coalition
- Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education
- National Association for Regulatory Administration
- National Association of Counties
- National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education
- National Association of State Boards of Education
- National Black Child Development Institute
- National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
- National Governors Association
- National Institute for Early Education Research
- National League of Cities
- National Women’s Law Center
- National Workforce Registry Alliance
- New America Foundation
- Ounce of Prevention Fund
- Save the Children
- TEACH Early Childhood National Center
- Teach for America
- TESOL International Association
- Trust for Learning