Our Vision

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 8A 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

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

American Federation of Teachers


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 the Education of Young Children

National Association for Family Child Care

National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Education Association

National Head Start Association

Service Employees International Union


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.

Implementation Commitments

As Power to the Profession turns toward implementation, the Power to the Profession Task Force are making the following commitments to the field to build a future that learns from our past.

  • 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.
38 Stakeholders
  1. AASA – The School Superintendents Association
  2. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  3. American Indian College Fund
  4. Association of Teacher Educators
  5. BUILD Initiative
  6. Center for American Progress
  7. Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes
  8. Center for Law and Social Policy
  9. Center for the Study of Child Care Employment 
  10. Council of Chief State School Officers
  11. Council on the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  12. Data Quality Campaign
  13. Early Childhood Personnel Center
  14. Education Development Center
  15. First Five Years Fund
  16. JumpStart
  17. McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership
  18. Military Child Education Coalition
  19. Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education
  20. National Association for Regulatory Administration
  21. National Association of Counties
  22. National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education
  23. National Association of State Boards of Education
  24. National Black Child Development Institute
  25. National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
  26. National Governors Association
  27. National Institute for Early Education Research
  28. National League of Cities
  29. National Women’s Law Center
  30. National Workforce Registry Alliance
  31. New America Foundation
  32. Ounce of Prevention Fund
  33. Save the Children
  34. TEACH Early Childhood National Center
  35. Teach for America
  36. TESOL International Association
  37. Trust for Learning
  38. UnidosUS