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NAEYC Announces a New National Collaboration to Set Professional Guidelines for All Early Childhood Educators

Washington, D.C. — To further its commitment to ensuring that all young children can access high-quality early learning experiences, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) announced the launch of Power to the Profession, a national collaboration to set a unifying framework of professional guidelines for early childhood educators—from required competencies and qualifications to career pathways and compensation.

Power to the Profession comes in response to a report by The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8, which found a fragmented early childhood workforce in need of uniform qualifications, career pathways and professional supports. This fragmentation is one of the major contributors to the varying levels of access to and quality of early childhood education programs throughout the country.

Power to the Profession is a two-year initiative to define the professional field of practice that unifies early childhood educators across all states and settings so they can further enrich the lives of children and families.

“It’s time for early educators to define the profession on their terms—which is an essential characteristic of all recognized professions,” Rhian Evans Allvin, Executive Director of NAEYC, said. “While there are professional standards within programs, organizations and states, this initiative provides an opportunity to achieve a level of shared ownership that unifies the entire profession.”

Power to the Profession will give early educators an opportunity to contribute to a comprehensive set of the guidelines that advance their livelihoods and improve their lives. NAEYC has identified a national taskforce of organizations that represent and engage large groups of early childhood professionals. The collaboration will also include national stakeholder organizations with systems-level influence on the profession, as well as virtual and local in-person town hall meetings to allow early childhood educators and other experts to contribute their critical on-the-ground perspectives.

"As a former infant and toddler educator who now has the demanding task of recruiting, supporting, and retaining effective early educators, it is exciting to see these influential organizations come together to address complex and longstanding issues related to compensation and professional identity,” said Jamal Berry, Director at Educare Washington, DC. "Intentionally providing educators the opportunity to also engage in this collective decision-making process further strengthens and validates this initiative".

To see a list of the national taskforce of organizations leading this initiative and national stakeholder organizations that have confirmed their participation, visit www.naeyc.org.

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