Nearly 75% of NC Early Childhood Professionals On Way to Being Certified

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 | Author: Smart Start

The number of certified Early Educators in North Carolina is rising. Over 12,000 Early Educators are certified and another 19,000 have applied. Nearly 75% of the workforce is on its way to becoming certified.

Early Education Certification Benefits. A free year of membership from the NC Early Childhood Association for those already certified. Get updates on early childhood issues happening now in our legislature; receive reduced training costs and more. Click here to apply. Get discounts on services and goods from early childhood supplies to bath and body products! A full list of benefits is available online.

EEC renewal requirements support learning to keep children healthy and safe. The Institute and DCD are working together to help programs, directors and staff understand and meet EEC renewal requirements. Programs and individuals will be supported in maintaining their individual certification, resources for the program and/or facility licensure.

Time and support aid workforce in maintaining certification. Certified Early Educators will receive a letter outlining individualized renewal requirements to help plan for required continuing education. Certified individuals have between three and five years to complete their renewal requirements. Learn more about EEC renewal requirements.

Scholarship pays for most of EEC renewal requirements – even if you have a degree! T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® now has a scholarship that can support attaining college credits for EEC renewal, if you work in a regulated program and even if you already have a degree.

CEUs options are growing across the state – online and in person! Check out the new source list.  Visit the Institute’s Calendar of Events to find affordable, accessible CEU options across the state.

EEC is good news for child care businesses. Early Educator Certification is a model efficiency strategy, creating benefits for the field while reducing operating costs for thousands of child care businesses. Early Educator Certification:

  • Reduces burdensome expenses of purchasing, mailing and tracking duplicative education documentation for employers and individuals working in the field.
  • Provides families with information about the education of the teacher in her/his child’s classroom.
  • Decreases operating costs through discounted supplies and services and purchasing transcripts for multi-agency review.
  • Reduces the cost of continuing education for employers and individuals.
  • Reduces employer wait-time for hiring new employees.
  • Creates mobile verified education documentation for potential employees, for use at ALL regulated programs.
  • Reduces costs and creates efficiencies across state agencies and services.
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Children deserve great teachers

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 | Author: Smart Start

The NC Institute for Child Development Professionals  has a new publication intended to increase awareness about some of the many qualities of a great early childhood teacher and the importance of workforce supports. The brochure references supports including those provided through certification, scholarships, salary supplements and technical assistance.

Coming soon! A new section on the Institute’s web site called Great Early Childhood Teacher. It will include this brochure, hotlinks to supports and resources and more! Have ideas for this section? Let them know by sending an email to dtorrence@ncicdp.org.

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Online Seminar on Early Childhood Collaboration

Tuesday, November 09th, 2010 | Author: Smart Start

A new CONNECT Module on communication for collaboration is now available. This module focuses on effective communication practices that can be used to promote collaboration with professionals and families in early care and education, and intervention settings. CONNECT Modules are free and designed using an evidence-based approach to professional development. Resources include video clips, activities, and handouts. The modules are focused on teaching and intervening effectively with young children in a variety of early learning environments and inclusive settings and are designed to be embedded into existing curricula, coursework and other professional development opportunities.

View the CONNECT Module.

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Are Teacher Education Programs Aligning with PreK-3 Model?

Tuesday, November 09th, 2010 | Author: Smart Start

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University looked at how teacher education programs are aligned with the PreK-3rd approach. Not surprisingly perhaps, the researchers found tension between early childhood education and elementary teacher education programs. These tensions ranged from disrespectful attitudes to competition for placement slots.

They offer several reccommendations:

  1. Recognize ECE as a distinct and equal discipline.
  2. Administration support and leadership is needed.
  3. Opportunities for collaboration between ECE and Elementary TE Programs must be enhanced.
  4. PreK?3rd grade certificates should not overlap or compete with elementary teaching certificates.

Download the policy brief.

Read The New American Foundation’s Early Ed Blog analysis.

Read Education Week’s Early Years blog, Bridging the Divide: From Pre-K to Grade 3.

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Improving Early Childhood Quality with Professional Development

Tuesday, November 02nd, 2010 | Author: Smart Start

Lifting Pre-K Quality:Caring and Effective Teachers, a new report by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Texas, Houston, recommends the implementation of intensive teacher training and mentoring at the preschool level. It looks at the need to move from what it calls  input-based strategies (i.e. requiring bachelor’s degrees for preschool teachers) to those have more evidence of improving outcomes for children. The report is generating much discussion.

Maggie Stevens from New America Foundation’s Early Ed Watch provides an excellent summary. She notes that the frank conversation  around which approaches to improving program quality are proving successful, and which approaches simply aren’t successful enough are crucial if we want pre-k programs to help children reach their full potential.

In an Ed Week blog, Maureen Kelleher asks if the researchers asking the right question. She interviews Dr. Cheryl Roberts, who will be moderating a panel on PreK-3  at the annual NAEYC conference.

The report concludes by saying, “Minimal health and safety standards are essential for children’s well-being. But advocates and policy makers must go further, recognizing that progress depends upon elevating the skills of teachers and enriching relationships and instruction inside classrooms.”

Read more:

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Studies Point to Importance of Education for NC’s Early Childhood Teachers

Monday, September 13th, 2010 | Author: Smart Start

Financial incentives provided to early childhood teachers in North Carolina are paying high dividends in the form of quality education for children, with more teachers pursuing advanced degrees across the state. The level of education an early childhood teacher receives affects matters ranging from pupils’ vocabulary skills to their self-confidence, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research.

Sue Russell, director of the Child Care WAGE$ Project, says a study from the University of Kansas found children of mothers with Bachelor’s degrees have four times as much vocabulary by age three.

“If we know that education of the parent matters, wouldn’t the education of the teacher matter, who is with those children 10 hours a day, five days a week?”

The Child Care WAGE$ Project helps provide more educated teachers for young children by helping them pursue additional training and rewarding them when they bring their skills back to the classroom. The financial compensation is a help to preschool teachers, some of them earning as little as $23,000 a year. Smart Start, the North Carolina Office of Early Learning, and the state’s Division of Child Development help fund the non-profit project.

Russell says counties that participate in the WAGE$ program have a 12 percent turnover rate, compared to 31 percent in counties that do not.

“By providing extra compensation we are both incentivizing teachers to get more education and providing incentives for them to stay.”

Last year more than 90,000 North Carolina children were taught by teachers who are part of the WAGE$ Project.

Click here to view this story on the Public News Service RSS site and access an audio version of this and other stories:

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Studies Point to Importance of Education for NC's Early Childhood Teachers

Monday, September 13th, 2010 | Author: Eric

Financial incentives provided to early childhood teachers in North Carolina are paying high dividends in the form of quality education for children, with more teachers pursuing advanced degrees across the state. The level of education an early childhood teacher receives affects matters ranging from pupils’ vocabulary skills to their self-confidence, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research.

Sue Russell, director of the Child Care WAGE$ Project, says a study from the University of Kansas found children of mothers with Bachelor’s degrees have four times as much vocabulary by age three.

“If we know that education of the parent matters, wouldn’t the education of the teacher matter, who is with those children 10 hours a day, five days a week?”

The Child Care WAGE$ Project helps provide more educated teachers for young children by helping them pursue additional training and rewarding them when they bring their skills back to the classroom. The financial compensation is a help to preschool teachers, some of them earning as little as $23,000 a year. Smart Start, the North Carolina Office of Early Learning, and the state’s Division of Child Development help fund the non-profit project.

Russell says counties that participate in the WAGE$ program have a 12 percent turnover rate, compared to 31 percent in counties that do not.

“By providing extra compensation we are both incentivizing teachers to get more education and providing incentives for them to stay.”

Last year more than 90,000 North Carolina children were taught by teachers who are part of the WAGE$ Project.

Click here to view this story on the Public News Service RSS site and access an audio version of this and other stories:

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What is Effective Early Childhood Professional Development?

Monday, August 23rd, 2010 | Author: Smart Start

What does research tell us about effective professional development of early childhood educators? According to a literature review prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, not as much as we would like. The authors of the report found that “that the research on early childhood professional development is at an early stage.”

While significant questions remain, the review identified several criteria that can serve as a starting point.

The evidence suggests that professional development for early childhood educators may be more effective when:

  • There are specific and articulated objectives for professional development.
  • Practice is an explicit focus of the professional development, and attention is given to linking the focus on early educator knowledge and practice.
  • There is collective participation of teachers from the same classrooms or schools in professional development.
  • The intensity and duration of the professional development is matched to the content being conveyed.
  • Educators are prepared to conduct child assessments and interpret their results as a tool for ongoing monitoring of the effects of professional development.
  • It is appropriate for the organizational context and is aligned with standards for practice.

Download the complete review.
Toward the Identification of Features of Effective Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators Literature Review.
Prepared for U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Policy and Program Studies Service by Child Trends.

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Vote in the Pepsi Refresh Project to support early childhood teachers

Friday, August 13th, 2010 | Author: Smart Start

Have you voted?! You can increase funding to provide more college scholarships for early care and school age professionals across the nation! T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® has the opportunity to win $250,000 through the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Vote now!

North Carolina provides two significant supports to early childhood teachers: 1) scholarships to help teachers afford additional education, and 2) salary supplements to help teachers earn a living wage. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project and The Child Care WAGE$® Project are the cornerstones of North Carolina’s early childhood professional development investment.

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project was designed to address the issues of under-education, poor compensation and high turnover within the early childhood workforce. It provides scholarships to child care workers to complete early childhood course work and to increase their compensation. Scholarships provide support for tuition, books, and a small travel stipend. After completing the educational requirements, participants are eligible to receive increased compensation in the form of a bonus (ranging from $100 to $700) or a raise (4% or 5%). According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, in 2009 alone, 99,588 of children were impacted by T.E.A.C.H.

The Child Care WAGE$® Project is designed to provide children more stable relationships with better educated teachers by rewarding teacher education and continuity of care. The project provides education-based salary supplements to low-paid teachers, directors and family child care providers working with children between the ages of birth to five. Salary supplements are paid every six months as long as participants remain with the child care program. WAGE$® has reduced turnover and encouraged teachers, directors and family child care providers to continue their education. In FY 2009-10, more than 8,193 providers in North Carolina received a supplement.

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