Dr. Valora Washington kicked off NAEYC’s Power to the Profession session Nov. 13 with a powerful message about transformational change for the early childhood education field.
Washington said that the field has changed quite a bit in the 12 years since she and Stacie Goffin wrote a book titled Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education.
Back then, she said, the emphasis was on how to improve early childhood programs and program quality; now, it’s about honing the skills of the people who directly impact the lives of children – the practitioners.
“We really have to help and support early childhood educators as they raise their voices and articulate their willingness to be reformed in some kind of meaningful way,” Washington told the group. “We have to envision a coherent organizational structure that can really support our transformation.”
Washington said that was one of the reasons she was so delighted to join the Power to the Profession Task Force. She said the group is “bringing forward this idea of transformational change in the collective work that we need to do.”
Washington said the Task Force – comprised of 15 organizations – realizes the stakes are very high, much higher than 12 years ago.
“Too many children and early childhood educators are being denied opportunities to realize their potential. … So 12 years later, the field still needs to rethink its developmental trajectory,” she said.