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June 20, 2017
As the District of Columbia takes a national leadership role with its new early childhood workforce requirements, representatives from the District’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the Council for Professional Recognition, the National League of Cities and other non-profits met to show their support for these new requirements and discuss how best to support teachers,manage training costs, increase diversity,and improve quality. This meeting was one of many collaboration efforts OSSE is engaged in as part of its rollout for the updated licensing regulations.
During the June 7meeting, hosted by the Council for Professional Recognition, the group agreed that a consensus must be built around public investment to meet these new requirements in the short-term and to retain well-trained early educators in the long-term. The group noted that the enhanced requirements will target early childhood educators in approximately 465 licensed child development centers and homes in the District.
OSSE’s final rule making on child development facility licensing requirements was released Dec. 2, 2016, after considering input from the public. In 18 months from today, the first deadline of the new requirements will go into effect. All Home Caregivers, Associate Caregivers and Assistant Teachers must have Child Development Associate Credentials by December 2018.
“We are focused on ensuring consistent quality in all child development settings and are looking for the right models to provide a sufficient long-term investment in our youngest children,”said Elizabeth Groginsky, OSSE’s assistant superintendent of Early Learning. “The District understands that cost is and will continue to be a driver in improving early childhood education.”
Education scholarship funds are available through the District’s “Child Development Associate –Training Scholarship and Promotion Program” and other sources that help reduce the cost or cover the entire cost early educators may face in meeting the new educational requirements and timeline.
Valora Washington, CEO, the Council for Professional Development, which administers the CDA credential stated that the new workforce education requirements are an important part of OSSE’s overall effort to improve early child development, curriculum and teaching methods in early education.
“The City of Washington, D.C. is way ahead of the curve in terms of working to improve the quality of early childhood education. We’re pleased with their scholarship program for new CDA training and higher education and know that compensation will be addressed,” Washington said. “We also need to help parents and policymakers understand that supporting young children is a community responsibility. This will require more public investment because there are very few parents who can pay the full cost of high-quality care, yet early childhood education benefits everyone.”
ABOUT THE COUNCIL FOR PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION
The Council for Professional Recognition promotes improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages zero to 5 years old. The Council recognizes and credentials professionals who work in all types of early care and education settings –Head Start, pre-k, infant-toddler, family child care, and home visitor programs. As a non-profit agency, the Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing, publishes the industry-leading training books and workbooks, including its CDA Competency Standards and Essentials textbook and workbook (2ndedition). www.cdacouncil.org
ABOUT THE OFFICE OF THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is the State Education Agency for the District of Columbia charged with raising the quality of education for all DC residents. OSSE serves as the District’s liaison to the U.S. Department of Education and works closely with the District’s traditional and public charter schools to achieve its key functions:
- Overseeing all federal education programs and related grants administered in the District of Columbia.
- Developing state-level standards aligned with school, college, and workforce readiness expectations.
- Ensuring access to high-quality child care and universal pre-kindergarten for eligible District families.
- Providing resources and support to assist the District’s most vulnerable student populations.
- Administering the annual Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the statewide student academic achievement exam.
- Providing regional, door-to-door transportation to school for District children with special needs.
- Awarding higher education financial assistanceto eligible District students at public and private colleges and universities in DC and across the country.
- Increasing health and physical education awareness as well as ensuring access to free meals year-round.
- Overseeing the DC State Athletic Association (DCSAA), which provides interscholastic athletic programming that enriches the educationalexperiences of all student-athletes.
- Providing a one-stop source of statewide school data on each traditional and public charter school as well as resources to support children from birthto post-secondary education: LearnDC
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