The Council for Professional Recognition and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards lead initiative for National Early Childhood Educator Lead Teacher certification

November 4, 2019
For Immediate Release :
November 4, 2019
For More Information :

Usma Mohamed
Council for Professional Recognition

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Council for Professional Recognition (CFPR) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) have been awarded a contract from the Early Educator Investment Collaborative to conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of a National Early Childhood Educator Lead Teacher Certification.

The goal of the certification would be to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early childhood education (ECE) programs led by early childhood educators who teach to the highest standards and are well prepared,supported and compensated. It is important to sustain the diversity of the ECE workforce and enable practitioners’ voices to play a vital role in the certification process.

With nearly five million people employed in ECE professions in the United States,1 there is an enormous potential impact of establishing a national certification program. The grant will provide the Council and the National Board the opportunity to leverage their collective expertise as the leading national teacher-credentialing agencies.

“The Collaborative has come together as funders to help advance the highest standards of educator quality—and make them possible through equitable access to preparation, ongoing professional learning and compensation that reflects our educators’ transformational value,” said Sara Vecchiotti and Rebecca Gomez, Co-Chairs of the Early Educator Investment Collaborative. “The Council and the National Board are uniquely positioned to conduct this initiative due to their expertise in competency-based certifications and their commitment to excellence in supporting ECE.”

“National standards and strong career pathways are essential elements of the movement to professionalize the field,” said Council CEO Valora Washington, Ph.D. “We are delighted to partner with NBPTS to explore a potentially game-changing certification for our early childhood workforce.” As a part of the feasibility study, the organizations will engage a range of practitioners in the field and build on existing national ECE initiatives.For example, the Council’s work with Power to the Profession—a national collaboration led by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—will serve as a key resource for the study.

“The youngest learners in our country deserve to be taught by the highest quality educators. We believe this work, in partnership with the Council, can elevate the early childhood educator profession by strengthening the trajectory from preparation to high standards of accomplished practice, said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

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The Council for Professional Recognition promotes improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages zero to five years old. The Council recognizes and credentials professionals who work in all types of early care and education settings—HeadStart, pre-k, infant-toddler, family child care and home visitor programs. As a nonprofit organization, the Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing and publishes industry-leading training books and workbooks, including its CDA Competency Standards and the Essentials for Working with Young Children textbook and workbook (2nd edition), all of which are available in English and Spanish.


The Early Educator Investment Collaborative is a group of funders who have come together with the goal of helping all early educators achieve their full potential as professionals in order to prepare all children for success in school and life. The Collaborative advances the highest standards of educator quality—and makes them possible through equitable access to professional development and compensation that reflects the transformational value of early childhood educators. We bring together the early childhood field, policymakers and higher education to think big, establish the ideal and align resources to elevate all who are critical to helping young children reach their full potential.


The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by: maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.


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