Building quality through a well-trained and educated workforce continues to be an important focus of the early childhood field, both at the state level and nationally. Experts agree that developing and retaining a strong early childhood workforce begins with creating clear, research-based career pathways that outline the knowledge and competencies necessary to be a successful early educator. In response, the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) has released a new Policy Statement on Early Childhood Career Pathways. The goal of the new policy statement is to provide guidance on how to elevate the early childhood workforce, both in policy and in practice, to help teachers and program directors as they advance through their careers. Specifically, career pathways detail the sequence of research-based, portable credentials, as well as different supports and resources, educators will need as they progress on their career pathway. In order to develop this work on a systems levels and for individuals seeking professional advancement, the report provides state and local recommendations.
The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute has been at the forefront of this work by developing clear career pathways for early childhood professionals in New York and supporting them throughout the process. The Institute coordinates New York Works for Children (NYWFC), the state’s integrated early childhood workforce development system. NYWFC works in partnership with state government agencies and other partners to create New York’s career pathways and the resources professionals need to move along those pathways.
In addition, the Institute’s Career Development Services Center provides free career advisement, job search support, certification help, and other resources and supports to current and aspiring early childhood professionals. The Institute also sponsors a credit-bearing Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate and the Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC) through the CUNY School of Professional Studies. To learn more about New York Works for Children, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Career Development Services Center, call (718)254-7735 or email email@example.com. For information on the CDA or CPAC, please contact Dana Benzo at 718-254-7353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.