In April 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IOM)1 and National Research Council (NRC) published Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. This report provides recommendations to “build a workforce that is unified by the foundation of the science of child development and early learning and the shared knowledge and competencies that are needed to provide consistent, high-quality support for the development and early learning of children from birth through age 8.”
Following the release of the report, the Innovation to Incubation program of the National Academy of Medicine organized a planning process for five states, including California, to develop plans for implementing key recommendations from the report. As part of this process, First 5 California and the California Department of Education, Early Education and Support Division convened a 30-person Action Planning Team to discuss the recommendations from the IOM and NRC report, identify key priorities for California, and develop a plan for advancing these priorities. This work was informed by a breadth of additional research and recommendations regarding California’s early childhood workforce, and aligned with multiple ongoing related efforts within the state.
GPG provided facilitation, coordination, writing, and research support for the nine-month planning process with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Additional resources for this project were provided by First 5 California.
The resulting plan, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Plan for the State of California, was released by First 5 California and the California Department of Education in December 2016 (see the First 5 CA press release and CDE news release). This plan is intended to serve as a blueprint for implementing a fully developed and statewide system of certification, preparation, and support for California’s early childhood professionals. It contains actionable recommendations for creating systems-level change in three priority areas:
- Permitting and credentialing
- Professional pathways
- Higher education and ongoing professional learning.
GPG will continue to support a Core Team to guide implementation of the plan over the next several months. For additional information, visit California’s Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 website: http://twb8-ca.net/.
1. The Institute of Medicine was renamed the “Health and Medicine Division” in March 2016.↩