Position Statement on Personnel Standards for Early Education and Early Intervention: Call for Feedback

DEC Member feedback is needed!

We are in the process of revising and updating the Position Statement and Concept Paper on Personnel Standards for Early Education and Early Intervention.

Review the DEC Position Statement on Personnel Standards for Early Education and Early Intervention here.

Compliance Date for Head Start Background Check


The Office of Head Start will delay the compliance date for background checks procedures described in the Head Start Program Performance Standards final rule that was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2016. We are taking this action to afford programs more time to implement systems that meet the background checks procedures and to align with deadlines for states complying with background check requirements found in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014.

Source: Federal Register

Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/06/2016-29183/head-start-program

Let’s Talk Wages


By Linda K. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood
Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

For the last few weeks, we’ve been delving into the data in the first brief from the National Survey of Early Care and Education. In a previously blog, I talked about the good news areas of the survey in the first look – educational background of our early care and education workforce, the years of experience and the indication that public investments combined with policy directions have supported these efforts and have made a difference.

What the survey also provided was information on the wide range of salaries. The survey collected wages of center-based teachers and caregivers and found that their salaries were higher among teachers and caregivers for 3 – 5 year olds than infants and toddlers. This was something we thought was the case, and now we have the data to support this. We also know that center based teachers and caregivers with a BA or higher had hourly wages higher than those with AA degrees and some college or high school. That similarly aligns with other occupational studies.

A new piece of information from the study is that who sponsors the program matters in addition to education level. It is clear from the study that school-sponsored center-based programs paid the highest wages at leach level of education. Public pre-K and Head Start programs reported salaries lower than school-sponsored salaries but higher than all other early childhood education.

I want to note here that when I am talking about higher salaries, I am not talking about high salaries! The median hourly wage of center-based teachers and caregivers in school sponsored programs with a BA degree is $20.60. The median hourly wage of Head Start and Public Pre-K BA degree teachers was $15.90 and $16.20 respectively. The report pointed out that the Census data indicate that the average hourly wage across all occupations for workers with a BA degree is about $27.00 an hour. Even our highest paid teachers are behind the average.

The President’s Early Learning Initiative sets the bar high for early care and education teacher training. We anticipate that we will need over 100,000 new early care and education BA degree teachers for the Pre-K For All over 10 years and more than 26,000 new AA degrees for the Early Head Start/Child Care Partnerships. It’s an ambitious and exciting plan, and one that can change the landscape for thousands of young children and families and our early care and education workforce.

This plan is also our strategy for working with our field on our early childhood wage challenges. This plan will provide public financing to raise the education level and the salary level of our public pre-K workforce. When enacted, the plan requires that pre-K teachers be paid salary comparable to the elementary school teachers. Public pre-k will be able to recruit an educated workforce with these higher wages.

As four year olds are served with public pre-K funds, the current Head Start funding will support our birth through three teachers and caregivers, allowing programs to work on raising salaries, benefits and supports for those teachers and caregivers who take care of our youngest, most vulnerable infants and toddlers.

There are lots of reasons to be a fan of the President’s Early Learning Plan. Developing a financing strategy beginning with four year old pre-K teachers that will support an extremely large workforce is just one of them.

CDA Renewal Amnesty Program – Office of Head Start


The Council for Professional Recognition recently announced the CDA Renewal Amnesty Program, which may be of interest to your agency. Beginning March 1, 2012, anyone who has earned a CDA in the last ten years may apply for renewal, even if their CDA has expired. This means that all CDAs with a credential date of January, 2002 or later are eligible for Renewal Amnesty. This amnesty program will only last until December 31, 2012.

CDA Renewal Requirements:

  • 4.5 CEUs or 3 college-credit-hours of training within the last 5 years
  • A recommendation from an ECE professional who is familiar with your professional work
  • A pediatric first aid certificate
  • Membership in an ECE professional membership organization
  • A brief letter from a supervisor testifying that you have worked at least 80 hours in the past year

Apply online for a CDA Renewal, or contact the Council for further information:

Council for Professional Recognition
2460 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009-3547
Office hours: 8am – 5pm EST

Source: Office of Head Start

Starting Strong III: A Quality Toolbox for ECEC

Do you care about improving quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)? If yes, this is the site for you!

The Quality Toolbox is intended to present “practical solutions” for anyone with a role to play in encouraging quality in ECEC. It presents five policy levers that are likely to enhance quality, underpinned by the international research base and country experience.

If you click one of the five levers, you will find supporting materials and tools designed to help you explore ways to improve ECEC services in your country.

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Available at: http://www.oecd.org/document/29/0,3746,en_2649_39263231_47955101_1_1_1_1,00.html

Degrees in Context: Asking the Right Questions about Preparing Skilled and Effective Teachers of Young Children

Preschool teachers play a critical role in children’s development yet there is little agreement about how to codify teacher knowledge and skill. Although much attention has been given to debating the baseline of qualifications required of preschool teachers (e.g., AA vs. BA), the field has largely failed to take into account the precise nature of the education that teachers have received en route to their degrees, support for ongoing learning, and the effects of the workplace environment on their teaching practice. This fact sheet summarizes these issues and the recommendations presented in NIEER’s policy brief.

Source: National Institute for Early Education Research

Available at: http://nieer.org/resources/factsheets/25.pdf

IM 11-04 Center-based Preschool Classroom Teacher Qualification Waiver Authority and Procedures – Head Start


This Information Memorandum (IM) addresses the statutory requirements and authorities related to conditional and time-limited waivers of minimum education credential requirements for Head Start center-based preschool classroom teachers effective October 1, 2011. This IM also describes the minimum education credential requirements for these teachers.

Please note: There is no authority to consider or approve waivers of the education credential requirements for infant and toddler center-based teachers providing direct services to children and families participating in Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs. These infant and toddler teachers must have a minimum of a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in order to provide such services.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/Head%20Start%20Program/Program%20Design%20and%20Management/Head%20Start%20Requirements/IMs/2011/resour_ime_004_090911.html

IM 11-03 Statutory Degree and Credentialing Requirements – Head Start


The purpose of this Information Memorandum IM is to remind programs of the current requirements for Early Head Start center-based teachers [Sec. 645Ah], as well as the requirements taking effect October 1, 2011, for preschool Head Start classroom teachers. Grantees must make every effort to reach and sustain compliance with the requirements for center-based teaching staff, hiring qualified staff in accordance with the Head Start Act of 2007 [Sec. 648Aa3B].

This IM builds upon two previous IMs on the subject of center-based teaching staff qualifications affecting Head Start and Early Head Start programs: ACF-IM-HS-08-12 issued on August 19, 2008, and ACF-IM-HS-10-06 issued on October 27, 2010.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/Head%20Start%20Program/Program%20Design%20and%20Management/Head%20Start%20Requirements/IMs/2011/resour_ime_003_090911.html

Staff Preparation, Reward, and Support: Are Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Addressing All of the Key Ingredients Necessary for Change?

Research documenting the negative effects of the mediocre quality of most early care and education settings on children’s learning and development underlies nearly three decades of debate about the most effective strategies to improve services for young children in the United States (Helburn, 1995). While strategies focused on increased professional development and education for individual members of the workforce have historically dominated policy and practice, in recent years more comprehensive approaches to quality improvement, those which focus on the program as a whole, have garnered increased public attention and resources. These comprehensive approaches were initially exemplified by center-based and family child care accreditation by professional organizations; now they include state or local government quality rating and improvement systems, defined as a “systematic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality” in early care and education programs (NCCIC, 2006).

Source: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

Available at: http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cscce/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/CSCCE_QRISPolicyReport2011.pdf

Competent Educators of the 21st Century: ISSA’S Principles of Quality Pedagogy

The early years have received unprecedented attention from the research community, the public, and political bodies during the last several decades. Several important studies have been conducted, such as the High Scope study in the USA, the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) Study in the United Kingdom, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Reports Starting Strong I and II, to mention just a few. Many countries have set ambitious goals to increase both quantity and quality of early childhood development and education provisions for young children and their families. The rationale behind these goals is based on economic, as well as neurobiological, educational, and social arguments. At the individual level, early childhood experiences have been recognized as a key factor in building strong foundations for learning and successful participation in community throughout life; at the societal level this period in the life of the child and family plays a crucial role in promoting inclusion and strengthening social cohesion; from the economists’ point of view, the best return on investment comes from investments in the early years. Regardless of the arguments and agendas, it is crucial to ensure that the interests of the child are at the heart of any policy and practice relating to the early years, and that the child receives adequate support through high quality early years services.

Source: International Step-By-Step Association

Available at: http://www.issa.nl/docs_pdfs/Pedagogical-Standards-final-WEB.pdf