Transforming the Early Childhood Education Workforce in Colorado

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Education Policy Networking Series Event on Sept. 25, 2017 Several decades of research have established the important role that knowledgeable and skilled early childhood education (ECE) teachers and family child care providers can play in fostering the healthy development and school readiness of children. Each day in Colorado, these early educators provide ECE services to nearly 20,000 young children under the age of six and enable their families to work. The need for early educators is also expected to grow substantially over the next 10 years. Yet Colorado struggles to retain the current early educator workforce and recruit talented new professionals into the field. This presentation will examine the results of two early childhood workforce studies conducted in Colorado aimed at informing workforce development, recruitment, and retention efforts. The first will describe a sample of over 4,700 early educators in Colorado and explore factors associated with turnover, retention, job intentions, and their well-being. The second will explore the economic contributions of ECE in Colorado and the additional public investments needed for early educators to reach pay parity with elementary school teachers. Implications for policy, practice, and higher education will be discussed in light of study findings. Presenters: * Dr. Meg Franko, Director, Research & Evaluation, Butler Institute for Families, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver * Dr. Diana Schaack, Assistant Research Professor/Senior Instructor, SEHD, CU Denver Discussants: * Dr. Rebecca Kantor, Dean, SEHD, CU Denver * Nancie Linville, Director of the Office of Early Learning, Colorado Department of Education * Bill Jaeger, Vice President of Early Childhood Initiates, Colorado Children’s Campaign Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Stedron, Executive Director, Early Milestones Colorado Video provided by the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus