The Quality and Workforce committee reviewed Sections 5, 6, & 7 of the State plan. Many of the items that we reviewed were about current practices and if they were occurring in some form within our state.
Section 5 - This section was strictly about current licensing standards. While we had many suggestions about items we would like to see revised in the current licensing standards, this section was based on current regulations. No recommendation were made.
Section 6 - Two of our recommendations in this section focused on competencies and credentials, both as a recruitment tool and as a path for those with differing degrees to ECE degree completion. The committee recognized the need to increase diversity of the workforce and the need for recruitment efforts into the Early Childhood Field. We identified possible recruitment efforts for high school students, incoming college students, current ECE staff, current parents, and the senior citizen population with credential training, CDA training, and making college more accessible throughout the state.
Recommendation was sent forth regarding the incorporation of trainings regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Trauma Informed Care; Social Emotional Learning; and ACE's. These were also included in business practices for providers and an additional recommendation in this area also included focus on continuous quality improvements including reflective practices, coaching and mentoring, and shared leadership.
Section 7 - In regard to Infant and Toddlers, we recommended that language be included about using existing partners to promote local and statewide resources and support to ensure providers (centers and homes) and families of infant and toddlers needs are met. Our committee felt there was a need for centers and home to have an increased awareness of the support resources (EI, Infant and Toddler Mental Health specialist, etc.) available.
A final recommendation suggests that we move to the ITERS-3, rather than the ITERS-R, to create consistency as the ECERS-3 is the current tool for Preschool.
Again, most of the sections we reviewed on the plan surrounded current practice and if these practices were currently occurring in some form. While our recommendations seem few, there was great discussion on how we could expand on the sections and current practice. One notable discussion surrounded the school age training and quality initiatives. Though the CDBG plan focuses mainly on our youngest children, children up through the age of 12 are included in the Child Care Assistance program. Specific school-age training and quality initiatives should be available to school-age practitioners. In addition, the need for relationship-based training such as coaching and mentoring was a recurring theme in our discussions.