\”Since you asked…\” is an occasional column that responds to big questions from the workforce as we work together to advance as a profession.
What is the bridge? Who is it for?
The “bridge” will be a set of policies and supports that enable the existing workforce to transition to the newly-formed profession, so that no one is summarily pushed out. The bridge will include a “legacy policy” that counts the experience of current educators, flexible approaches to demonstrate competence, and new requirements phased in over time. There will be supports and resources available for all, including some to address the particular challenges faced by those working in family child care and small center-based programs.
How will the bridge work? Who is designing it?
VTAEYC’s Advancing as a Profession is putting together a design team to figure out what the legacy policy and the bridge need to look like. On that team will be members of the Task Force and others from the ECE workforce, some key partners, and others with systems expertise. One of the first acts of the design team will be to study all of the questions and concerns expressed by the ECE workforce in conversations and surveys over the past two years, to ensure that input guides their design work.
What about the future workforce? Is the bridge for them as well?
The bridge is a short-term structure designed for the current, experienced workforce to enter the newly-formed profession. For the longer term, there will be no legacy policy. Instead, there will be lasting supports and resources for the future incoming workforce, including:
- Innovative models and pathways to meet needs of non-traditional students
- Approaches specifically adapted, enhanced, and targeted toward those working in family child care settings and/or small centers
- Equitable, affordable access to high-quality professional preparation programs
- Increased public funding and supports for students, for professional preparation programs, and for employers and owners
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