Advancing as a Profession: One Action Step – And Why

By Susan Titterton, Project Coordinator

Our Task Force recently discussed what fellow early childhood educators might want to hear from this project as we begin a new year. We want to share one thing we think you may want to know about, with a doable action step. We’ve been encouraging you to get the highest Career Ladder certificate that you are eligible for. Here’s why:

When the profession is established, for a limited time there will be waivers as part of the “bridge” to ECE licensure. A Northern Lights Career Ladder Certificate may provide what you need for a waiver.

To use ECE II as an example: in the future, to be licensed at ECE II, educators will need to complete an approved associate degree program in Early Childhood Education.

However, under the waiver, a current educator who has received a Career Ladder Level III-B certificate for any of the equivalent options, can apply for ECE II licensure without needing further coursework. The Career Ladder already has that equivalence built into it. The same rationale goes for the Career Ladder Level II and Level IV-A certificates, and perhaps for others.

This call to action is to position yourself well for professional licensure. If you’re working toward a degree now, don’t change your path.

If you’re not currently working toward a degree, the action step is to consult with a Resource Advisor at Northern Lights about getting the highest level certificate you qualify for, so that this “bridge” waiver will apply to you.

woman in black coat, light skin and hair, and arms crossed stands in front of a tree with falling yellow leaves

As an extra incentive: during a brief grace period, eligible early childhood educators can apply for bonuses they may have previously missed — in addition to regular bonuses for Northern Lights Career Ladder achievements.

Subscribe to VTAEYC’s regular updates about Advancing as a Profession to learn about other parts of the bridge, including flexible pathways for current educators, who happen not to have associate degrees, to demonstrate the competencies built from years of experience and professional development as a pathway to ECE II licensure.

📣 Action Reminder: Get your Northern Lights Career Ladder Certificate

When the profession is established, for a limited time there will be waivers as part of the “bridge” to individual ECE licensure. A Northern Lights Career Ladder Certificate may provide what you need for a waiver. Northern Lights Resource Advisors are here to help.

📣 Action: Make a plan to get the highest Northern Lights Career Ladder Certificate you qualify for. Already there? Encourage a friend or colleague.

Stakeholder Outreach Update

This year, Outreach Coordinator Rachel Hunter and fellow project leaders are presenting to audiences of early childhood education stakeholders throughout the state about Vermont’s work to create an ECE profession within a national context. Audiences include staff at Building Bright Futures, Let’s Grow Kids, VTAEYC, Northern Lights, and others.

Based on the standing-room-only presentation delivered by Advancing as a Profession leaders at the NAEYC conference, these presentations help partners in our ECE ecosystem and people new to their roles understand the singular and critical role of workforce leadership in our project, our alignment with the Unifying Framework, and our process to gain public support for a profession.

There will be a public presentation on April 10 at Early Childhood Day at the Legislature. To request information about scheduling a presentation for your staff or group, contact Rachel.

New PD: Implementing Professional Identity

We’ve presented only two sessions of  Who We Are and What We Do: Communicating About Our Professional Identity – and we’ve already seen so many examples of early childhood educators communicating professional identity on social media and with families!

This action-based workshop gives participants the opportunity to explore our Professional Identity Toolkit and to plan your next steps. Stay tuned: new sessions will be scheduled soon.

Have You Signed the Pledge?

Before we take the case for creating an ECE profession to state leadership, we want to show as many ECEs as possible support making early childhood education a well-prepared, well-compensated profession.

Haven’t signed? Sign on here.
Already signed? Share the flyer!

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