Adapted from the Task Force’s forthcoming Consensus Document on Professional Compensation:
The Task Force for Advancing Early Childhood Education as a Profession in Vermont focuses on truly hearing the voices of Vermont’s ECE workforce. We must ensure that early childhood educators are at the center of the work to advance our profession. The prospect of change may raise anxiety and skepticism. We wonder: Where do I fit? Will I be pushed out or lose ground? Who is making these changes? What power do I have? Can this even work? Is this really different from past changes we’ve had?
The Task Force strives for a trustworthy process, with the following messages to our colleagues:
We are you.
We live this every day as members of the ECE workforce. We represent a diversity of roles, settings and regions, education and experience. We are your peers and colleagues.
We hear you.
We understand your excitement, along with your concerns. We name and acknowledge those important concerns and questions throughout our work, documents, and communications.
We give honest responses.
When we can, we respond to questions and concerns with information. When we can’t we say, “we don’t know yet” or “we’ll need to figure that out together.” Sometimes, we don’t know the specifics yet, but we can define terms and underlying principles. We share what the Task Force is thinking, based on where you’re pointing us.
We are your voice.
Taking what we learn from your facilitated conversations, from surveys, from our daily work shoulder-to-shoulder with you, we will ensure that your voice influences this work moving forward, especially now as implementation design work begins. We will keep circling back and asking what you think. We invite you to join us in raising your voices. Early childhood educators must have a meaningful seat at the table.
Pictured, left to right: Tammie Hazlett, Registered Family Child Care, Thetford; Kim Freeman, Education/Human Resource Coordinator for Early Education Services in Brattleboro; Su White, Teaching Director at Quarry Hill School, Middlebury; Staci Otis, owner, Little Allstars Childcare and Preschool, Springfield