New report reveals opportunities and trends in early learning

Press Release | March 17, 2009

Olympia – Local policy and labor leaders will present results from a new report on early learning and professional development programs to state officials on Tuesday, March 17th. Major finding include:

  • Washington’s early learning workforce is characterized by moderate levels of education, high rates of poverty, poor levels of compensation and benefits, and high rates of turnover.
  • Lack of coordination and scarce financial incentives hinder many workers from pursuing training and education, despite a wealth of formal and informal professional development opportunities.

The report, “Paving the Pathways to Quality”, reviews programs and policies affecting teachers of the state’s youngest students. It is a joint project of the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925.

“As a provider for over 20 years, I know that when the entire early learning community in our state comes together, we’ll put together the resources and support we need to provide the best for our kids,” says Nancy Gerber, President, SEIU 925 Family Child Care Chapter and Accredited Child Care Provider.

“This report builds the foundation for much more robust and precise investments in educational and compensation initiatives for early learning teachers and caregivers,” says John Burbank, EOI’s Executive Director.

“This comprehensive report inventories what we already do, and where we have gaps, in early learning professional development. Our union of child care providers is eager to work with others to fill those gaps and build the most effective system that we can for everyone,” says Kim Cook, President, SEIU Local 925.

A public briefing on the report is scheduled for the House Early Learning and Children’s Services Committee work session on March 17th, starting at 1:30 p.m. in House Hearing Room E of the John L. O’Brien Building, Olympia WA.


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Posted in Early Learning