Last week, Massachusetts’ House Speaker Robert DeLeo declared his state’s early childhood workforce “in crisis.” How did he come to this conclusion? A year ago, DeLeo asked local business leaders to examine the state’s early childhood education system, and last week they released a report showing unacceptably low salaries and high turnover among early childhood educators in the state.
But Massachusetts is no anomaly. If we applied the criteria used by the Massachusetts Advisory Group to any state in the country, that state’s early childhood workforce would also be deemed “in crisis.”
So what can state legislators serious about reforming their early childhood workforce do? Past efforts to improve public pre-k programs and federal efforts to professionalize the Head Start workforce offer several lessons. Continue reading