A child’s early years are the most critical for forming a strong foundation for their future development and learning. Research demonstrates that professionals working with children from birth through age 8 play a crucial role in helping young children develop physically, socially, and emotionally and their work should be grounded in shared knowledge, skills, and abilities.
In recent years there have been several collaborative efforts to address California’s early childhood workforce. The 2015 release of Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unified Foundation served as a catalyst for aligning ongoing initiatives and prioritizing efforts to ensure that all levels of California’s early childhood workforce are well-positioned to shape the future success of the state’s youngest learners. The resulting Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 (TWB8)\ Implementation Plan for the State of California seeks to achieve this goal by implementing a fully developed and articulated competency- and practice-based system of preparation, certification, and support for early childhood professionals.
In the proposed system, professionals working with young children:
• Have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to support each child’s learning and development;
• Are able to progress along career pathways that encompass multiple sectors including education,
child care, and health; and
• Access and complete training, higher education programs, and ongoing professional development opportunities that prepare them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter and/or progress along career pathways.
The specific recommendations and objectives included in this plan describe the proposed roadmap for creating this system. California’s plan has a particular emphasis on early care and education workforce development as a starting point for implementation, with the intent to expand and translate the enclosed recommendations to other professional roles within the early childhood workforce. While significant questions and challenges remain at the state and national levels, implementation of the recommendations outlined in this plan will result in meaningful progress for California over time.