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It Takes a Community: Leveraging Community Colleges to Transform the Early Childhood Workforce

Marnie Kaplan
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It Takes a Community: Leveraging Community Colleges to Transform the Early Childhood WorkforceWhile there has been extensive debate about mandating degree requirements for early childhood educators, little of this debate has focused on the type of programs early childhood educators are likely to attend, let alone the quality of these programs. It Takes a Community: Leveraging Community Colleges to Transform the Early Childhood Workforce examines the critical role community colleges currently play in preparing early childhood educators and envisions the role these institutions should play in ongoing efforts to transform the early childhood workforce.

In recent years, policymakers and advocates seeking to increase the knowledge, credentials, and professional prestige of the early care and education workforce have begun to consider the role of community colleges in these efforts.

This publication:

  • Details the various challenges community colleges face in helping early educators obtain degrees
  • Highlights models of innovative strategies — at both the institution and state policy level — to help early childhood educators succeed in community college programs and go on to obtain higher levels of credentials
  • Offers recommendations for community college leaders, early childhood advocates, and policymakers seeking to maximize the potential of community colleges to support professional development and credential attainment for early childhood educators

Community colleges prepare early childhood educators in myriad ways and will continue to be active partners in transforming the early care and education workforce in the future. Policymakers and advocates seeking to transform the early childhood workforce must understand the emergent literature about community college programs, as well as the limitations of existing research, to create a realistic vision for the role community colleges should play.

Download the full report here or read it in the viewer below.