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National Conference on the Early Care and Education Profession

Elevating State Policies for and with the Early Education Profession: Taking Stock; Moving Forward

September 24-25, 2019  |  Hyatt Regency Milwaukee  |  Milwaukee, WI

In recent years, the Alliance for Early Success has invested in and grown a network of state advocates and national experts who are producing research and communications resources and developing and implementing state strategies to advance the early care and education (ECE) profession. In 2019, we brought these organizations together, along with state leaders and early childhood educators from beyond the Alliance network, at a national conference about how to better support and advance the ECE profession.

This conference provided an opportunity for state leaders, advocates, national experts, and early childhood educators to engage each other on their diverse views about what’s needed to create an ECE profession that is well-prepared, supported and compensated, and possesses the competencies and diversity that help them serve young children and their families effectively and equitably. Our goals were to:

  • Facilitate an exchange about strategies and lessons learned thus far about how states can grow a competent, diverse, and well-supported ECE profession with equity as a core value;
  • Learn about potential new issues, research, or strategies that may enhance or change what states are doing;
  • Identify actionable new policy solutions and ways of advocating that lead to more transformative change;
  • Learn from the voices and perspectives of diverse early childhood educators;
  • Create a network of leaders that forms a learning community beyond the meeting and represents the leading edge of a growing movement.

Tuesday, September 24

8:30 – Registration

10:00 – Welcome

10:30-11:30 – Opening Plenary Panel with Early Childhood Educators: Seeing the Future of the Profession through the Eyes of Today’s Educators 

The field of early care and education has been doing a lot of advocating for the profession, and less of advocating with. Where do current early childhood educators see the profession in 50 years? What strengths do they treasure? What improvements do they think are critical to make? What will it take for them to be truly engaged in this journey of transformation with advocates, researchers, higher education faculty, and policymakers?

  • Moderator: Marica Mitchell, Bainum Family Foundation
  • Maria Isabel Ballivian, ACCA Child Development Center (VA)
  • Jerletha McDonald, Arlington DFW Child Care (TX) 
  • Miranda Niemi, Rockwell Collins Child Development Center (IA) 
  • Michelle Marbury, Innis Enterprise (MD)

12:00-1:15 – Lunch

1:30-2:45 – Breakout Sessions 

Building Systems That Help Family Child Care Thrive: A New Framework 

  • Tane Trimble, Tane’s Lil World Daycare
  • Natalie Vieria, All Our Kin
  • Yesenia Robles, All Our Kin

Examining Quality in Family Child Care: An Evaluation of All Our Kin
The Economic Impact of the All Our Kin Family Child Care Tool Kit Licensing Program
A Strength-Based Approach: Increasing Health and Safety in Family Child Care

Moving the Needle on Early Childhood Workforce Compensation: State Teams in Action

  • Angela Burch, NC Early Education Coalition
  • Phyllis Kalifeh, The Children’s Forum (Florida)
  • Sue Russell, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center
  • Ruth Schmidt, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
  • Kristi Snuggs, NC Division of Child Development and Early Education

T.E.A.C.H. Moving the Needle Compensation Initiative
Florida Child Care WAGE$® Incentive Scale

Rising up to Increase Opportunities for the Professionalization of the Early Childhood Workforce 

  • Jean Allison, Delaware Community College
  • Tara Dwyer, The Pennsylvania Key
  • Rebecca Mercatoris, Office of Child Development and Early Learning 
  • Jennifer Pyles, Shippensburg University

Stories from the EarlyEdU Alliance: Lowering Barriers to Higher Education and Strengthening the EC Workforce

  • Katie Emerson-Hoss, EarlyEdU Alliance, University of Washington
  • Lisa Henderson, University of Washington
  • Gail Joseph, Cultivate Learning, University of Washington
  • Juliet Taylor, Cultivate Learning, University of Washington

EarlyEdU Fact Sheet
Increasing Access to Credits that Count and Degrees that Matter

Using Higher Education Data to Inform Practice, Policy, and Advocacy 

  • Sara Mickelson, Oregon Early Learning Division
  • Abby Copeman Petig, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment 
  • Susan Sarver, Buffett Early Childhood Institute (Nebraska)


Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory

3:15-4:30 – Breakout Sessions

Compensation, Retention, & Recruitment: Program, Community, Policy & Systems Innovations in Colorado 

  • Pamela Harris, Mile High Early Learning
  • Elsa Holguin, Denver Preschool Program
  • Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children’s Campaign
  • Jennifer Stedron, Early Milestones Colorado

Denver Preschool Program 2018 Report
Colorado Early Childhood Workforce Survey 2017 Key Findings
Colorado Early Childhood Workforce Survey 2017 Executive Summary
Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce in Colorado – 2018 Grantee Report Summary

Educator Voice is “No Small Matter” 

  • Cama Charlet, Buffet Early Childhood Institute
  • Susan Sarver, Buffett Early Childhood Institute
  • Anna Welch, Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Increasing Teacher Compensation – How Do We Get There? 

  • Angela Abrams, Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families
  • Bethany Patten, Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development
  • Mandy Sorge, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
  • Joyce Weiner, Ounce of Prevention

Supporting States Policy Strategy to Improve the Early Care and Education Workforce 
Consensus Statement on Early Childhood Educator Compensation (IL)
Early Childhood Educator Compensation: Literature and Landscape Scan 
Washington’s Compensation Initiatives

Overcoming the ECE Workforce Data Deficit to Improve Policy 

  • Caitlin McLean, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
  • Joellyn Whitehead, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies

The Workforce Data Deficit: Who It Harms and How It Can Be Overcome
Illinois’ Early Childhood Education Workforce: 2017 Report 
Illinois 2017 Salary and Staffing Survey of Licensed Child Care Facilities 

Quality for All: Towards Unified Standards and Competencies, Effective Professional Preparation, and Equitable Access to Higher Education 

  • Lauren Hogan, National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Carmen Rivers, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Sue Russell, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center
  • Florianna Thompson, Wake Technical Community College

5:30 – Reception

Wednesday, September 25

8:00 – Breakfast

9:00-10:00 – Plenary Panel with Policymakers: Making the Political Case for Investing in the ECE Profession 

After decades of focused advocacy and research on early childhood development, it is common today for policymakers and elected official on both sides of the aisle to express support for ECE programs. This support has often translated to bipartisan agreements on funding, at both the state and federal levels. However, as much as elected officials profess their belief in the early years, we have not been able to move the needle very much on policies and investments that promote the competence and well-being of early childhood educators. Through this plenary session, we will hear directly from elected officials and their staff on how advocates and early childhood educators can make a more compelling case for investing in the workforce.

  • Moderator: Linda Smith, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Vance Aloupis, Florida House of Representatives
  • Jenna Conway, Virginia Department of Education 
  • Tracy Ehlert, Iowa General Assembly
  • Kimber Liedl, Office of Senate Republican Leader

10:30-11:45 – Breakout Sessions 

Equity for California’s ECE Workforce: Supporting Diversity Using Provider Voice 

  • Patricia Lozano, Early Edge California
  • Sarah Neville-Morgan, California Department of Education
  • Maggie Steakley, Glen Price Group

A Framework for Equity and Access in the Workforce

Exploring Innovations in Higher Education to Better Support Early Childhood Educators 

  • Catron Allred, Central New Mexico Community College
  • Laura Bornfreund, New America
  • Kathy Glazer, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
  • Ashley Williams, EDVance, San Francisco State University

How Can We Help Higher Ed Strengthen Early Ed?
Central New Mexico Community College’s Early Childhood Mentor Network
San Francisco State University’s EDVance Program
Upskilling Virginia’s Early Learning Workforce

If Not Us, Then Who?  Educator Voice in Advocacy, Policy ,and Making a Difference! 

  • Cassandra Brooks, Little Believers Academy (North Carolina)
  • Anne Douglass, University of Massachusetts
  • Jerletha S. McDonald, Arlington DFW Child Care Providers Association (Texas)
  • Amy O’Leary, Strategies for Children (Massachusetts)
  • Mary Thundercloud-Eary, Ho-Chunk Nation – Hoocak Ee Cooni Waziperes Hocira (Wisconsin)

Promoting Equity & Success in Early Childhood Teacher Preparation through Competency-Based Education 

  • Johnna Darragh-Ernst, Heartland Community College
  • Jamilah R. Jor’dan, Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development
  • Joni Scritchlow, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
  • Teri N. Talan, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership

ECE Career Lattice
Map of ECE Credential Entitled Institutions
Competency Timeline

Using Refundable Tax Credits to Improve Professional Development and Increase Wages

  • Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children’s Campaign
  • Grace Reef, Committee for Economic Development, Consultant
  • Louise Stoney, Independent Consultant

Colorado HB 19-1005 Early Childhood Educator Tax Credit
Colorado 2019 Child-Related Tax Credits
CED The Workforce Investment Credit Executive Summary
CED The Workforce Investment Credit Infographic
CED Child Care in State Economies Economic Impact Infographic
MN ECE Refundable Tax Credit Infographic
State Tax Credit Examples NC Early Childhood Foundation Summary

12:00-1:15 – Lunch

1:30-2:30 – State Team Reflection and Planning Time (with national organizations as facilitators/consultants)

2:30-3:30 – What’s Next? A Discussion About How to Grow the Movement 

The Alliance is grateful for the support of the Early Educator Investment Collaborative for their generous funding, and the planning committee for this conference:

  • Khadija Lewis-Khan, Executive Director, Beautiful Beginnings Child Care Center (Rhode Island)
  • Patricia Lozano, Executive Director, Early Edge California
  • Sara Mead, Partner, Bellwether Education Partners
  • Michele Miller-Cox, Executive Director, First Presbyterian Day School (North Carolina)
  • Susan Sarver, Director of Workforce Planning and Development, Buffett Early Childhood Institute (Nebraska)
  • Lis Stevens, Associate Program Officer, Bezos Family Foundation

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