LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- First 5 LA, a leading early childhood advocacy organization, announced it will extend its strategic partnership with the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles and continue to support the California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry.
"Parents entrust early care and education professionals to nurture the development and well-being of young minds during the most critical period of brain development --before they enter kindergarten. It's a calling, but it's also a career," said Katie Fallin Kenyon, Director of Early Care and Education at First 5 LA. "First 5 LA is committed to continuously improving how California recruits, retains, supports and compensates quality teachers and caregivers of our youngest children. The California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry is a critical element in this effort."
The California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry is a web-based information system that compiles demographic, education, professional development and employment data for early childhood workers. It also serves as a workforce resource by providing access to a calendar for training and other professional development opportunities, as well as a job board and resume-building tools.
"Investment in the early care and education workforce directly impacts the quality of early learning programs for children," added Sonia Campos-Rivera, the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce's Senior Director of Education Policy and Public Affairs, who also is a member of the Speaker's Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education whose mission is to develop solutions to improve results for California's youngest learners and their families. "High quality early care and education for young children is inherently linked to a highly qualified workforce, and research has proven that learners of all ages benefit more when their teachers have received proper training and education."
More than 40 U.S. states have similar registries, many of which are administered as part of licensing or Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) through state departments of education or early learning. Currently, California does not have a statewide early care and education registry, but several counties, including Los Angeles, are working in partnership on this shared registry effort.
"The Early Care and Education Workforce Registry helps child care providers, teachers and program leadership access professional development opportunities and track and promote their educational and training accomplishments and qualifications," said Fiona Stewart, program director for the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles. "First 5 LA's ongoing support will help ensure we have a robust Registry effort here in Los Angeles county, and will also make it easier for teachers and program leadership to help advance the implementation of a comprehensive QRIS, ultimately benefiting young children throughout California."
Registries improve the quality of early care and education services by promoting the professional development of the workforce, creating a mechanism for collaboration between various early childhood systems (e.g., the department of education, licensing officials and resources and referral agencies), and providing data and information to inform early education policy change. Additionally, employers can easily access needed background information and streamline the hiring process.
The California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry was funded as a pilot for a statewide Registry with the intent of building a model that could serve all of California. The pilot began in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2012, funded by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, First 5 LA, the City and County of San Francisco, LAUP, and supported by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley. Since that time, Santa Clara County has joined the Registry with funding from First 5 Santa Clara.
Through this strategic partnership, First 5 LA funds will be leveraged with funding from the San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education (SF OECE) and First 5 Santa Clara County to support Registry operations, data systems development and system alignment. Furthermore, the Registry expansion generated by the recent requirement from the Early Education Support Division (EESD) of the California Department of Education for all of their training vendors and trainees to create Registry profiles, has set the stage for First 5 LA's investment in the Registry to produce additional funding from both public and private funders.
In addition to the existing Registry partners and funders, First 5 California, which works with First 5 Commissions throughout the state, is committed to finding a long-term funding strategy to support a statewide ECE Workforce Registry. First 5 for California is working with key state-level partners, including the California Department of Education, California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division, California Resource and Referral Network, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and others to support the Registry.
ABOUT FIRST 5 LA
First 5 LA is a leading early childhood advocacy and public grantmaking organization created by California voters to invest Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues in Los Angeles County. In partnership with others, First 5 LA strengthens families, communities, and systems of services and supports so that all children in L.A. County enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. Please visit www.first5la.org for more information.
ABOUT THE L.A. AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce champions economic prosperity and quality of life for the Los Angeles region by being the voice of business, promoting collaboration and helping members grow. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce serves a diverse membership of businesses of every size, from nearly every industry, in every community across L.A. County.
ABOUT THE CHILD CARE ALLIANCE OF LOS ANGELES
The Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles (CCALA) is a partnership of ten Resource and Referral and Alternative Payment agencies in Los Angeles County. Together, our agencies deliver services to thousands of families and child care providers. Services include offering training and one-on-one coaching for child care providers to improve the work they do with children; assisting parents in finding and identifying quality child care; and providing information to parents and child care providers on topics such as health, oral health and nutrition. Through our member agencies, CCALA has the ability to reach providers, families and children at a grass-roots level in multiple languages and a strong understanding of their areas' unique communities.
Contact: Marlene Fitzsimmons, (213) 482-7804
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SOURCE First 5 LA