CEELO convened a series of focus groups and conducted a national survey of state early childhood education agency staff, in partnership with the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education. Data for this report was collected from May through September 2018 in focus groups and a national survey of state early childhood education agency (ECE) staff. The report describes what we learned about state ECE agency staff. State ECE agency staff are typically white, women, 40 or older, highly educated, and have spent a number of years in the field of ECE. Although many were relatively new to their positions, predicted turnover within the next five years is high. This suggests we need to put more emphasis on succession planning and growing the field of future state early childhood policy leaders. The report further describes the complexity of state ECE agency staff work and identifies a number of factors that would enable them to better accomplish their work, including strong leadership, support around political and leadership transitions, and professional development supports to build their own skills and knowledge. State early childhood education agency staff indicated that social-emotional and mental health supports for young children and a well-qualified, well-compensated workforce were among their top policy priorities. Improving access to quality programs was the number one statistic that state early childhood education agency staff would like to see change by 2030. (author abstract)
The views of state early childhood education agency staff on their work and their vision for young children: Informing a legacy for young children by 2030
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