Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

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Early childhood workforce: Supporting the professionals who support our families


Professionals who work with children and their families play many roles, from child care provider to social worker to health professional. While specific responsibilities and training may differ, each of these sectors contribute meaningfully to the well-being of children and families, often working with the same families in different contexts. Each specific field faces a range of similar challenges related to burnout, compensation, safety, and retention. The COVID-19 pandemic moved many of these professions squarely into the role of “frontline worker”–but often without increasing resources to support these professionals. As policymakers, service providers, funders, and families begin to move forward from this crisis, it is essential to address long-standing issues faced by these workforces and build a resilient, productive, stellar workforce that our children deserve.  This paper will explore the challenges faced in each of these sectors of the broadly-defined “early childhood workforce,” highlight commonalities, and provide possible course of action to build resilience in the workforce serving our children, particularly in light of the lingering crisis and long-term impacts of COVID-19. (author abstract)

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