Research tells us that the quality of teaching is the key determinant of the quality of early education programs and that the most effective early educators hold BA degrees and training in early childhood. That’s why we advocate for policies and resources that provide financial and other support for early educators returning to school to earn their degrees. The National Association for the Education of Young Children, whose accreditation is a widely accepted proxy for quality, and Head Start are phasing in BA requirements. Massachusetts’ pilot Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) recognizes the importance of BA degrees.
What does this mean for children on a day-to-basis? In a new audio slide show – “Back to School” – long-time early educator Doreen Anzalone talks about how going to college has made her a better teacher. She began working in early education and care almost 25 years ago, a few years after she graduated from Everett High School, and went to college as a part-time student in 2002. Thanks to financial assistance from the Massachusetts Early Childhood Educators Scholarship and Building Careers programs, she earned her BA from the UMass-Boston in 2009. The slide show features Doreen Anzalone’s words and photographs by former Boston Globe photographer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Michele McDonald. View audio slide show.