The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Department of Early Education and Care are in the process of hiring a part-time “early education and out-of-school-time college completion specialist,” who will be housed at the Department of Higher Education.
This is welcome news at a time of increased efforts to improve the education, training and compensation of the early education workforce. The Quality Rating and Improvement System includes the education of early educators and administrators as a key factor in determining quality. Both Head Start and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (a major accrediting body) are phasing in BA requirements. The state’s Early Childhood Scholarship provides $3.4 million for early educators returning to school to earn college degrees.
According to the job description, the specialist will “work with public two-year and four-year colleges and universities in Massachusetts to oversee the recently revised statewide Early Childhood Education Transfer Compact; explore the feasibility of developing a non-licensure early childhood education transfer compact; build a directory of statewide course-to-course equivalencies; and develop statewide practices for the uniform evaluation and awarding of credit for prior learning. A special emphasis will include expanding access for students whose primary language is not English. The specialist will worth with MA stakeholders including state agencies, institutions of higher education, and early education and out-of-school-time educators to coordinate transfer agreements and credit for prior learning policies. The specialist will also work to increase access to higher education for early education and out-of-school-time educators for whom English is not their first language.”
Early Education for All has been advocating for the creation of such a position, and we hope that in the future it becomes full-time.