The successful creation of early care and education workforce data assets in Phase I led to an extension of Colorado Lab’s partnership with CDHS’ Office of Early Childhood through the Federal Preschool Development Grant. This second phase of work will support the rebuild of the early childhood workforce registry data system and will fill in data gaps including postsecondary pathways of the workforce as well as a comprehensive look at wages and compensation.
The COVID-19 crisis has had an enormous impact operationally, educationally, and economically on P-12 school districts, charter schools, and institutions of higher education, as well as students, parents, and families. The Lab is supporting federal fund awardees in moving their programs along the steps to building evidence.
The Colorado Lab is dedicated to creating actionable research. A recent effort to create a snapshot of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce, funded by the Piton Foundation and the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, was no exception. The Snapshot Report demonstrated that “high turnover in the field exacerbates the workforce shortage and hinders childcare quality,” and pointed to low pay as a contributing factor.
As the nation celebrates the class of 2020 and the resilience of graduates during a worldwide pandemic, it can be easy to forget that some students face huge challenges to high school graduation even in “normal” times. Living in foster care can make school feel like a perpetual marathon. In Jefferson County, a program called Fostering Opportunities helps them cross the finish line.
In the early days of the pandemic, many child care centers and other educational institutions temporarily shut down, while essential workers, particularly in the health care industry, desperately needed care for their own children. Countless early childhood educators lost their jobs in the closures, yet centers that remained open to care for the children of essential workers faced significant staff shortages. But how to fill these diverse and dispersed needs, especially during a public health crisis?