Today, New America’s Early & Elementary Education Policy team is releasing Transforming the Early Education Workforce: A Multimedia Guidebook, an online publication designed to raise awareness of the science of early learning and provide guidance on how to support and train early educators who are working with children birth through age 8. The guidebook is designed to augment and bring to life Transforming the Workforce for Children from Birth through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, a seminal report published two years ago by the National Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council (now the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine).
"Young children are greatly affected by the relationships and interactions they have with caregivers both inside and outside of home," said Laura Bornfreund, director of the Early and Elementary Education Policy Program at New America. "Yet too many early educators have little opportunity to improve their practice and are not adequately supported. This guidebook is designed to show education leaders and policymakers why action is needed and how to take it."
The guidebook includes Frequently Asked Questions about the early education workforce, summaries of key chapters from the National Academies' report (starting with The Interaction of Biology and Environment and continuing through Status and Well-Being of the Workforce), an interactive version of the report's 13 recommendations, five new videos produced by New America from professional learning programs around the country, a collection of tools such as interactive U.S. maps for comparing state policies, and a glossary of key terms used throughout the guidebook. It includes three "doorways" for specific audiences: policymakers (local, state, and federal), higher education institutions, and the workforce itself.
"Policymakers and other leaders need inspiration from new approaches and tools to help them discern what to prioritize in their states and communities," said Lisa Guernsey, deputy director of the Education Policy Program at New America. "Videos and data visualization tools, along with dialogue prompted by guiding questions, can catalyze action that ultimately supports the educators who are fostering learning for our next generation."
Funding for the development of the guidebook came from the Foundation for Child Development, with some video production also supported by the Alliance for Early Success and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
About New America
Founded in 1999, New America is a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. We generate big ideas, bridge the gap between technology and policy, and curate broad public conversation. More information is at newamerica.org.