One year ago, the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC), Montgomery Early Learning Centers (MELC), and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) released a report called: Early Childhood Education Teachers 2.0: Strategies to Transform the Profession.  The report presented local data, findings, and recommendations regarding Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce compensation, preparation, and other key factors. 

Since publishing that report, much has changed.  Some of it, such as state-wide Pre-K expansion and Philadelphia City Pre-K initiation, PHLpreK, was anticipated and is positive.  Other changes, such as the unprecedented concentration of power within the Republican Party at the federal level, were unforeseen and are potentially detrimental to children, families, and the working poor.  Due to low wages and minimal employer-sponsored benefits, many ECE teachers rely on public benefits to meet their basic needs and those of their families.  As discussion at the federal level focuses on deep cuts to these benefits, without increases to the minimum wage or the addition of new government programs to cover the full cost of quality care for children birth to five, the ECE workforce is at risk for increased financial hardship.  Some of the issues in the broader environment of public and education policy that impact our ability to increase ECE teacher compensation and improve ECE teacher preparation are listed below.     

Landscape Impact on Teacher Compensation


In spite of the challenging environment, during the past year we have made progress in moving forward recommendations made and programs envisioned in our report.  For instance, PHMC has continued its work to better align Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) with the needs of the ECE sector and District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund has initiated the ECE Apprenticeship Program.  Also, the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at the City University of New York provided expertise and supports to the Mayor’s Office of Education around ECE workforce issues.  The Early Childhood Education Teachers 2.0: Strategies to Transform the Profession report itself continues to be used as a baseline for system changes and systems building in Philadelphia and surrounding region.  A more detailed summary of progress is provided in the table, below.



Support ECE teacher affinity groups (males, Latinas, etc.) to expand opportunity for new populations to enter the workforce.

No work has begun in this area.


Introduce middle school students to the ECE career and education pathway while expanding high school CDA programs.

Discussions with Philadelphia School District, Mayor’s Office of Education, DVAEYC, 1199C Training Fund, PHMC, Parkway West, and Big Picture Alliance to expand programs are ongoing.

Create volunteer opportunities within ECE for high school students.

No work has begun in this area.

Introduce students in teacher preparation programs to the ECE career and education pathway to promote teaching in the early childhood sector as a viable alternative to teaching in elementary schools.

PHMC continues to meet regularly with IHE and to create opportunities for IHEs to develop partnerships with ECE providers to address this issue.  Children’s Village, a large, high quality ECE center, is partnering with IHEs to further this work.


Create local experts fluent in Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) regulation related to teacher certification.

Through several meetings with PDE staff and representatives from other relevant state offices, PHMC has gained a deeper understanding of these issues.

Convene local IHEs, public leaders, ECE employers and ECE experts to support implementation, testing, refinement, and promulgation of best practice teacher preparation strategies.

PHMC and the ECE Teachers Transformation Initiative continue to convene IHEs around regional Gold Standards, have updated the Gold Standards to clarify language and better support measurement, and initiated a Gold Standards pilot project for NAEYC-accredited IHEs.

Create a process for IHEs to access funds and other supports in order to meet the Gold Standards.

Through the NAEYC Gold Standards Pilot Project and the development of templates, case studies and other resources PHMC is supporting IHEs to advance through the Gold Standards.

Create a website to serve as a comprehensive source of comparable and actionable data regarding local teacher preparation programs.


The T.E.A.C.H. database of participating PA IHEs can be expanded to accommodate more information, including that related to the IHE Gold Standards.  PHMC intends to create a platform for matching adult teacher preparation students to clinical experiences and mentors via

Leverage Pennsylvania’s existing professional development (PD) resources to promote best practices in credit-bearing PD.

PHMC continues to promote the idea of transforming PQAS credits into college credits. 


Leverage new federal education and workforce development regulations in support of innovative ECE teacher preparation programs.


Philadelphia successfully convened a diverse group of advocates, public and private agencies that secured high priority occupancy status for ECE. Workforce development organizations have joined ECE coalitions and planning groups and are now participating regularly in meetings.

Provide technical assistance to providers in operating more efficiently and drawing down multiple funding sources to enable them to direct more funding to staff compensation.

The Mayor’s Office of Education secured a grant and hired Children’s Village to provide business management and administration professional development and coaching to PHLpreK providers.

Work with OCDEL to ensure that child care subsidy rates are based on cost calculations that include appropriate salaries.

OCDEL recently hired Research for Action to complete a true cost of care study that includes scenarios for teacher compensation and impact on CCIS rates.

Fund research to pilot and study the impact of the integration of occupational health and safety practices (wellness, stress reduction and self-care) into ECE settings.

PHMC has incorporated teacher self-care into its Induction and Alternate Certificate Program plans.


Increase access to credentials for incumbent workers through apprenticeship programs and credit for prior learning.

The ECE Apprenticeship Program is now operational. As part of this initiative, Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) will confer up to nine credits for on-the-job training.  DVAEYC is designing a process for confirming competencies aligned with CCP course work, and will develop a model that is replicable for current workers not formally enrolled in an apprenticeship program.

Study the impact of career advising and tuition assistance programs in helping teachers earn BAs and teacher certification.

Now that T.E.A.C.H. counselors and tuition assistance are available again, PHMC will add T.E.A.C.H. data to the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program data that it reviews quarterly.

This work will continue to evolve in the days and months ahead.  As new challenges, such as the Philadelphia School District’s recently announced plan to hire 1,000 teachers, and as yet unimagined opportunities arise, we will continue to prioritize the need for attention, resources, policies, and initiatives in support of the ECE workforce.

Amy Friedlander served as the Director of the Early Childhood Education Workforce Transformation Initiative from May 2015 – April 2016.  Previously, Amy led the Southeast Regional Key at PHMC, and grew PHMC’s ECE programs and services to include ChildWare and  As a consultant, Amy now works for ECE providers, funders, advocates, and others, to conduct strategic planning, collect and analyze data, develop and implement programs, write proposals, develop and deliver training, and manage a variety of complex projects.Amy can be reached at and her web site is

Funding for the Early Childhood Education Teachers 2.0 was provided by the William Penn Foundation.  The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation.


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