Last year, the National Academy of Medicine and National Research Council released the seminal Transforming the Workforce report that emphasizes the competencies and qualifications birth to third grade educators need to possess in order to support high-quality learning for young children. The report makes 13 recommendations aimed at bringing about greater educator quality and continuity from birth through early elementary school.
Of all the report’s recommendations, the one that has garnered the most attention is the second, which calls for the development of pathways and timelines for transitioning to a minimum bachelor’s degree requirement with specialized knowledge of ECE for all lead teachers of children from infancy to third grade. The recommendation is based on research suggesting that these qualifications are associated with higher-quality teaching and strong learning environments. But significant challenges exist in realizing this recommendation.