Early Scope

Announcing The Early Childhood Workforce Initiative

Strengthening the skills, preparation, training, and employment conditions of those who work with young children and their families is critical to improving the quality of early childhood experiences, yet the workforce has received limited attention and support. The United Nation’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development recognize the importance of this issue by including a target to increase access to quality early childhood services, and explicitly to increase the supply of qualified teachers.

On September 28 and 29, 2015, the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) and Results for Development Institute (R4D), with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), co-hosted a meeting in Washington, DC to discuss an emerging global effort to support and strengthen the early childhood workforce. Experts and representatives from leading research institutions and civil society organization networks from around the world came together to provide input on the scope, function, and priorities of the new initiative.

The Early Childhood Workforce Initiative will approach the workforce issue in a holistic, multi-sectoral manner and will focus on those who work with families and children from pre-birth to 8 years of age, such as home visitors, teachers, paraprofessionals, as well as those who supervise and mentor frontline workers: trainers, coaches, program managers. By engaging existing and emerging regional early childhood networks, as well as policymakers and other relevant groups, the initiative will support joint learning activities, knowledge creation and sharing, and advocacy across countries and at the country level. These activities will relate to four thematic areas:

1. Competencies and Standards

2. Training and Professional Development

3. Support for Improvement

4. Recognition of the Profession

The process of establishing this initiative will continue over the coming months and will be informed by a series of additional consultations.

For more information, contact Liana Ghent at ISSA ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and Michelle Neuman at R4D ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

In the attached file you can find a copy of this announcement and a full list of the participants from the initial planning meeting.

Please feel free to share news of this exciting new initiative with your networks.

Click here to download the attachment.