Power to the Profession: An Introduction (Policy [M]atters, Season 3, Episode 1)

by McCormick Center Admin

December 6, 2017

Policy [M]atters is a video chat series between Teri Talan, Senior Policy Advisor at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership, and a guest expert in early childhood policy. Our guest for Season 3 is Marica Cox Mitchell, Director of Early Learning Systems at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Want to catch up or revisit the series? Explore previous chats and topics here.

In Episode 1, Marica introduces and provides context for the NAEYC “Power to the Profession” initiative, which is a national collaboration that seeks to establish a unifying framework for qualifications, compensation, standards, career pathways, knowledge, and competencies within the early childhood profession.

Teri and Marica explore why we need this initiative, who is involved with it, and what the rationale for it is.

Do you have questions for Teri and Marica? Share your questions below. Teri and Marica may respond in the next episode!

Dr. Teri Talan is the Michael W. Louis Chair at the McCormick Center and Professor of Early Childhood Education at National Louis University. She is co-author of the Program Administration Scale, Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care, Escala de Evaluación de la Administración de Negocios, and Who’s Caring for the Kids? The Status of the Early Childhood Workforce in Illinois.

Marica Cox Mitchell is responsible for NAEYC’s major program efforts in early childhood program and higher education accreditation. She is also leading the alignment among and between our Center for Applied Research, accreditation, and higher education with early childhood and higher education systems across the country. Mitchell has been in the early childhood education field for more than 16 years and has worked in both administrative and classroom settings. Before assuming her current role, she served as the Director of Higher Education Accreditation for NAEYC. Prior to this position, she led the Early Childhood Professional Development Unit at the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education where she developed and monitored a wide range of professional development resources designed to increase the quality of early learning programs and advance cohorts of early childhood professionals. These resources included the TEACH Early Childhood DC scholarship program, DC Career Guide for Early Childhood and Out of School Time Professionals, DC Trainer Approval Program and accreditation facilitation projects. She also worked with stakeholders to evaluate and propose enhancements to the DC Quality Rating and Improvement System. She was promoted to Director of School Preparedness (Readiness) before her departure from the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Mitchell also facilitated the pilot and implementation of the Full Service Community School Model while serving as a specialist with the District of Columbia Public Schools. Early in her career, she supported the launch of NAEYC’s Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation system as a staff member.

6 Responses to “Power to the Profession: An Introduction (Policy [M]atters, Season 3, Episode 1)”

  1. Lin Venable says:

    Thank you for this video chat. I enjoyed listening to your discussion points. I’m curious about your perspectives on the professional development approach of earning Badges. How do you, or Do you see that approach within a framework of qualifications and career pathways?

  2. Laura Newman says:

    This was very informative and compliments the NAEYC, Power to the Profession webinar that aired earlier this fall. Thank you for offering these unique and thought provoking video chats in the form of a series of topics. Our industry clearly needs to have continued dialogue. McCormick helps to open up the forum for a productive exchange of thoughts based on progress being made and research to illustrate the ongoing need to keep the conversation going.

    Laura Newman
    Director, The GA Alliance for Quality Child Care
    Quality Care for Children (CCR&R) Atlanta, GA

  3. June Farren says:

    Thank you for providing a platform for this video chat. The subject is one that I have worked with on local levels through many organizations both in California and Nevada. With McCormick and NAEYC taking on this challenge at a National level hopefully this will actually move us forward to be recognized as a profession and in doing so will encourage people to take the necessary steps and education to join us in this very important and personally rewarding field.

  4. Teri Talan says:

    Hello Lin,
    Glad to hear from you. I am happy you asked this question. I think there is a role for badges as evidence of ongoing professional development. I do not think they are appropriate for establishing minimum qualifications, whether for an early childhood educator or for an additional specialization such as administrator or director. The bottom line is early childhood education is a profession which should have both educational qualifications and ongoing professional development linked to the core competencies of the role.

  5. Teri Talan says:

    Hello Laura and June,
    Thank you for your comments.This is such an important conversation! While others forums have been addressing the Power to the Profession initiative, McCormick Center wants to be sure that site-based leaders–working in centers, schools, and homes–are fully engaged in this work. Marica will be the keynote speaker at the public policy forum at the Leadership Connections National Conference on May 11, 2018. I hope you can join us.

  6. Barb McWethy says:

    Thank you for hosting this webinar. I was listening to you discuss workforce competencies, and I was wondering if you have reached out to Affiliates or to other state agencies to determine what workforce competencies they may have currently, or in development? I know that Georgia is working on competencies.
    Thank you,
    Barb McWethy
    Mercer University
    GAEYC Board Member

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