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

by Teri Talan and Marica Cox Mitchell

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.