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Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation (2015)

Chapter:Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Nursery School Childcare Kindergarten Elementary School
Early 1800s    

Kindergarten, developed in the early 1800s by Friedrich Froebel, was grounded in the belief that children learned best through supervised play. The design of training for kindergarten teachers occurred in tandem with the development of kindergarten. Froebel’s ideas and methods quickly spread throughout Europe and to the United States.

In the United States, kindergarten teacher training involved visiting Germany to observe kindergartens and to participate in in-service workshops conducted by Froebel. Magazines and literary periodicals also informed professional practice.

The first formal teacher training was conducted in academies beginning in the 1800s, the 2-year equivalent of today’s secondary schools. Teachers had previously been predominately male, but by the 1820s, men were leaving lower school teaching for higher paying professions. It then became more common for women to become teachers in the early grades.

The first private “normal school,” developed as a 2-year institute for training elementary school teachers, was opened in 1823 by Samuel R. Hall.

In 1834, Pennsylvania became the first state to require prospective teachers to pass an exam focusing on reading, writing, and math.

The first state-funded normal school was founded in 1839 by Cyrus Pierce in Massachusetts, with the help of Horace Mann.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
Mid- to late 1800s

Settlement Houses, which provided social services to immigrant, poor, and working class people, were founded in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Services included childcare, youth activities, and family support.

Day nurseries protected children from harm and helped assimilate immigrant children into American culture. Child “minders” were from local communities and had not received formal education. No education requirements existed for caregivers in day nurseries.

German-trained kindergarten teacher educators migrated to the United States to provide 26-week formal training programs.

By the 1880s, 2-year kindergarten training programs included courses in child study, psychology, child hygiene, sociology, children’s literature and storytelling, public speaking, philosophy of education, school management, and kindergarten principles and practices, among others, as well as the study of Froebel’s theories. Practical experiences with children were central to all aspects of the training.

As kindergartens became more prevalent in the public schools, kindergarten training was added to many normal school programs, often in a department of its own.

Licensure exams permitted teachers to teach in particular schools. The exams required showing high moral character and general knowledge.

There was rapid growth in the number of normal schools (2-year programs) with an emphasis on training elementary school teachers.

Preparation for secondary-school teaching, which was treated as requiring a larger academic component than necessary for elementary education, was left to 4-year liberal arts colleges.

By 1867, most states required teachers to pass a locally developed test to get a state certificate that expanded upon the basic skills, to include U.S. history, geography, spelling, and grammar.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Nursery School Childcare Kindergarten Elementary School
      The International Kindergarten Union (IKU) was founded in 1892 to promote appropriate classroom curricula and kindergarten teacher preparation.

Alternative teaching programs included “county normals” and summer teaching institutes. These programs supplemented normal schools and offered free training opportunities to aspiring teachers who could not afford normal school.

Universities began adding chairs in pedagogy to the liberal arts faculty. Chairs of pedagogy could grant state teaching certificates.

In 1890, the National Education Association (NEA) issued a Statement of Policy for the Normal Schools, calling them to be the main agents for teacher certification.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  By the 1890s, more than 100 normal schools were in operation. These schools expanded their curricula beyond elementary to include secondary education as well. Demand for teachers was high and “mass production” was needed.
  Credentials from normal schools were considered professional licenses by state governments. By 1897, 28 states accepted normal diplomas as licenses.
  In 1896 John Dewey founded the University of Chicago Laboratory School, the first school for experimenting and researching new methods in a university setting.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Nursery School Childcare Kindergarten Elementary School
1900s-1920s In 1911, Margaret and Rachel McMillan opened the Open-Air Nursery School and Training Centre in London, in an effort to prevent the physical and mental health problems they observed in poor communities. This program provided children with nutritious food, regular health inspections, planned activities, and support from attentive teachers. A third-year course was added to the curricula of several “kindergarten” normal school programs to allow kindergarten teachers to teach at the primary level, too. By 1913, 147 institutions of higher education offered kindergarten teacher preparation courses. As normal school kindergarten teacher training increased, the 2-year courses of study offered by freestanding kindergarten-training schools declined. This period saw an increased focus on kindergarten theory and practice, through coursework, publications, and the development of professional organizations for kindergarten teachers and teacher educators. Longer training and specializations were recommended in the 1900s, resulting in the reorganization of normal schools into 4-year teaching programs.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
1920s-1930s The nursery school movement migrated from England to the United States in the 1920s. By 1924 there were 28 nurseries in 11 states. The first American nursery school teachers traveled to England to study and work under Margaret McMillan.   New York City public schools offered free professional training and preparation for the teacher’s license examination in teacher training schools, leading the way to obtaining trained kindergarten teachers. Wheelock College, founded in 1889, was devoted solely to kindergarten education in its early years. In 1925, Wheelock instituted a 3-year teacher preparation program that became a model for other schools across the country. The third year focused on the skills and knowledge to qualify students for kindergarten director positions. By the 1930s kindergarten teacher training had spread around the United States. By 1921, all states accepted graduation from a normal school or a university as qualification for certification. However, 30 states still had no prior schooling requirement for initial certification. By 1930, 31 states required a high school diploma and some professional training. Between 1920 and 1940, normal schools became state teachers colleges. As a result, teacher education at these state colleges became more marginalized.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Nursery School Childcare Kindergarten Elementary School
1930s-1940s The nursery school movement in the United States was associated with the public’s scientific interest in child development and learning. By the mid-1930s, there were approximately 200 nursery schools in the United States, and more than half were affiliated with colleges and universities. Leaders of the nursery school movement advocated 4 years of college as the appropriate background for nursery school teachers so that they could interact effectively with specialists in the fields of nutrition, psychology, psychiatry, and pediatrics. Nursery school teacher education programs often required pedagogical trainings as well as a knowledge base that encompassed chemistry, biology, case study methods, educational measurements, and record keeping. In the 1930s, Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs, which included early care and education programs for low-income children, were founded in response to unemployment during the Great Depression. Programs were federally funded and designed to reemploy teachers, nurses, and janitors who had worked in rural elementary schools that had closed due to a lack of local funding. Most of these teachers held certificates from academies and normal schools based on their previous employment. Through the 1930s admission to kindergarten teacher training required candidates to be of “good character,” good health, to be generally “refined,” and able to demonstrate musical ability. Native ability and a love of children were other essential criteria for admission. Demonstration of these criteria was determined via essays, interviews, and observations of adult–child interactions.  
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Women applied to nursery education programs with the backgrounds in kindergarten and primary teaching, liberal arts, and home economics, among other areas. Criteria for entry to nursery school education programs included “a definite interest in young children,” good health, adequate fundamental preparation, superior scholarship, good native ability, and fine character.      
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Nursery School Childcare Kindergarten Elementary School
1940s-1950s The U.S. Office of Education’s 1943 pamphlet titled Nursery Schools Vital to the War Effort indicated that skilled teachers with specialized training in nursery school education were essential to the war effort. After the war, nursery school teacher education included an emphasis on democratic principles and teaching techniques. Programs also encompassed a variety of fields concerned with human development and social progress, individualized instruction, child guidance, multiple theories of child development, expressive activities, and student teaching in community schools. The Lanham Act, passed in 1940, authorized federal grants to public or private agencies to operate childcare facilities for working mothers in war-affected areas. No regulations, such as teacher preparation requirements, accompanied the federal funds. Following the war, this funding ceased and most centers closed. Child Service Centers, illustrated by the Kaiser Centers in California, provided full-day childcare programs during World War II. Education requirements for center directors and teachers included a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree, respectively, as well as specialized training in early childhood education for assistant teachers. Centers also employed nutritionists, pediatricians, registered nurses, and social workers. Employees were recruited from colleges and universities. These programs were closed following the war.   A movement toward establishing professional standards began, laying the groundwork for the formation in 1952 of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In 1948, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) was formed. By 1953, 23 states required a 4-year degree for elementary teachers; 40 states required a 4-year degree for high school teachers.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
The Forty-Sixth NSSE Yearbook decried the lack of training and curricula available in normal schools and state colleges for adults caring for young children.
1960s-1980s Nursery school education continued to be the purview of private colleges and home-economics departments at state colleges and universities. Few state teacher’s colleges or normal schools addressed the early years as part of their mission. Nursery school teacher training institutions experimented with varying models of teacher preparation based on differing philosophies. Nursery schools in the community were largely replaced with full-day childcare or Head Start programs. Many nursery schools began to call themselves preschools, or early education programs. The Office of Economic Opportunity’s Community Action Program initiated Project Head Start as an 8-week summer program to promote healthy development and learning for low-income children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. At its inception, Head Start was often staffed by teachers off for the summer; however formal training in early education was not required for employment. The Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program was implemented, and was conceived as applicable to the entire early childhood field, although Head Start was the prime audience for the program in its early days. Kindergarten training came under the umbrella of state certification. By 1988, 32 states had some type of certification for the preparation of kindergarten teachers, often consisting of an additional endorsement to an elementary education certificate. Criteria for kindergarten teacher candidates began to mirror that of the elementary grades, including a minimum grade point average, certain prerequisite general education courses, and sometimes a preliminary practicum with children during which behavioral suitability of teacher candidates was assessed. Teacher education became more fully integrated into the university setting under the leadership of professors in a school or college of education. This evolution was due in part to the need for local, affordable, and accessible forms of higher education. National Commission on Teacher Education and Professional Standards suggested 5th year training and alternative routes. Teacher Corps was founded (from the Higher Education Act of 1965) in which higher education and districts partner for training teachers for high poverty schools.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Nursery School Childcare Kindergarten Elementary School
1960s-1980s   The first CDA was awarded in 1975. It was administered by the CDA Consortium until 1979, then Bank Street College until 1985. In 1985 the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) created a nonprofit organization, the Council for Professional Recognition, to administer the CDA Credential. A Position Paper titled Guidelines for Early Childhood Education Programs in Associate Degree Granting Institutions was published by the NAEYC in 1985. This document has been updated three times and currently consists of six professional standards.   Practical experience in schools became a more predictable and integrated part of the teacher education curriculum, especially at the elementary education level. A Nation at Risk criticized teacher education for an emphasis on methods over subject matter. The Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a Profession published A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century. Holmes Groups published Tomorrow’s Teachers. Both call for the elimination of undergraduate teacher certification and for researched-based teaching practice. Holmes Group proposed the “professional development school” and a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Teach For America was founded in 1989.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Childcare, Preschools, and Early Education Programs Kindergarten   Elementary School
1990s-2000s By the 1990s a variety of nonbaccalaureate teacher education programs were available, including the CDA credential, associate degrees, vocational programs, and continuing education programs. In 1997, the NAEYC published new guidelines to establish standards for associate degrees in early childhood education. States developed requirements for early childhood teacher preparation for children ages 3-5; these vary significantly from state to state. Project T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps), a scholarship program that assists childcare and early learning practitioners to pursue professional development and higher education options, was initiated through the U.S. Department of Education. In 1997, 34 percent of Head Start teachers held an associate’s degree in early childhood education.     Holmes Groups published Tomorrow’s Schools, formalizing principles for professional development schools. All but one state established detailed content standards in core subject areas. These content standards were reflected in the teacher preparation requirements and certification standards within those states.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Childcare, Preschools, and Early Education Programs Kindergarten Elementary School
2000s-2010s In 2001, the NAEYC approved standards for early childhood professional preparation initial licensure programs. In 2002, the NAEYC approved standards for early childhood professional preparation advanced degree programs, and also established the Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation. In 2003, the NAEYC approved standards for early childhood professional preparation associate degree programs. Congress mandated that 50 percent of Head Start teachers hold B.A. or A.A. degrees by 2003. The NAEYC adopted a position statement titled NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation in 2009.   The Western Governors University (WGU), a nonprofit online institution created by governors of nine states in 1998, opens a teachers college that grants teaching degrees based on demonstrated competencies, rather than a final exam, and received NCATE approval in 2006 (http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/ ncate_accreditation_11-1-06, accessed March 24, 2015).
Today Teacher education continues to be addressed in some universities and colleges. The Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation (ECADA) currently accredits more than 150 institutions in 31 states. Kindergarten teachers are required to hold a 4-year teaching degree in elementary education or early childhood education. Teacher candidates are required to take courses related to child development, curriculum planning, and assessment, as well as gain practical experience in the classroom. The Common Core State Standards addresses standards in English language arts and math for K-12, prompting many teacher education programs to align their curricula with these standards.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×
  Requirements for teachers are covered by state licensing/regulations for childcare centers rather than state mandated licenses for teachers. In many states, requirements are governed by Departments of Social Services, not Departments of Education, for nursery school teachers. More than 300,000 individuals have earned the CDA. Federal regulations call for half of Head Start lead teachers nationwide to have bachelor’s degrees by fall 2013. Individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education may pursue alternative certification routes. State licenes are required for all teachers in public schools, though reqruiements vary by state. Each state has its own requirements for teacher certification. There is no single early childhood, elementary or special education certification that transfers to all states.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Page646
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Page648
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Historical Timeline: Preparation for the Care and Education Workforce in the United States." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2015. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19401.
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Next: Appendix E: Credentials by Setting and State »
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Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. This provides a critical foundation for lifelong progress, and the adults who provide for the care and the education of young children bear a great responsibility for their health, development, and learning. Despite the fact that they share the same objective - to nurture young children and secure their future success - the various practitioners who contribute to the care and the education of children from birth through age 8 are not acknowledged as a workforce unified by the common knowledge and competencies needed to do their jobs well.

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 explores the science of child development, particularly looking at implications for the professionals who work with children. This report examines the current capacities and practices of the workforce, the settings in which they work, the policies and infrastructure that set qualifications and provide professional learning, and the government agencies and other funders who support and oversee these systems. This book then makes recommendations to improve the quality of professional practice and the practice environment for care and education professionals. These detailed recommendations create a blueprint for action that builds on a unifying foundation of child development and early learning, shared knowledge and competencies for care and education professionals, and principles for effective professional learning.

Young children thrive and learn best when they have secure, positive relationships with adults who are knowledgeable about how to support their development and learning and are responsive to their individual progress. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 offers guidance on system changes to improve the quality of professional practice, specific actions to improve professional learning systems and workforce development, and research to continue to build the knowledge base in ways that will directly advance and inform future actions. The recommendations of this book provide an opportunity to improve the quality of the care and the education that children receive, and ultimately improve outcomes for children.

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