ECE Center Directors Should Encourage (and pay) Staff To Give Each Other Professional Development
In Massachusetts, early childhood educators need 20 hours of professional development (PD) each year to maintain their teaching license. This PD is often achieved via attending conferences, taking classes, or in service trainings. Often the person giving the training is a professor or ECE consultant.
However, one does not need to be a professor or consultant to give a training. Here are the requirements to present a training from the state of Massachusetts.
“ To provide professional development to educators working in EEC licensed programs, trainers/instructors must meet one of the following:
• Have been approved to present coursework for college credit
• Have been approved to offer training that results in CEUs, PDPs, or CECs;
• Have at least an associate’s degree in early childhood education or a related field and at least one year of experience in early education, out of school time, or equivalent;
• Holding a recognized credential in a specific area of training will be accepted as being qualified within that area of expertise; or
• Meet EEC’s qualifications for lead teacher, site coordinator or have at least three years of experience as a licensedfamily child care provider. Calculating Professional Development Hours”
Every early education centers most likely have many staff who meet those requirements. Moreover, early educators have lots of unique experiences and knowledge but don’t often have the chance to share it. We all have worked with people who we admire because they are great at creating engaging art activities, or with guidance and discipline, or early literacy, or working with families or because of their strength in countless other areas. This expertise should be shared with coworkers via professional development and they should be paid like a professional consultant $50- $150 an hour for sharing their knowledge. Directors should encourage their staff to become leaders and facilitate professional development trainings for other staff and at other centers. This will allow best practices to flow from class to class within an ECE program and from program to program all while building leadership capacity in the ECE field. Finally, this gives early educators a chance to make some extra money in the field and build their resume.
While there are centers who use this practice and early educators who give trainings, this practice is not as wide as it could be. Therefore, program directors and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care should be activity encouraging early childhood educators to give each other professional development to make this a wide spread practice in the field.