In January 2021, with the support of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Child Care Services Association (CCSA) launched the process of determining interest in, understanding of and buy-in for a North Carolina Early Childhood/School Age (EC/SA) Workforce Registry. Because the Early Childhood workforce is a major focus of CCSA’s work through its T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, Child Care WAGE$® and Infant Toddler AWARD$® Plus programs, and its multiple statewide and regional workforce data analyses as well as its strong training and technical assistance efforts, CCSA understood it was time to call attention to the need for a registry. At that time, North Carolina was one of only nine states without a workforce registry and now at the close of 2021, is only one of seven states without a registry.
A statewide workforce registry would, among other things, serve as a resource for the EC/SA workforce, as well as policy makers and advocates who could study the data to better understand needs and develop policies that strengthen the early childhood system. Funding from the Foundation enabled CCSA to contract with the Public Consulting Group (PCG) to gather critical information and insights from key stakeholder groups across the state. Stakeholder groups included funders, early childhood state leadership, early childhood directors and educators, technical assistance providers and more.
Following completion of focus groups, individual interviews and surveys of the ECE workforce and stakeholders, CCSA is now releasing the final report of PCG’s work – the North Carolina Early Childhood/School Age Workforce Registry: Final Report and Recommendations. The report synthesizes the process and methodology used to gather data about the perceived value of and interest in a workforce registry. The report concludes with five recommendations. The report’s key finding is that there is overwhelming support from educators, administrators and stakeholders alike for implementing a EC/SA workforce registry in NC. As one program administrator said: “A registry in which administrators could access employee information such as educational qualifications and continuing education hours would be very helpful.”
Moving forward, funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation will support future communications planning. CCSA looks forward to partnering with the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education, along with other funders, stakeholders and the workforce to move a registry forward in the state.
For further information about the report, please contact Marsha Basloe at firstname.lastname@example.org.