Lessons learned on credentialing as a tool for professionalizing the ECE workforce

Since 2019, Louisiana has required lead teachers in public child care centers to obtain an Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate (ECAC) if they do not already have a bachelor’s degree. While these credentialing requirements are intended to help professionalize the ECE workforce, these policies also can create new burdens for already overextended child care workers and programs. New research from UCLA and the University of Virginia finds that despite the robust design of the program–where tuition is fully covered and teachers who complete the program are eligible for a large refundable tax credit–the majority of teachers who begin the ECAC program do not complete it. Program leaders suggested that simplifying enrollment and scholarship applications, creating more digital materials, more consistent check-ins with candidates, and child care center director support for their employees in the program were all key factors in whether or not child care workers completed the program. #childcare #workforce