The COVID-19 pandemic’s dramatic impact on the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce and subsequent funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act have created an opportunity to build ECE workforce capacity and create evidence-based improvements to the system. The Urban Institute’s Young Scholars program identified several opportunities within the ECE system, including recognizing the critical supportive role of Head Start assistant teachers, who are more likely than lead teachers to speak their students’ languages; recognizing the stressors early educators face—particularly educators of color—and addressing those challenges with greater socioemotional and mental health supports; and providing pre-service kindergarten and first grade teachers with supports to address absenteeism among students. The piece highlights the specific funding streams that may be used to address these areas. #covid-19 #childcare #workforce #racialequity
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