New years bring hope for new possibilities, accomplishments and milestones. Here at the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center we are in the midst of a yearlong celebration of 25 years of T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®. The first part of our fiscal year we have spent time looking back and celebrating what we have accomplished. And there is much to be proud of. Over the past 25 years, we saw a small investment ($23,100) turn into a $375 million, enabling 126,000 teachers, family child care providers and directors to go to college to complete coursework leading to credentials, degrees and teacher licensure in one of almost 500 higher education institutions. We started in two counties in North Carolina and are now in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Our initial work focused solely on scholarships; now our focus includes a deep focus on strengthening the professional development and higher education systems for early educators across the country.
But time does not stand still and children and our workforce can’t wait another 25 years to get what they need. So over the next 6 months we are looking forward. What do we vision for our work in 2025? We will be engaging our state projects, our National Advisory Committee, the workforce, our national early childhood partners and others in the process. We will be answering key questions including what should the Center be doing to achieve that vision over the next 10 years? Who could the Center partner with to leverage our history and advance investments in the early childhood workforce for the future? What 21st century strategies and tools should we utilize to engage our partners? How could we advance the development of new leaders and advocates through our T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Alliance?
We would love to hear your vision for the Center and your thoughts on the ways we could partner to grow and educated, compensated, stable early childhood workforce. Join the conversation this spring at our annual Professional Development Symposium --T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® 25 Years: Looking Back, Going Forward-- on April 28 & 29 in Chapel Hill, NC. Details coming soon!