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tv   Education Officials Discuss COVID-19 Early Childhood Education  CSPAN  August 29, 2021 6:57pm-8:01pm EDT

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pentagon, and shanksville, pennsylvania beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, online at c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> up next, a discussion on the impact of covid on childhood education. experts explore the benefits of universal pre-k, and the need to increase pay to attract qualified workforce. they also talk about how the education system will be impacted by the american rescue plan and the american jobs act. >> good afternoon, and good to those joining us from of west. i'm john valant, a senior fellow at the brookings institution and the director of the brown center on education policy at brookings. it is my privilege to welcome you on today's discussion on the future of early childhood education. as many of you are aware, kids ' experiences in early childhood
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are critically important in shaping their educational and life trajectories. it's a pivotal time for brain development and for building social emotional skills. we've known for a long time that providing children with high quality care can have extraordinarily positive long-term effects and be a very good investment for government . i'm john valant, a senior fellow at the brookings institution and the director of the brown center on education policy at brookings, it's my privilege to welcome you for today's discussion on the future of early childhood education as -- education. as many of you are aware, kids experiences in early childhood are critically important in shaping their educational and life trajectories. it's a pivotal time for brain development and for building social emotional skills we've known for a long time that providing children with high quality care can have extraordinarily positive long-term effects and be a very good investment for government . the challenge has been in providing those high quality opportunities to as many families as possible and in the most equitable ways possible .
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with that context, this has been an especially challenging time for the early childhood sector as we will discuss today. we have a terrific group of panelists to talk us through these issues. miriam calderon is the deputy assistant secretary of policy and early learning in the office of elementary and secondary education at the u.s department of education. miriam had a very rich and varied set of experiences before joining the biden administration that includes most recently overseeing the early learning division in the state of oregon as well as advising the obama administration as a member of the domestic policy council. she also served as director of early childhood education at dc public schools and focused on early education policy while at the national council of the roth . jenna conway is the deputy superintendent in the division of early childhood care and education at the virginia department of education she
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-- education. she previously worked as the assistant superintendent of early childhood at the louisiana department of education where she led the state's effort to unify its child care head start and pre-kindergarten sisters she also has city government experience in her case that's with the new york city housing authority. christina weiland is an associate professor at the school of education at the university of michigan and in the ford school of public policy where she co-directs the education policy initiative. her research focuses on the effects of early childhood interventions and public policies on children's development especially on children from families with low income. she's a long-time research partner of the boston public schools and co-author of the book cradle to kindergarten a new plan to combat inequality um -- inequality. a couple of logistical notes. for the first 45 minutes, we have a moderated discussion with the panelists. in the last 15 minutes, we will take questions from the audience. if you would still like to submit a question, you can email it to brookings.edu or submit it
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via twitter at brookings ed or by using the hashtag future of education. with that, chris, i would like to start with you. help us understand the current state of the early childhood education sector and how covid-19 has affected the sector and families. can you give us an overview of what you see as the main challenge? >> sure. thank you for inviting us to be here today i want to say how thrilled i am to join and learn from jenna and miriam today. we are lucky in the ec field to have amazing leaders across the country but these two are really among the best of our best um so -- best of the best. ec is in a tough spot at the moment. in terms of program stability, learning setbacks for young children, experience they have
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had in the last 18 months which is the majority of their young lives at this point, and working conditions for teachers are all really critical important where we have seen a lot of trouble. we know from studies on the effects of the crisis we have a lot of work to do and now we have the curveball of the delta variant, making things more unstable and at the same time, some policymakers are showing reluctance to follow public health guidance and help get kids and teachers back in classrooms as safely as possible. so that is where we are. it's important to think about how we got here and to be clear about why. as a nation, we have never invested in building a high quality ece system that works for everyone, unlike peer nations who have done so. for decades we have substantially underpaid early
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educators who have the same educational requirements and experiences as k-12 teachers and many of them have poverty wages and struggled. families have struggled to find and afford high-quality care for their kids. so with that foundation it is not surprised that -- it is no surprise that covid hits ece so hard. we are still continuing to see costs are up and appeared -- and enrollment appears to be a little down. there has been a concerning spike in mental health concerns among early educators and program grams -- and programs that are struggling to find enough teachers to reopen. so the last 18 months are really going to be compounded moving
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into the next chapter of the pandemic. we do have a moment of optimism. we have had historic investments , the largest we've ever had in ece through the american rescue plan and that's a real credit to the biden administration to congress and to the advocates who've made it happen and there's really tremendous opportunity to be bold and to make lasting important changes for kids and families, so jenna's team in virginia and her partnership at the university of virginia, the ways in which they're using this to build rigorous evidence and systems there we'll hopefully get to learn more about but there are states and localities across the country who are trying to make those kinds of bold changes with these new investments but at the same time it's really only a fraction of what we're going to need to build the system that our kids, families, and educators deserve and that's why the american families plan, which i know we're going to talk about more is really so
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important as we think about pivoting from this moment of historic crisis to what really can be a moment of historic opportunity. john: great. thank you. jenna, i'll bring you one on that very point. i am curious to see your perspective on where we chant -- where we stand and what the key challenges are. jenna: thank you. it is so exciting to hear there is so much interest in this topic. as christina noted, cob and has been catastrophic for young learners. the most enormous challenge now is how to keep up the energy and stamina to respond and support the pandemic even though most programs are open and many schools will be open across the country for in person learning but we are not back to normal.
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delta is unfortunately creating a host of additional challenges. were also trying to fix the early childhood system that was broken before the pandemic. consider teacher turnover. in virginia were about to put out a study that showed even before the pandemic over eight months, one in every four teachers was leaving. that seems rosy to what programs face now. after 16 months of being out of preschool, my three-year-old started back to weeks ago and yesterday i got a message saying the teacher had left and another one is there. we are providing immediate cash assistance to programs which is really important, but it's only a temporary solution. i would say we would need to
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spend half $1 billion just to crawl back. figure out what that means for kids. there is no ingredient more important for quality than teachers and if you have a revolving door of educators inputs health, safety, and learning a jeopardy. so we're trying to balance getting dollars out the door, keeping up on the health and safety guidance, keeping folks calm, reminding folks that preschool still matters but also obsessing with government. the federal, state, and local level we have to speak with one voice to relentlessly drive outcome. in virginia we want to give every child the opportunity to start kindergarten right.
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so we have to increase access. more families and kids have to be eligible. we have to pay based on the cost to provide these experiences and that while the system runs on parental contributions there is a balancing act between regulation and compensation by figuring out -- lastly, collective measurement and improvement. we are thinking about every single infant toddler and preschool classroom in virginia takes public funding. every child is in a classroom with a set of educators and it can make a difference in their lives so there have been criticisms of some of our quality rating systems with too much emphasis on reading --
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rating and not enough on support and improvement. we have to think about investments turning into experiences that promote positive child outcomes. if you take a public dollar we care about the experiences you are providing for children. we look at the adult child interactions in the classrooms and support everybody to be a little bit better tomorrow than today with the goal of driving better child outcomes. we have seen in louisiana that you can make huge improvements to childcare experiences while building the building blocks of children earning credentials instead of obsessing -- to
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figure out what matters most and how we get there in an affordable way while dramatically increasing the number of kids and families who can benefit. john: you have worked at the state level and now federal level. you are working on the biden administration's early learning plans. what are the administration's top priorities right now in early learning? >> thank you for the conversation. i have learned so much from these fellow panelists about this work so i'm honored to be here with them. i have had a varied set of experiences and opportunities to see the field from different
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levels. i started in head start and helped implement universal preschool in my hometown of washington, d.c. and worked in oregon supporting childcare and our sector during covid. early in my career i got to work on a set of federal policy issues from a civil rights plan and thinking about and begin children -- thinking about immigrant children and dual language learners. and really thinking about -- this is hands down i think others will agree, this is the most historical moment in early childhood. we are in the precipice of something extraordinary. it is something i have never seen.
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i don't think many people working in this field would disagree. when i think about the biden division, one of the things that is so extraordinary is that it is grounded first in families. and about the family slant and what we know -- family plan and what we know in the experiences in my career, we will see the outcomes in the children when we ensure that we take care of the adults in the children's lives and those families. children thrive and do well when the adults thrive and do well that are around them. the american families plan is a very bold vision. we have paid family leave, the tax credit. there are so much in this plant is focused on supporting families, so that families can help their children thrive.
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the boldest parts of this is the investment in early education. for a long time -- we are long overdue in thinking about families needing strong early education sector. investing in high-quality childcare for more families in our country is going to lift more family into opportunity and the children will be thriving. that is what i want to focus on in the plan. chris talked about this, jenna touched on this. the majority of early systems are based on what parents can afford to pay. parents cannot afford to pay for the quality care -- we see all kinds of market failures as a result of very small public investment in communities' overreliance on service that
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parents cannot pay anymore for. that makes it difficult for the quality care that fits their needs and preferences. the $450 billion -- it is still hard for me to take it in -- is a historic upper to the -- opportunity to expand the quality in infant and tall their childcare and preschool opportunities and make it more available to families who go without it because they cannot find in the community and they cannot afford it. in many cases one is available. -- afford it in many cases, when it is available. there is a huge priority placed upon wages for the early education and care workforce so that we can recognize them and
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treat them as professionals, address their working conditions, compensate them, address the turnover. we also know other things are really important, the work that chris does and her research, the curriculum, the experiences that these children have in the classrooms and the experiences that families have matter greatly. research-based curriculum, class sizes, making sure that the programs are aligned to the best practices that we know on the sides of child development is an important part in the investments. the last thing i will say, we touched on the american rescue plan in order to stabilize the sector. the american family slant really built on that, we need long-term
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reform. this is about stabilizing the sector, getting more support to children's and families as a result of covid. we want to build back to a better system, as our president talks about and that is a vision in the american families plan and the investments we are proposing in early childcare education. jon: thank you. jenna, i am curious -- i know you spent a lot of time researching and some of the ideas are out there -- i know you are concerned about how the government can be helpful you at the state level what exactly are you hoping to see from washington, is there anything in there that makes you nervous about what could becoming? jenna: i think i share some of the excitement about putting families at the center of this effort.
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have a blueprint for this in terms of childcare and development -- we have a blueprint for this in terms of childcare and development. we have never really made the investment. it is not rocket science, it is about having the dollar. i philip the -- i feel like the american rescue plant dangles that out -- plan daigle's that out -- the rescue plan dangles that out. we need them to follow through on that promise.
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i would say, a couple of those things in my wish list, one, the challenge is that it does not matter the name of the building. there are so many strings on who is of eligible and what they are eligible for. to have a line on the purpose, category in eligibility. let's simplify, less dollars, certifying people to be eligible, on and off programs and focus on fed. here are the communities that we are worried about and we should prioritize them. we use a lot of resources to determine who is eligible or not. it is important.
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we are very excited -- last year we passed a lot law that dedicates future marijuana revenues to childcare in particular. we realize that we might actually have enough dollars to service every three and four-year-olds, but where would we put them. there is not a lot of resources in capital funding. there are not a lot of vehicles to help expand current facilities and think about building new ones. when you visit the elementary school, you can guess that that pre-k school is in the trailer in the back. they are making the most of nothing and they really deserve the kind of capital investments over time. we need a little time -- i love the urgency on using the american rescue plan, and thinking about how we can roll
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those dollars. last one, this is out there. i think about health, safety and learning. health and safety have been foremost in our minds because of last year. i think we could use some inspiration on innovative steps in licensing. a lot of our staff are educators who are so focused on health and safety, it is important in terms of infants and toddlers, but i think there has got to be modern technology in investments that we are calling for -- different ways on how we think about how much we monitor, what are the best ways? we do an extraordinary job to keep everyone safe. we challenge some of our programs, home-based programs that want to be licensed and
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really thinking through, had we make sure every child is being served? that they are safe, healthy and promoting learning. those are three really important elements. jon: thank you. miriam, i am concerned about any reactions you have. stepping back a bit, there has been an ongoing debate in the policy world about whether to make programs and resources universally available and where to target them to individuals who may benefit than the most. we just are jenna talking about availability, can you speak to that? the biden administration has been pursuing universal pre-k rather than targeting the families that might have the most need or benefit from those resources, can you talk about the thinking behind that approach? miriam: i would say first that
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the biden administration and the proposal -- both in new investments in childcare as well as preschool -- they do work in a manner that -- in oregon we use a targeted approach on the universalism. there are a couple things that we know about the state of play and how early care and education system -- the consequence of limited public investment is that raised income zip codes are putting -- deciding whether children participate. we also know it has shaped the supply, communities where you have a concentration of families of low income backgrounds, you are going to see less supply and quality and accessibility -- unless there is a robust investment of public spending.
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we know that families in a wide range of income spectrum struggle to afford the cost of quality. we know that so many children in our country increasingly spend time in the first five years with someone else outside of the care of their own family members. in the state of virginia, they want to touch all those environments, and letting families choose their early care . the way had -- the way we have thought about this is to think first about how do we prioritize communities where there is -- where there is the highest need,
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a concentration of families who lack access? and really billowed -- build programs that are in those communities and privatize them first. states will have a plan about how to grow these programs to more communities. we know that states have been doing this work. we were doing this work in oregon and they have made important investments on understanding -- advancements on understanding where families have been underserved, who are the providers that are best equipped to serve those families, through personal develop make grants. in the past couple of years, every state worked on the needs assessment. almost every state was funded and were required to look at these needs assessments.
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this is happening before the preschool grants. that is the way we are approaching this, is to partner with states and communities. they know and have the data to make the best decisions in context about who should be prioritized, use that equity lens, really think about income and zip code, partner with the existing programs. whether that is a childcare provider, another home-based provider, a public school setting, and build access for families in those communities first and then community -- continue to expand from there. another point i will make which is important in our policy conversation, if we want to stop the siloing of classrooms that jenna was talking about, it is important to think about building programs in this manner.
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because of the way we do testing or say that you qualify for this based on this income or ability -- or some other factor or consideration, we build programs that way too. that is the easiest default. when you are thinking about a scale and universality, we want to have -- help the maximum amount of families. it gives you a different ability to think about how you would scale towards universal and how you can ensure that children are not segregated or siloed by income or ability. this approach we think is going to work -- is the way to do that to make sure we can also have diverse and more inclusive classrooms. we are moving away from that.
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i have seen it happen a lot. we end up putting children in programs and classrooms and we needs test them. this approach will allow us to build and partner with states and build from communities. certainly keeping the equity lens. could we serve first, how do we help states do that? making sure we build this communities, they are inclusive. jon: thank you. prof. weiland: i would like to add, i think this flies under people's radar. early childhood, because of the factors that miriam is talking about, it is more segregated than k-12. we have a lot of attention to how segregated our high schools, elementary schools are.
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early childhood systems are far worse in places where you do not have universality. we know that young kids learn so much from each other, they are never going to be as flexible cognitively as they will again. it is important that we are mixing them together. jon: thank you. chris, i am can's earned -- curious about your progress, what research has taught us, your thoughts on what we should be focusing on. prof. weiland: i will speak to the pieces, if they go away in reconciliation, the process will break my heart the most from a research perspective. one of those is the emphasis on pay parity for early educators. from a social justice perspective, we cannot keep
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paying women and women of color who do this work less money than k-12 teachers, when they sit -- have the same qualifications. that is undermining us from whatever perspective you want to take. they go out the door with the investment in our families and communities lose out. we cannot keep doing that. if that goes, i would be very sad. the plan has unusual focus on the science of early childhood education and what we have learned over the last 15 years of what makes early childhood in classrooms work well. as jenna emphasizes, it is not enough to set up everything perfectly outside the school. what matters to the four-year-old or three-year-old is what is going on with their teacher in the classroom, that is an immediate impact. the plan is really specific that
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we need developmentally appropriate -- and evidence-based -- in these classrooms and follow the science around how young children learn. at the same time, we have also learned a great deal about how best to support our teachers. professional development is common throughout early education and through k-12. what we see in early education is coaching -- having someone who visits your classroom and troubleshoot the problems in front of you -- is the most impactful form of development. i think there is some room for this to happen in the bill in these elements are mentioned. it is unusual to see those details, it is an attempt to figure out the signs of what those kids need.
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-- the science of what those children need. middle income families in particular do not qualify for some problems -- some programs and cannot afford another option. it is important we are not systematically leaving families out of opportunity as we think about going bacon early childhood. jon: thank you. we have a couple questions from audience members. it is a nice reminder, if you have questions you would like to submit, we will take them as they come in. you can email or twitter using the #futureeducation. miriam, i will direct this to you, or anyone else. we know that recruiting, retaining, and developing
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teachers has been a challenge in early child education. if we are approaching a shift toward something that resembles universal pre-k, how do we ensure that we have enough of those excellent teachers around to make sure that we really do have a great teacher for every child? miriam: it is critical issue -- a critical issue. i would say that we need to begin by recognizing that we have an existing workforce. it is an asset to build upon in many ways. first, the racial diversity of this current workforce is really important. we know in early childhood the caregivers, the educators,
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providers tend to look more like and reflect the diversity of the children and communities that they serve. i think it is, first and foremost, as we work towards this is to recognize that this is a field dominantly of women who are low income and have faced significant barriers to accessing secondary degrees, higher education. they have turned over rapidly as a result of poor wages, compensations have very limited access to professional development, and pathways to be able to achieve and advance as professionals. we need to be -- many states are -- in a space of innovation, in terms of building up our
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capacity to take what we know and see is working and scale that. in terms of being able to invest in our incumbent workforce to help then continue to improve their skills, get access to development, and increase pathways to build on this current workforce, to increase their opportunities to advance in terms of degrees and credentials and preparation so that they have options in the field. and pay attention to how we do that that is in the context of the current reality, around affordability, the fact they will be working and participating in these programs. retain that diversity, look at the incumbent workforce is an asset and build on it. from the federal government, we want to be able to support states in building the systems and that capacity as part of this program. at the same time, we need thousands of more teachers to make this a reality. i know that in oregon -- i
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always ask this question -- what is the biggest barrier they hold you back from being able to serve more children's and families? the answer was always the same. we are urban, suburban, travel communities and is finding a qualified workforce that is willing to do this work. i think the compensation and the salary issues are huge. we cannot and should not ask educators to come into this field or stay in the field and increase their credentials and preparation and not be able to compensate them. that is a huge priority and emphasis here, being able to pay and make these jobs appropriate with can a garden teachers, show them the same -- with kindergarten teachers, show them
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the same level of respect. we think that is key to build the systems and pathways so we can bring more educators. this will be a new opportunity for growth, but without wages and the supports we know we will not be able to bring a significant number of new workers in this workforce. this is a big challenge. i am not good to shy away from that. we have to invest more in the capacity of states and resources to be able to build up the systems. it is a well understood issue, addressing compensation will be one of the significant challenges that we hope -- that will be addressed as part of this plan if it comes to fruition. it is really about how do we help states to build the system so that can -- so they can recruit more professionals and
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individuals into this profession and make sure we do not push out and rebuild on the current assets of the workforce. jenna: if i could get in there to emphasize the teacher. two states are rolling out measurement and improvement systems, how many of our childcare income futures have never received that from their practice? when you talk to the teacher of infants, we call them educators -- no matter the setting or background -- it is the concept that they will focus on their strengths, treat them as a professional, and help them think about how they can improve what they are doing. really focusing on day in and day out, how do we help you grow as a professional?
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i would argue that we [indiscernible]incredible assets of our current workforce and we have tried leaving with requirements first and that has not been successful. we are at 80% or 85% white workforce. regardless of how we got to this place, really focusing on the competencies of this current workforce and demographic assets. in virginia, we took the preschool grant and turned into incentives. it was not what is called for, but i was like let's pay the teachers directly. we did not have enough to go around, we did a random trial and partnered with the university of virginia and show that just giving some of the equivalent of $.75 more
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concurrent turnover in half. $.75 more concurrent turnover in half -- can cut turnover in half. to be able to address critical needs of kids. if she walks out, all the investment walks out. there is no greater loss to the kids and the provider and the system. thinking about how to we lead with compensation, how do we directly pay in places we cannot put the provider in a position -- focusing on wage requirements but we do not give you enough money. really thinking about subsidization of educators to turn down that turnover. the other thing i think is really exciting, and hopefully
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that folks will use some of the dollars from the american rescue plan, we have to build strong technology infrastructure that will allow us to understand which kids and which classrooms -- what are the interactions like, what is the professional element. and -- element, and then tie that to outcomes to be able to track that overtime. we are at a precipice. we know that there is not enough time or historically do not have access to higher education. a bachelor's degree cannot be the answer to the entire workforce. building the data system like rebuilding in virginia, partnering with hiring partners who come up with the core competencies, here's how you measure it, here are the things
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that matter most. we have seen this in other random industries where they figure out how to on the job, prepare people to be effective and improve over time. we are hopeful these resources -- let's leave with compensation. -- lead with compensation. let's build and strengthen competencies, let's figure out how to make this a career. prof. weiland: i want to make clear that in the actual plan there is room for growth. as it is stated, it will bring all folks that work in early childhood up to eight living wage. -- up to a living wage and meet the requirements of a k-12. we want a system in which
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teaching a three-year-old is valued just as much as teaching a fifth grader or highschooler. i don't think there is any way around getting to a place in the workforce of the future where the requirements are the same. i think the plan -- miriam is actively working on this -- correct anything that i am saying. these are about retaining the workforce that we have in honoring them but also thinking ahead as we recruit a whole bunch of new teachers and training them up to speed. the workforce of the future. making sure the early childhood does not continue to be in the lesser than position. i think it is in and not and or -- an and and not an or. jon: miriam, do want to respond?
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miriam: i have been working on these issues for so long, in my professional career. early on, the debates around a bachelors requirement were absent -- in my experience -- very devoid on the concept of equity. do you lead without addressing compensation -- with degrees and end up with monolingual, english-speaking workforce? there are important lessons learned in head start from this experience. we had a bachelor degree requirement for over a decade. headstart has significantly increased across the country the number of bachelor's degree teachers.
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it has opened up -- that we see that they have been able to retain diversity in linguistic composition, more opportunities for women of color to get degrees in the program. without compensation, that has led to more debt and at least two more turnover. we know because if they cannot be well compensated once they earned their degrees and stay in headstart, they are going to other opportunities in the fields, including the k-12 system where they can be compensated. this is a really important balancing act. at the same time, we know to lead with compensation. we need to invest in this workforce, including the incumbent workforce and making sure the job is there the new and the current. that they are treated as parity. the other consideration here is
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building the capacity in states to be able to build the programs. the programs are not there right now. the programs in the way that jenna was talking about, programs that are accessible to a workforce for individuals and educators that will be working to -- and participating in these programs. this is where i think states are innovating. how do bearing contextualized -- how do we create multiple pathways for this workforce to be able to advance in the preparation and their skill, including towards degrees? keeping that pathway open i think is critically important. early on in the career, there was not enough attention on this debate. now, it has evolved.
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there is a lot of attention to that issue. how do we keep that northstar of, i believe women of color want opportunities and we have data to show to advance in certain degrees. degrees at some point are the key to advancement. what does advancement look like? we are talking about the context of education were degree requirements already exist. i think it is about building capacity of supporting the workforce and working towards that goal and paying attention to equity and making sure that we continue to keep the focus on this issue of we want to keep a workforce that reflects the children and families in the community. the diversity and the child population is extraordinary,
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they are more diverse than the current k-12 child population. that is going to keep happening. that is critical to this quality conversation. we know that barriers exist. that has been a big problem. how do we open up more accessible programs and bring them to educators? i think we can do that in this proposal. i am excited about the resources that will be coming to states to allow them to scale the things they know are working that meet the needs of this workforce and that will be successful in attracting new people to meet the qualifications. jon: thank you. miriam, you mentioned headstart. i am curious how you and anyone else is thinking about headstart. i will couple this with the question from the audience.
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the question is curious to hear how they are thinking of working with hhs and the biden administration what that might mean for states that receive their federal funding from hhs? i will start that with you but any other thoughts from any one else. miriam: i will start with headstart. headstart is where the expertise lies on being able to provide that education in infant and toddler services. we have to rebuild our map. we talk about the delivery system which means being open to a range of providers to be able
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to deliver the opportunities. that is important for the choices of families. we have to build on the expertise that is already there. that is the case with headstart. particularly when we talk about what the program should look like. and what experiences family should have. this proposal things about headstart is a big asset, a part of this delivery system, being able to play an important role. in the interest of time, i have some he thoughts about how we do that and build the intricacies on the assets of headstart. i will leave it there and let my other colleagues chime in. i will say that is an important part of what we are trying to do within this model and in this policy. with respect to edd and hhs,
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this is a huge moment for public education in our country and the k-12 system. the reality of the american families plan and what we would be able to do to increase access to early -- and high-quality childcare opportunities is huge. we are one hundred percent invested in our administration and working very closely with hhs in the success of this policy. we cannot look at this like the program is working in one department and not the other, that is not the reality. this is a huge moment for k-12. to be able to have these robust childhood opportunities. to close the gap will have a huge impact on the k-12 system. this is an opportunity for early childhood -- for children with disabilities in the first five years.
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particularly to really see the promise of faith for early childhood special education students in reality to the preschool proposal. we know we need to work closely together. our secretary is committed to that, the secretaries are working together and we are working together at the staff level to be able to ensure that edd is a critical partner. 55% of all children at publicly funded preschool are in schools and the schools will need support. we need to support states and be able to deliver those high-quality skills and high-quality programs. i think that is an important area. we will be partnering with hhs to support them in this model. jenna: 1.2 add to emphasize --
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one point to add, recognizing headstart as an asset. there are things we want to emulate with k-12 and there are things that are unique about early childhood that we want to preserve. walt school systems in mass close last year, early childhood programs kept their doors open. that was in norma's the commonwealth of virginia -- enormous in the commonwealth of virginia. parents could not afford not to go to work. as we think about how to stay innovative, is really making sure that we continue to honor that mix of public and private. we are thoughtful about equity and thinking about where the market does not work, but headstart provides a unique set of services that not everybody
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would prefer but is essential for those kids and families. really thinking through how do we set up the right government at the federal level, the state level, and i think there is a ton of work at the local level in running portfolios. no one gets a monopoly. in every conversation i present, there is not a single provider type in the state in this country that can serve all of the kids. we have to work together. it is occasionally wonderful collaboration, in that coordination i think you can actually develop systems that are more individualized of kids and families. really thinking through the american family plan and how do we do that.
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headstart continues to be an important part of the. -- part of that. jon: we have some questions from childhood programs who feel some uncertainty here on what may be ahead and what it means for their futures and running this programs. i will read one. this is from the head of a school. do you have a forecast of how preschool programs may impact small business owners who provide childcare for a number of years -- provided childcare for a number years? how are we thinking about piecing together that private provision with whatever else? miriam: i will bring up that term again of a mixed delivery system. it is something that is a huge priority for this administration
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reflected in this policy. it is the direction and reality that we are moving in. quality in early care and education can happen in a variety of settings. there is no evidence for us to say that this particular setting is better. it needs to be well resourced, the educators need to be supported. we think that a variety of choices need to be available for families to be able to meet their needs. as they think about where is the best preschool opportunity. the model and the weight this policy is being structured is to be able to give states the resources to be able to build on all of the assets and all of the providers, including home care based providers and small businesses .>> c-span is your
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-- and small businesses. this is about being able to subsidize that care so they can deliver quality services to those children and families that they serve .>> c-span is your -- families that they serve. there is an opportunity here for those small business to be able to deliver high-quality preschool to their children. jon: thank you. we have a couple minutes left. i will close with one more question. merriam you touched on this. -- miriam, you touch on this. you have thoughts on what is a good early childhood program look like -- what does a good early childhood program look like? prof. weiland: if we're going to
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be quick about it, it is joy. you walk in and everybody is engaged and being stretched in their development and being offered really rich learning opportunities. how to play with your friend when you have a conflict, to why does the seed grow? questions around science. thanks and a happy and healthy childhood classroom. it looks different if they are 1 years old or incan a garden -- in kindergarten. miriam: i echo what chris said. jenna: i sound like the grinch in here. something that is intentional and promoting learning and development has to be a part of that. i think every single one of the educators that i meant have come
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to this work for the reasons of joy, but the thing i am most proud of in my work across two states is how we have built on the energy and passion, but how people day today put in practices that meet the needs of their kids and promote their academic and social and emotional learning and development. joy plus extension al it he with kids learning and to grow. miriam: now i have to add, children's culture and the language and identity has to be seen as part of this quality mission. that cannot be erased and we have to be more intentional about supporting children's positive identity and building on their assets as well. multiple languages, early
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childhood education should not be a subtraction all language. jon: thank you. >> coming up tonight on c-span. q&a is next and the book, the tramp of nancy reagan. the strength and tenacity of the former first lady that shape the presidency. andrew cuomo gives his farewell address following his resignation. we will hear from the 52nd governor of new york replacing him. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more including charter communications. >> broadbent is a force for impairment. that is why we have invested all humans, building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering
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opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications supports c-span as a look service along with these other television providers, giving you a front proceed to democracy. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪

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