Credit for Prior Learning: Pathway to Higher Education for Child Care Providers

Briefly Speaking:
Early childhood professionals perform better with more credit-based education and so do the children they care for. Yet between 1980 and 2004 the number of child care teachers with at least a 2-year Associate’s Degree dramatically declined. For reasons such as access and cost, many early childhood teachers forgo formal educational courses and learn exclusively on the job. At the same time, these teachers acquire several years of relevant experience and many hours of training that synchronize well with the requirements of credit-based educational courses.

Credit for Prior Learning BriefIn a newly published brief, researchers from the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families study these trends and more – arguing that a robust “credit for prior learning” system in Wisconsin can attract early childhood teachers into degree programs and in the process, strengthen the quality of early childhood care.

Click here to read the entire brief and stay tuned for further collaborative studies. This project has been made possible by the generous support of the Joyce Foundation.

2 thoughts on “Credit for Prior Learning: Pathway to Higher Education for Child Care Providers

  1. I work with a talented, dedicated, imaginative, intuitive woman who “only” has a one year degree in early childhood education. She went to school while raising her daughter and her niece by herself back in the 1980’s. As she approaches her mid-50’s she finds herself facing the dilemna of taking on student loans to progress in her field or to hope that her experience will count for something when raises are passed out. It’s time someone finally noticed that not all learning happens in the classroom.
    For that matter, over the years I’ve taken on student-teachers from both MATC and UW-Madison. I’ll take the MATC students anyday. The University students have some great theory but absolutely no idea about the reality of children, whereas the MATC students are placed in classrooms from the first semester. It’s not only children who learn by doing. Time to recognize that and give credit to those who’ve earned it.

    • Thanks for your comment Susan. We are excited about our credit for prior learning work in Wisconsin and hope that is beneficial to many providers in the field! In addition to policy briefs and research, our organization provides a lot of services for providers including the T.E.A.C.H. Wisconsin scholarship program. If your colleague is considering taking some higher education courses in early childhood education, the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship can help her pay for her courses. This program is an excellent alternative to student loans-find more information at our website here. Please pass along the word to her and thank you again for your comments!

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