Higher Education Entry through Credit for Prior Learning

Research has found that the credit-based education of child care providers is an important factor linked with high-quality early education programs. Unfortunately, with high turnover, low compensation, and increasing higher education costs, it is difficult for the early education workforce to gain these credits.

In a recent paper by Wisconsin Early Childhood Association and Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, entitled Milestones: Advancements to Pathways for Early Childhood Higher Education, the option of credit for prior learning is discussed as one way to:

  • Recognize all the non-credit training and experience that early childhood providers already have!
  • Begin on a pathway of achieving more credits, or degrees, at a Wisconsin college
  • Have a clear starting point when considering credit-based education

Read the full paper here and keep checking our blog to learn about the progress that WI technical colleges are making in terms of what credit for prior learning options they will offer to providers!

Attracting, Supporting and Retaining a Qualified Workforce

Check out the second in a series of policy briefs by WECA and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families entitled, “Attracting, Supporting and Retaining a Qualified Workforce.” The link between the early care and education workforce and program quality has been documented in numerous studies, but funding to improve the quality of the workforce (in terms of higher compensation and greater support) has been put on the back burner in our nation’s time of economic stress. In this brief, we document the challenges of attracting, supporting and retaining a qualified workforce: low compensation, lack of professional development support, and high turnover in the field.

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.

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.