Our nation’s child care system is complex and historically rooted in inequities. Child care providers find themselves the subject of system-level inequities that have perpetuated for over 100 years.
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One of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) most important roles is to collect and help make sense of important data on child care needs and trends in their communities. Families, child care providers and stakeholders want to know the price of child care in their area as they explore options for their children, their program or their community. Individuals or stakeholders hoping to start a child care business often reach out to their local CCR&R to determine what the geographical area or community needs are before they move forward in opening a child care business. As CCR&Rs keep current on local, state and federal grants and opportunities in the field of early childhood, they are often sought out for information on underserved populations and child care deserts. CCR&Rs use the data to inform decision-making regarding child care needs and support the community in their efforts to address issues and capitalize on opportunities.
As shared in the previous blog entitled “Virtual Coaching: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic,” transitioning to virtual coaching required professional development providers to anticipate and prepare for the changes and adaptations needed to make the shift from in-person to virtual coaching. Issues such as new technologies, equipment, training, recruiting providers, and virtual platforms need to be considered to implement virtual coaching successfully.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced rapid changes upon the field of early care and education and dictated a re-examination of how many of its traditional systems and services are offered. Professional development is one such system, particularly traditional one-on-one coaching models. For many years, the norm was face-to-face coaching support, but the pandemic required the field to face a new reality. How do we balance offering this much-needed aspect of professional development while protecting the health and safety of staff and children?
We are all lifelong learners. Granted, for some of us, the pursuit of learning is an inherent strength. For others, it can be a challenge, a heavier lift, but our changing world demands it of us. So for folks like me, where it most certainly is not a strength, we take a deep breath and dive in. And we survive, often even thrive, and want to share that learning with others. But let me back up.
Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is excited to announce a new tool to strengthen the child care system workforce — the Child Care Career Center. The Child Care Career Center connects employers to professionals in all parts of the child care system and career stages. We proud that our job board houses job postings in every aspect of the child care system.