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Describing the preparation and ongoing professional development of the infant/toddler workforce: An analysis of the National Survey for Early Care and Education Data


The analyses presented in this brief describe the professional development activities of the nation's infant/toddler (I/T) workforce, based on nationally-representative data collected by the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE; NSECE Project Team, 2012). The goal of this brief is to help the field better understand the strengths and needs of the I/T workforce in center-based as well as home-based early care and education (ECE) programs. Findings are presented separately for I/T teachers and caregivers in center-based and home-based settings. Results indicate that I/T teachers and caregivers tended to have low levels of education; furthermore, endorsements such as the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) or state certifications were uncommon. However, most of the I/T workforce had some exposure to college coursework. Among I/T teachers and caregivers in center-based programs, participation in professional development activities varied both by extent of previous education and whether the degree was in ECE or a related field. In general, participation in professional development activities was most common among teachers and caregivers with higher levels of education. For home-based I/T teachers and caregivers, professional development activities tended to be one-time workshops as opposed to more intensive forms of professional development, such as a workshop series or coaching. Only at higher levels of education did a substantial proportion of home-based I/T teachers and caregivers report meeting regularly with others who were looking after children. Professional development for home-based I/T teachers and caregivers tended to focus on health and safety and curriculum. Professional development for center-based I/T teachers and caregivers tended to focus on health and safety and supporting children's social-emotional development. Time release and other supports for professional development varied by education level for both center-based and home-based I/T teachers and caregivers. However, only 15 percent of home-based I/T workforce reported having received financial support for professional development in the past 12 months. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for professional development systems. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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