Plan for early childhood workforce development
(1)The department, in partnership with the early childhood leadership commission, shall develop a plan for recruiting, training, and retaining a well-compensated, well-prepared, high-quality statewide early childhood workforce. In developing the plan, the department and the commission shall work with the departments of education, higher education, and labor and employment and with organizations that have expertise pertaining to the early childhood workforce. At a minimum, the plan must:
(a)Take into account existing early childhood workforce qualification pathways and create a simplified process for persons in the workforce to attain credentials and meet qualifications;
(b)Ensure the ability to overcome any regulatory and systemic barriers for entry into the early childhood workforce by addressing administrative and policy barriers to entry, including addressing barriers faced by individuals who speak languages other than English;
(c)Address strategies for recruiting and providing incentives for diverse, nontraditional workforce members, such as high school students, teachers from other countries, and parents, and reducing barriers that prevent these individuals from joining the early childhood workforce;
(d)Promote a coherent and aligned system of preparation and ongoing professional development for individuals in the early childhood workforce;
(e)Simplify the requirements an individual must meet to enter the early childhood workforce, clearly articulate the competencies that members of the early childhood workforce are expected to achieve over time, align the system of professional learning and development for early childhood services, and reduce regulatory barriers when possible to promote attainment of these competencies through identified professional development partners, including institutions of higher education;
(f)Establish goals for increasing the qualifications of members of the early childhood workforce over time, including strategies for achieving the goal of supporting increased attainment of baccalaureate degrees in early childhood or baccalaureate degrees with supplemental early learning credentials for lead teachers employed by preschool providers;
(g)Address strategies for increasing the compensation for individuals in the early childhood workforce with the goal of ensuring that all individuals in the early childhood workforce receive a living wage; and
(h)Address other sustainable and evidence-based strategies to recruit, prepare, compensate, provide continuing professional development for, and retain members of the early childhood workforce.
(2)The department shall make the plan publicly available on the department’s website and shall submit a copy of the plan and any subsequent revisions to the plan to the early childhood leadership commission, to the governor’s office, and to the education and the business affairs and labor committees of the house of representatives and the education and the business, labor, and technology committees of the senate, or any successor committees.
(3)The department, working with the departments of education, higher education, and labor and employment, shall periodically review and assess the implementation of recruitment, preparation, professional development, and retention initiatives for the early childhood workforce. In reviewing these initiatives, the department shall solicit feedback from, at a minimum, individuals in the early childhood workforce, families, early care and education providers, the early childhood leadership commission, and organizations with expertise pertaining to the early childhood workforce.
Section 26.5-6-101 — Plan for early childhood workforce development,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-26.5.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).