Bipartisan Bill Supports Education for Early Childhood Workforce

A new bipartisan bill supports the early childhood workforce in developing the skills they need to ensure all NC children are ready for kindergarten and on the pathway to reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Senators Chad Barefoot (R), Jeff Jackson (D), and Jay Chaudhuri (D) introduced a bill that would allow early childhood credits from a North Carolina community college to transfer to a University of North Carolina institution.

Senate Bill 449 would require that the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina and the State Board of Community Colleges have an articulation agreement in place by March 1, 2018 that would allow students to transfer credits earned for an associate degree in early childhood education at a community college to a University to apply towards a baccalaureate degree. Articulation agreements outline the pathway and processes between community colleges and university programs.

Articulation agreements support higher education for the early childhood workforce. Early education teachers who have access to high-quality education and professional development are better equipped to provide their students with high-quality education, including ensuring that all children are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade. Research shows that birth-through-age-five teachers with at least a four-year degree and specialized training in early childhood are more effective and more actively engaged with the children they teach. Child care and prekindergarten programs with highly qualified teachers are more likely to produce positive outcomes for children’s learning and development.