The Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood is the umbrella organization that unifies partners to overcome fragmented funding and programs with better alignment, coordination, efficiencies and messaging for a positive impact upon early childhood policy and practice.
To achieve those goals, Kentucky is promoting and supporting a high-quality early child care and education workforce by prioritizing the following three areas.
Building the State’s Talent Pipeline Management System
Kentucky is implementing a Talent Pipeline Management System with the goals of increasing worker compensation to pay a living wage; aligning the state with nationally recognized approaches to meeting workforce needs; promoting opportunities to obtain professional credentials; and expanding the state’s apprenticeship program to accelerate the number of workers with professional qualifications.
Accelerating Paths to Professional Qualifications
Kentucky is building a strong workforce through professional training and technical assistance that is equitable through practice-based coaching and high-quality professional development in collaboration with statewide partners. For example, Kentucky’s Early Childhood Institute has been expanded to provide multiple opportunities for professional development for all sectors of the early care and education workforce.
In addition, Kentucky is encouraging the use of best practices that prepare children for kindergarten through the revised Early Childhood Standards. We are using unified training, practical practitioner resources and an interactive web-based tool to implement the standards statewide. In partnership with the National Center for Families Learning and Kentucky Educational Television (KET), we also have created a Family Guide using everyday language to help families use at-home activities that align with the standards and prepare their children for kindergarten.
Supporting Retention of High-Quality Professionals
To retain high-quality child care professionals in our state, Kentucky is working towards increasing compensation to keep pace with living wages, professional benefits and funding for continuing education scholarships.
Implementing this three-pronged approach to developing and retaining a strong, professional early child care and education workforce will reap benefits for generations to come.