Earlier this month, the National Workforce Registry Alliance (NWRA) held their 2020 annual conference. Each year the event brings together national partners and early childhood workforce registries from across the country who work to support and advocate for the early childhood workforce. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the conference was hosted on a virtual platform that offered a combination of live and pre-recorded content. As a result, a record number of conference attendees participated in the event, more than doubling attendance rates from years past.

We are proud to share that a number of Institute staff were integral in making the conference a success. Please see below for some highlights from the conference:

  • Keynote Kickoff with Dr. John B. King Jr.
  • Moderated by The Aspire Registry Administrator, Diana Diaz

Dr. John King, Jr. is the president and CEO of The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close educational opportunity and achievement gaps. Dr. King Jr. also served as the U.S. Secretary of Education in the Obama administration.

During the keynote, Dr. King Jr. shared about the importance of data for equity based initiatives, and pointed out specific data points that need to be collected and presented to illustrate the racial wage gap in the ECE workforce. He also responded to important questions from participants about how to make higher education more accessible for BIPOC, and the kinds of structural supports that need to be strengthened to make this happen.

  • Best Practices for Customer Service: Tailored to Registry Members
  • Presented by Jhoana Taboada, Felicia Reid and Katherine Haro from The Aspire Registry team

This session had the third highest attendance rate of the over 20 sessions offered at the conference. In this session, The Aspire Registry team examined how to nurture and cultivate relationships with registry members, and deliver high quality, equitable customer service.

Aspire team members shared best practices and the valuable lessons learned from our own experiences in customer service, including a review of guidelines for delivering a positive customer service experience, needed dispositions, and elements for effective communication.

  • Harnessing the Power of Workforce Data in Professional Development Systems: Leveraging Registries to Build More Equitable Systems
  • Co-led by The Aspire Registry Administrator, Diana Diaz

The Aspire Registry Administrator, Diana Diaz, co-led this plenary with Jill Soto (New World), Maria Taylor (ChildCare Education Institute), and Denise Mauzy (SRI International), to review the functions of a workforce data system and the importance of using data to inform the implementation of equitable early childhood systems. Along with the three other panelists, she unpacked the recent 2020 State of Registries survey, examined the complexity of data collection within states, highlighted the importance of collecting verified data, and explored the integral role of registries to inform the coordination of policy initiatives at the state and national level.