capturehechingerAlthough voters have voiced their strong support for access to quality early childhood care and education, the United States continues to fall behind other nations when it comes to investing in young children. In fact, according to a 2012 report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the U.S. ranked 35th in school enrollment of 3- to 5-year-olds among developed nations. The Little to Nothing Series, a series of six articles by Lillian Mongeau featured in the The Hechinger Report, explores the current state of public preschool in the U.S., including areas for improvement on a national level and strong examples of quality pre-K at the city and state level. A prevalent theme across the articles is the importance of building and supporting a well-trained early childhood workforce in order to best serve young children and their families. This theme is particularly evident in the fourth article of the series, What do Preschool Teachers Need to Do a Better Job?, which details New York City’s achievements and challenges faced during the implementation of universal pre-K. Mongeau argues that New York City’s universal pre-K efforts are a model for the whole nation due to its diversity and scale.

New York has continuously demonstrated its commitment to its youngest and most vulnerable citizens, and the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute is at the forefront of this work. During New York City’s universal pre-K implementation, the Institute played a pivotal role in preparing over 300 early childhood teacher candidates to enter the classroom. The Institute partnered with colleges across the City to design a comprehensive and accelerated curriculum for the teacher candidates. Subsequently, Institute staff recruit candidates, enrolled them in degree programs, and provided tutoring, coaching, and tuition support throughout the certification process. Additionally, some candidates received coaching and induction during their first year in the classroom. Through this effort, the workforce was ready to serve more of New York City’s preschool-aged children than ever before.

The Institute continues to provide these services to new and aspiring teachers through the Career Development Services Center. To learn more or for questions, email or call (718) 254-7735.