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Bowser Administration Extends Timeline for Early Care Educators to Meet Education Requirement

Friday, June 29, 2018

Contact: Fred Lewis, [email protected], (202) 412-2167

Today, the Bowser Administration officially extended the timeline for early childhood educators to meet the city’s new minimum education requirements for individuals who work in licensed child development facilities. The extension applies to teachers, assistant teachers, home caregivers, expanded home caregivers, and associate home caregivers.
 
Teachers and expanded home caregivers will have until December 2, 2023 to earn an associate degree (AA) in early childhood education (or early childhood development, child and family studies, or a closely related field) or an associate degree (or higher) in any subject area with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood. Assistant teachers, home caregivers, and associate home caregivers will have until December 2, 2019 to earn a Child Development Associate (CDA).
 
“We are proud that OSSE and the Bowser Administration continue to deliver technical assistance, create innovative partnerships, and execute strategies to meet the needs of our early childhood workforce as they work to increase their educational attainment,” State Superintendent Hanseul Kang said. “The new and further developed skills, knowledge and competencies gained will benefit our youngest learners and their families.”   
 
In December 2016, OSSE announced new rules that require staff at the District’s 470 licensed early childhood development facilities to meet the minimum education requirements. After the release of the new rules, OSSE collected ongoing feedback from early child care educators to help inform this proposed change through several of its support initiatives such as, Early Childhood College Fair series. On November 17, 2017, OSSE proposed extending the timeline for early care educators to earn those degrees; the public was given 30 days to comment. Today, OSSE published revised, final regulations in the DC Register, available here, that include details from the public comment period.
 
The changes to the minimum education requirements timeline are outlined below. Additionally, OSSE supports the experienced workforce with a waiver of these minimum education requirements that may be granted to any person who is employed as a qualified teacher, center director, or expanded home caregiver in a licensed child development facility in the District of Columbia on the effective date of these regulations (December 2, 2016) and who has continuously served as a teacher, center director, or expanded home caregiver for the past 10 years. For more information about the requirements, programs, resources, or the waiver process, please visit OSSE’s dedicated website for the workforce at www.osse.dc.gov/ECEresources.
 

Position Minimum Education Credential Required Original Date New Date
Center Director Bachelor’s degree (BA) in early childhood education (including early childhood development, early childhood education, elementary education, or early special education) or a bachelor’s degree in any subject area with at least 15 semester credit hours in early childhood education Dec. 2022 Not applicable
Teacher Associate degree (AA) in early childhood education (or early childhood development, child and family studies, or a closely related field) or an associate degree (or higher) in any subject area with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood. Dec. 2020 Dec. 2, 2023
Assistant Teacher Child Development Associate (CDA)

Dec. 2018

Dec. 2, 2019
Expanded Home Caregiver Associate degree in early childhood education (or early childhood development, child and family studies or a closely related field) or an associate degree (or higher) in any subject area with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood. Dec. 2019

Dec. 2, 2023

Home Caregiver and Associate Home Caregiver Child Development Associate (CDA) Dec. 2018 Dec. 2, 2019


“We have a strong, diverse and committed early education workforce across the District, and to make them even stronger, OSSE has implemented a strategic plan to support the professional growth of early educators. In order to close our achievement gap, we must ensure that all children in the District have access to high-quality early childhood experiences – and high-quality child care and early education largely depends on the knowledge, skills and competencies of the early childhood educators who interact with young children each day,” said Assistant Superintendent for Early Learning Elizabeth Groginsky.
 
To support the early childhood educators in obtaining the minimum educational requirements, OSSE, with the support of Mayor Bowser and the DC Council, expanded funding and resources for scholarships and provided intentional technical assistance to ensure the District’s current and prospective early childhood workforce have the funding and supports to meet these new minimum educational requirements.
 
Mayor Bowser’s fiscal year 2019 budget includes $12.5 million toward making early child care more affordable for all District residents. The $12.5 million investment includes an increase in District subsidy payments to local child care providers to ensure they stay open and can create new child care slots for infants and toddlers. Mayor Bowser’s fiscal year 2019 budget also includes a refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 per child for families enrolled in any licensed DC child care facility and not receiving a child care subsidy.
 
Over the past year, the Bowser Administration has made critical progress in supporting Washington, DC’s youngest learners by investing in child care. In fiscal year 2018, Mayor Bowser invested $11 million to create nearly 1,000 infant and toddler seats over the next three years by awarding $9 million in grants to providers, through the Low Income Investment Fund, seeking to expand or open new locations, streamlining and improving the child care licensure process, and supporting 300 DC residents in meeting the minimum education requirements. Mayor Bowser also identified an additional three sites in District-owned buildings for new child development facilities.
 
Additionally, in May 2017, Mayor Bowser launched Thrive By Five, a citywide effort to connect more DC families to a wide range of resources that support maternal and child health, behavioral health, and early care and education. In the fall of 2017, the Mayor launched MyChildCareDC.org, a one-stop online resource that helps families find and compare child care options in Washington, DC. The Mayor also announced increased supports for early childhood educators, including an additional investment in the T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) program that provides $1.5 million in scholarships for early childhood center teachers, home caregivers and directors to work toward earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a closely related field (e.g., human development). Mayor Bowser’s investment also expands the Child Development Associate (CDA) programs available in the District. The First Step CDA program, which over the next three years, will enable at least 150 high school students to earn their CDA while simultaneously earning their high school diploma. For adult learners, OSSE’s CDA Training and Scholarship Grant has expanded to new heights with the addition of Amharic-language cohorts adding to the existing English and Spanish-language instructional cohorts.