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OSSE Announces Plan to Give Early Childhood Educators More Time to Meet New Education Requirements

Friday, November 17, 2017
Educators will have more time to earn the credentials required under OSSE’s new licensing requirements and the opportunity take Trinity University courses at local child development centers.

Media Contact: Fred Lewis (OSSE) – (202) 412-2167; [email protected]

Today, State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang announced plans to give early childhood educators more time to meet the city’s new education requirements for individuals who work in child development centers. The extension will apply to teachers, assistant teachers, expanded home caregivers, and associate home caregivers.

Teachers and expanded home caregivers will receive an extension in earning an associate degree in early childhood education or any associate degreewith at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood. To support teachers and expanded caregivers, OSSE is partnering with Trinity University to create a first of its kind initiative beginning in January 2018. Trinity will host classes for several cohorts of students earning their associate degree in early childhood education at local child development centers.

Assistant teachers and associate home caregivers will receive a one-year extension in earning a Child Development Associate (CDA). OSSE put forth revised regulations detailing these changes for public comment today. The changes are outlined below:

Position Degree/Credential Required by OSSE Original Date New Date
Teacher Associate degree in early childhood education or any associate degree with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood Dec. 2020 Dec. 2023
Assistant Teacher Child Development Associate (CDA) Dec. 2018 Dec. 2019
Expanded Home Caregiver Associate degree in early childhood education or any associate degree with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood Dec. 2019 Dec. 2023
Associate Home Caregiver Child Development Associate (CDA) Dec. 2018 Dec. 2019

“OSSE is committed to supporting DC’s community of child development providers to ensure stability and sustainability during the transition to the new staffing requirements,” said State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang. OSSE also announced several other new initiatives that will support the early care and education workforce and help providers gear up to expand the number of infant and toddler seats across the city:

  • Early Childhood Education Help Desk: Available at [email protected] or (202) 478-5903, child care staff can contact OSSE to receive support and get their questions answered about the new requirements, professional development opportunities, and general assistance with connecting to resources and planning.
     
  • Wards 7 and 8 Early Childhood Educator Fair: Tomorrow, current child development center teachers, assistant teachers, and home caregivers in Wards 7 and 8 can learn how to start and complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential or associate’s degree in early childhood education. Participants will get access to scholarship opportunities and other school supports. Child development staff can RSVP at www.bit.ly/ECEFair2017.
     
  • Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education: With only two associate degree options in DC – available at Trinity University and the University of the District of Columbia Community College – OSSE is collaborating with both institutions to ensure that students have the access, funding, and supports they need to get their degrees. As mentioned above, OSSE’s groundbreaking partnership with Trinity University will meet students where they are, holding classes in child development centers. Recruitment and registration has already begun for the winter session. Interested students can learn more about this program by emailing [email protected] or calling (202) 478-5903.
     
  • “Help Desk on the Road”: OSSE is providing presentations at child development facilities focused on the new education requirements and the resources and supports that are available to support staff in attaining their credentials and degrees. By meeting staff where they are, these presentations allow individualized customer service and counseling to child development staff needing credentials and emphasize high-quality customer service. Providers can request a workshop by contacting [email protected].

Fanice Holloway, Center Director at Kids Come First in Ward 8, said she has already met the education requirement and believes it is important for her staff to earn their credentials as well, for their development as early care professionals and for the development of the children at her center. She plans to have OSSE’s Help Desk on the Road make a stop at her facility to present to 10-15 of her staff members.

“It’s important because the more you learn and the more you have experience, the more you have to give and the better you can give it. The more you can help the children you’re working with,” Holloway said. “I would like for them to take away more learning experiences. My staff need to know how to assist the child, how to talk to a child. They need to know how to put children into small groups, and how to role play with them.”

Since announcing new licensing regulations in December 2016, the Bowser Administration has provided scholarships, training, and targeted assistance to support child development center staff. Mayor Bowser will expand the First Step Program, which gives high school students the opportunity to graduate with their Child Development Associate (CDA), to 150 students over the next three years. The Administration also purchased licenses for Quorum, an online platform that will provide all licensed providers and their staff unlimited access to training courses, including health and safety courses and training toward the CDA credential. Additionally, in her fiscal year 2018 budget, Mayor Bowser invested an additional $1.2 million in the District’s Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) program. T.E.A.C.H. is a scholarship program for employed teachers and staff members working toward an associate’s and/or bachelor’s degree. More resources can be found at www.osse.dc.gov/eceresources.

Today’s announcements are a part of the Bowser Administration’s commitment to supporting growing families in the District.Earlier this year, Mayor Bowser launched Thrive by Five DC, which connects families to resources that support maternal and child health, behavioral health, and early education. In September, the Mayor also launched My Child Care DC, a one-stop online resource that helps families find and compare child care options in Washington, DC. In August, the Mayor announced that the Thaddeus Stevens School in Ward 2 will reopen as a new child development center and an expansion of the School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens. The Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes $11 million to create more than 1,000 additional infant and toddler seats; identify three new sites in District-owned buildings that will be leased to private child care providers to provide affordable, accessible high-quality care; and help 300 DC residents gain certification as educators for infants and toddlers.