Back to School!

by Kelly Bowes, Director of Professional Practice, Denver’s Early Childhood Council

Back to School! As children head back to class for the 2018-2019 school year, full of excitement and learning possibilities, a new cohort of early childhood teachers has also embarked on their own learning journey. Through Denver’s Accelerated Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) Program, we are supporting 16 participants to earn their ECT qualification through a new and innovative model.

Through a generous Transforming the Early Childhood Workforce grant from Early Milestones Colorado and in collaboration with multiple community partners, the Council is tackling the current early childhood workforce crisis. The Accelerated Early Childhood Teacher Program seeks to recruit and retain a diverse cohort of teachers through a streamlined, supported and equitable ECT pathway. The pathway ensures that candidates develop skills and knowledge aligned to the Colorado’s Competencies for Early Childhood Educators and Administrators through coursework paired with work experience in a high quality early learning program. Embedded throughout this learning pathway are mentoring, coaching and reflective supervision opportunities. Career navigation and job skills training are also offered to participants.

We’re proud to share that an exciting and impactful achievement was the recent approval of a workforce waiver by the Early Childhood Leadership Commission. Through this project, Denver now has the ability to grant and recognize ECT qualifications for candidates who have successfully completed the milestones laid out in this pathway, meaning many of our participants will earn their qualification in as little as six months.

As the pilot project rolls out, there will be continued opportunities for stakeholder engagement and we’ll be providing updates on implementation and impact stories. Stay connected via our social media pages and our newsletter to hear the latest as we all learn and grow together!

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