ECE professionals are extremely important in a center’s ability to provide quality care to children.
- They also play a very important role in maintaining on-going stable care for children.
- Even though the research shows how important it is to hire and keep on staff ECE professionals who provide quality care for children, there is a lot of teacher and director turnover.
- Nationally, it is estimated turnover ranges from 25 to 40 percent and a lack of professional support and training add to the problem.
To be able to teach and care for children in a way that supports social, emotional, physical, and neurological growth while addressing challenging behavior, ECE professionals need training and ongoing support.
- When teachers in the classroom do not have the tools they need to work with children experiencing behavior problems, it can lead to a larger number of center-initiated transitions.
- Without training, resources, and professional support, it is harder to prevent challenging behaviors from happening in the first place.
- It is also harder to take steps to address challenging behaviors when they do happen.
- “Unprepared teachers also have led to soaring expulsion rates of children in early childhood education programs. Preschool expulsions are three times higher than any other grade level” (Zwolak, 2017).
Zwolak’s (2017) research points out ways that the number of center-initiated external transitions may go down when opportunities for high-quality professional development for ECE professionals goes up.
- Kentucky’s support network for child care providers has a history of making quality professional development available at little or no cost to providers and the state continues to look into ways to make more options available.