The 6 essential policy areas from Workforce Designs: A Blueprint for State Professional Development Systems are used to help frame volunteer interest areas (see http://www.naeyc.org/policy/ecwsi/pdf/Workforce_Designs.pdf for more details). The following provides a summary of these essential policy areas.
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS: the content of professional preparation and ongoing development.
CAREER PATHWAYS: routes of continuous progress for early childhood professionals, so they can plan the achievement of increased qualifications, understand the professional possibilities, and be appropriately compensated.
ARTICULATION: the transfer of professional development credentials, courses, credits, degrees, and student performance-based competencies from one program or institution to another, ideally without a loss of credits.
ADVISORY STRUCTURE: the coordination mechanism for an integrated early childhood professional development system, which should be free standing and have some authority or direct link to authority in the state’s governance structure.
DATA: to gauge impacts and systems change, as well as to inform planning, evaluation, quality assurance, and accountability.
FINANCING: the funding that all professional development systems need in order to operate (needs-based support for early childhood professionals to obtain education and ongoing development; support for programs/workplaces that facilitate professional development; explicit rewards and compensation parity for attainment of additional education and development; and financing of the professional development system infrastructure).