Early Care & Education

Since its inception, BCDI-Milwaukee has been dedicated to supporting the development of a high-quality, accessible, affordable, and aligned system of early care and education for children birth through age eight. These years are critical to the socio-emotional and educational success of students, particularly students of color, because they provide the foundation for all subsequent learning and development.

 

Early Care and Education is a strong foundation for future success. As a collaborator with the statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System (YoungStar) BCDI-Milwaukee is recognized by the Department of Children and Families as an organization that childcare providers can join as a resource to improve their work with parents.

In our program and policy work, BCDI-Milwaukee supports state and local efforts to provide black children with access to quality early care and education by promoting efforts to create a strong and supported early childhood workforce. Knowing that family engagement in Early Care and Education is important, BCDI-Milwaukee works alongside the state agencies and has resources to provide training and technical assistance to Early Care and Education providers in the community.
 
BCDI-Milwaukee supports the state of Wisconsin’s efforts to promote developmentally and culturally appropriate standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment that are aligned within and across the early childhood to early grades continuum.
 
We believe it is critical for early care and education and higher education to come together, around the priority area of effective teaching.  In early education, we know that effective teaching and high-quality instruction is a central component of child outcomes. Consistent access to effective teachers and leaders can help to ameliorate the effects of the opportunity gap and provide particularly strong benefits for children from disinvested communities. [i] 

[1] Kagan, S. L., Kauerz, K., & Tarrant, K. (2008). The early care and education teaching workforce: At the fulcrum. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. See also Julia Coffman and Melinda Green’s brief Reaching for Quality: Lessons from New Jersey on Raising Preschool Teacher Qualifications While Maintaining Workforce Diversity.  On the web at: www.buildinitiative.org/files/AbbottDiversityBrief.pdf.

To increase and equitably distribute quality across the birth through eight continuum, BCDI-Milwaukee focuses on:

  • Supporting specific efforts to recruit, professionally prepare, compensate and retain a well-qualified workforce across multiple birth through eight settings, including family and center-based child care as well as public and charter schools

  • Commitments to ensuring cultural and racial diversity in the workforce, which has decreased, even while the population of children has grown increasingly more diverse[1]

  • Supporting the revision of the states QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement Systems) to be more culturally responsive and to focus on the “Quality” and the “Improvement” as they are on the “Rating”

  • Encouraging the development of culturally, linguistically and developmentally appropriate assessment for young children and the classrooms in which they learn

  • Encouraging the states schools of higher education  to embed professional development opportunities that support a deeper understanding of families’ race and culture, and explicitly teach teachers from all backgrounds how to develop and strengthen relationships with parents and the community.