Early Childhood Teacher Policy in the United States: Continuing Issues, Overcoming Barriers, and Envisioning the Future

Academic Article


  • Abstract The decentralized and fragmented nature of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) system in the U.S., coupled with an ongoing teacher shortage, high teacher turnover rates, and the increasing demand for early childhood (EC) teachers, has led to low entry requirements and lenient regulations for most EC sectors. Yet, the recent call for school readiness of preschoolers is pushing the field to be equipped with highly qualified EC teachers with professional knowledge and competence. Efforts to provide quality ECEC services by improving the quality of the teaching force at various levels have been initiated in the U.S. In this paper, we describe: demographic profile of America‚Äôs ECEC teaching force; regulatory standards regarding entry-level teacher requirements; condition of pre-service teacher training in higher education; and provision of professional development and retention efforts. Current trends and challenges of EC teacher policy in the U.S. are presented, and implications for EC policymakers are discussed.
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 2008
  • Keywords

  • Pediatric
  • Prevention
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 15
  • End Page

  • 30
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 2