Our current projects include longitudinal research studies and collaborative efforts to improve early childhood systems. Read more about these projects, and the reports and briefs related to each.

Advancing Diverse Leaders

Despite the fundamental importance of early care and education (ECE) practitioners in the lives of young children and their families, the ECE profession is seriously hampered by a shortage of training opportunities to develop and nurture a diverse and well-prepared cadre of leaders. While members of the early learning workforce are strikingly diverse in professional preparation, work place setting, ethnicity, language, and age, the workforce is also stratified by education and job title. Our work focuses on documenting the stratification in the workforce and identifying strategies to successfully reduce it.

Our work related to Advancing Diverse Leaders was developed with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Related to the Advancing Diverse Leaders project:

Leadership in Early Childhood: A Curriculum for Emerging and Established Agents of Change
by Marcy Whitebook and Lea Austin (2009)
We developed this curriculum for use in higher education and community leadership-development efforts. The curriculum was piloted in the Mills College M.A. degree program in Early Childhood Leadership. If you are interested in receiving more information about the curriculum, contact us at cscceinfo@berkeley.edu. Include “Curriculum” in the subject line.

Diversity and Stratification in California’s Early Care and Education Workforce
By Marcy Whitebook, Fran Kipnis & Dan Bellm (2008)
Using data from the California Early Care and Education Workforce Study, this policy brief finds that the ethnic and linguistic diversity of California’s ECE workforce is stratified by educational level and job role–i.e., diversity is  disproportionately concentrated in some areas of the field. The brief discusses the implications of these findings for workforce development, higher education, and the ability of ECE programs to address the needs of diverse children and families.

Disparities in California’s Child Care Subsidy System: A Look at Teacher Education, Stability and Diversity

By Marcy Whitebook, Fran Kipnis & Dan Bellm (2007)
Using data from the California Early Care and Education Workforce Study, this policy brief focuses on disparities in staff professional preparation, stability and diversity between licensed child care centers that receive public funding solely through vouchers, and those that receive it through a contract with Head Start or the California Department of Education.


Aligning State Workforce Data Systems

States are engaging in efforts to develop comprehensive early childhood data systems which link longitudinal child-level information to program and workforce data. In many states, multiple early care and education workforce data systems, developed to capture information about particular sectors of the workforce, must now be aligned and integrated.

We are working with the data systems developed by three early care and education organizations.

  • CCR&R NACCRAWare – A web-based information management software to assist child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) in collecting, reporting, and distributing data. NACCRAWare is used by all CCR&Rs in 35 states, and is operated by the National Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), a national membership organization of CCR&Rs.
  • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® – A scholarship and compensation program developed in 1989 by Child Care Services Association in North Carolina and now operating in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The National Registry Alliance (TNRA) – A private non-profit voluntary organization representing state early childhood and school-age registries now operating in 33 states.

Together, we have developed standard definitions for key early learning workforce variables to strengthen data systems in the states and federal data collection and research efforts. These standard definitions will be available to the public in June 2012.

Read our policy brief, Workforce Information: A Critical Component of Coordinated State Early Care and Education Data Systems, which describes the early care and education workforce data landscape across the three data systems. This policy brief also details the challenges to aligning these systems and current efforts to address these challenges.

This project is funded by the Birth to Five Policy Alliance and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


Beyond Homes and Centers

Our most recent research and policy work broadens the focus of the early learning workforce beyond those who work directly with children in centers and homes. This project concentrates on those who work on behalf of the early childhood system, filling such roles as teacher trainer or educator, referral counselor for families, program developer, and advocate and policy analyst.

Increasingly, states are developing professional development policies and investments targeted toward these professionals who work in organizations that constitute the early care and education infrastructure and are frequently in the forefront of efforts to improve the quality of early childhood services.

The first study conducted for this project was supported through funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Our reports related to the Beyond Homes and Centers project:

Beyond Homes and Centers: The Workforce in Three California Early Childhood Infrastructure Organizations.
by Marcy Whitebook, Laura Sakai, and Fran Kipnis (2010)

» Executive Summary (pdf)
» Full report (pdf)

In this study we examined the career backgrounds and professional development needs of those working in child care resource and referral programs and local First 5 commissions and as child care coordinators across the state.

We worked closely with the following organizations to conduct this study:


California Workforce Data Strategies

While workforce studies provide important snapshots of the workforce at one point in time and help to guide policy decisions, they cannot be used to identify trends or to gauge progress. Because of their cost they are seldom repeated in a timely manner leaving policymakers and stakeholders to rely on dated information.

For these reasons, we have turned our attention in recent years to building comprehensive workforce data systems for the California early care and education workforce. Currently, we are participating in statewide efforts to pilot and build a California Workforce Registry.

Our California Workforce Data Strategies work is supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Our reports related to the California Workforce data:

California Early Care and Education Workforce Study
by Marcy Whitebook, Laura Sakai, Fran Kipnis, Yuna Lee, Dan Bellm, Richard Speiglman, Mirella Almaraz, LaToya Stubbs, and Paulina Tran (2006)

In 2005, CSCCE and the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, with funding from First 5 California and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, conducted the California Early Childhood Workforce Study, a statewide survey of the licensed child care workforce in California. The study identified the number of home-based and center-based staff working in licensed child care positions; wages; the educational qualifications of this workforce, analyzed by age, languages spoken, and ethnic background; and tenure of those working in licensed facilities.  The statewide survey was replicated in eight California counties.


Early Childhood Data Collaborative

CSCCE is a member of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC), a partnership of seven national organizations that support state policymakers’ development and use of data systems to improve early care and education programs and child outcomes. The ECDC seeks to build partnerships focused on improving early childhood data systems, offer resources on the development and use of comprehensive, longitudinal data, and provide transparency around states’ implementation and use of data systems. ECDC member organizations include:

Our participation in the ECDC is supported through funding from the Birth to Five Policy Alliance and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Resources related to the ECDC:

2013 State of States’ Early Childhood Data Systems

ECDC webpage

Developing Coordinated Longitudinal Early Childhood Data Systems: Trends and Opportunities in Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Applications

10 Fundamentals of Coordinated State Early Care and Education Data Systems: Inaugural State Analysis

Coordinated State Early Care and Education Data Systems: What’s Next in the States?

Getting Started: 10 Fundamentals of Coordinated State Early Care and Education Data Systems

Building and Using Coordinated State Early Care and Education Data Systems: A Framework for States


Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory

The Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory, administered by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California at Berkeley, assists policymakers and other stakeholders to develop a more coordinated and comprehensive professional preparation and development system for the early care and education workforce.  The Inventory is a mechanism to describe the landscape of a state’s early childhood degree program offerings, at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. The Inventory captures variations in program goals, content, child age-group focus, student field-based learning, and faculty characteristics and professional development needs. This information allows policy makers, institutions of higher education and other stakeholders to identify the gaps and opportunities in the available offerings, make informed policy decisions, and assess the capacity of the higher education system over time.

The State of Early Childhood Higher Education – Reports

Launched in 2012, to date, CSCCE has contracted with three states to conduct the Inventory: New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

New Hampshire (pdf)

New Jersey (pdf) (New Jersey weblink)

Rhode Island (pdf) (Rhode Island weblink)

With funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation, CSCCE is conducting the Inventory for California in the 2013-2014 academic year. Check back for the California report in 2014.

Webinar: Taking Stock of the States

CSCCE, in a webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, on 3/4/14 presented, Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory: Taking Stock of the States. As states across the country are working to establish coordinated early childhood professional preparation and development systems that are responsive to new and ongoing developments in the field, the ability to understand early childhood higher education offerings and to answer key policy questions is critical for policymakers, funders, advocates, and other stakeholders. This presentation provides an overview of the Inventory and describes how two states are using the data to inform policy and practice.

Click here to access the presentation slides.

For information about the Inventory, email us at cscceinfo@berkeley.edu with the subject “Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory”.


Leadership Learning Gap

Many emerging and established leaders encounter a gap between the political and policy savvy necessary to bring about a higher quality and more equitable early care and education system and their own knowledge and skills to competently navigate the arenas in which decisions about the system are made. To be effective, early care and education leaders now need to be subject-matter specialists about the field itself and understand how policy and political realities shape their capacity to perform their jobs. This is true whether they teach in a classroom or home, direct a center, provide mental health services, educate teachers, provide resource and referrals to parents, or lead advocacy efforts.

Our work related to the Leadership Learning Gap was developed with support from the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation.

Related to the Leadership Learning Gap project:

Leadership in Early Childhood: A Curriculum for Emerging and Established Agents of Change
by Marcy Whitebook and Lea Austin (2009)
We developed this curriculum for use in higher education and community leadership-development efforts. The curriculum was piloted in the Mills College M.A. degree program in Early Childhood Leadership. If you are interested in receiving more information about the curriculum, contact us at cscceinfo@berkeley.edu. Include “Curriculum” in the subject line.

Download our one-pager on 21st Century Preparation for Early Childhood Leaders (pdf)


Learning Together

This study focuses on four counties’ efforts to expand bachelor’s degree opportunities in early care and education (ECE) for working adults. The student cohort model – in which small groups of ECE students with similar interests and characteristics pursue a bachelor’s degree together and receive targeted support services – has emerged across the country. We are currently implementing the final year of a five-year longitudinal study of students participating in cohort programs in four California counties: Alameda, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and San Francisco. We will also be interviewing program funders and developers about their assessment of the success of B.A. completion cohort programs.

The Learning Together study is supported by: First 5 Alameda County-Every Child Counts, First 5 Santa Barbara County, First 5 San Francisco, the WestEd – E3 Institute, and the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation.

Our reports related to the Learning Together project:

Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education (Year 4 Report)
By Fran Kipnis, Marcy Whitebook, Mirella Almaraz, Laura Sakai and Lea J.E. Austin (2012)
The Year 4 interviews of the Learning Together study reveal that two to three years post degree, nearly 95 percent of graduates remain in the early care and education (ECE) field, and that graduates overwhelmingly report personal, professional and educational benefits as a result of their B.A. degree cohort program. Specifically, graduates report that structural aspects of their B.A. program, such as financial aid and flexible class schedules, were important to their educational success, that the cohort experience continues to provide them with professional support, and that as a result of their degree attainment they now earn more, have advanced in their careers, and continue to explore educational opportunities. Graduates also identified several important areas for programmatic improvement, such as expanding coursework to include ECE public policy and classes on working with adults.  They also discuss workplace characteristics that support or impede their abilities to engage in good practice and to continue to develop their skills.

Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education (Year 3 Report)
by Marcy Whitebook, Fran Kipnis, Laura Sakai, and Mirella Almaraz (2011)
The Year 3 interviews of the Learning Together study reveal that the vast majority of students successfully graduated from their B.A. cohort program. Year 3 interviews focused on two issues of concern about higher education programs – the practicum experiences for employed students and the adequacy of attention to working with children from linguistically diverse backgrounds. The graduates overwhelmingly reported that their B.A. classes provided them with skills and strategies needed to communicate with children who speak a language other than their own. While the majority of students reported that their practicum experiences helped them do a better job at their workplace, they also identified several areas for improvement. The Year 3 study also reports on the graduates’ perspectives about support at their jobs for ongoing learning and any changes in employment and/or compensation upon completing their degree.

Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education (Year 2 Report)
by Marcy Whitebook, Laura Sakai, Fran Kipnis, Dan Bellm, and Mirella Almaraz (2010)
During the Year 2 interviews, the students resoundingly reported that the cohort model enabled them to access and succeed in a B.A.-level education in a way that would not otherwise have been possible. The students reported progress in overcoming the challenges described in the Year 1 report, and decreasing their reliance on some of the program supports as they progressed through the program. The students also identified the importance of employer support in successfully pursuing their educational goals.

Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education (Year 1 Report)
by Marcy Whitebook, Laura Sakai, Fran Kipnis, Mirella Almaraz, Esther Suarez, and Dan Bellm (2008)
This report presents the Year 1 findings of the Learning Together study, in which the research team conducted extensive interviews with over 90 percent of the 124 student cohort members, and with 13 administrators and faculty members. The report highlights the striking congruence between the student and institutional perspectives on aspects of the B.A. completion cohort programs that were working well, and on the adjustments or improvements that were still needed.


No Single Ingredient

This multi-year project investigates the best way to prepare skilled and effective teachers of young children and to support teachers’ continual growth as professionals on the job. We examine the complex interaction among early childhood teacher preparation programs, early care and education workplace environments, and assistance for ongoing teacher learning. The study explores new methodologies for assessing the content and structure of higher education teacher preparation programs and for measuring the adult learning environment in early care and education settings.

Our work related to No Single Ingredient is supported by the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation.

Our reports related to the No Single Ingredient project:

By Default or By Design? Variations in Higher Education Programs for Early Care and Education Teachers and Their Implications for Research Methodology, Policy, and Practice
by Marcy Whitebook, Lea J.E. Austin, Sharon Ryan, Fran Kipnis, Mirella Almaraz, and Laura Sakai
This report draws upon a case study of two early childhood B.A. completion cohort programs in order to illuminate the limitations of current ways of conceptualizing and studying early childhood teacher education.

Preparing Teachers of Young Children: The Current State of Knowledge, and a Blueprint for the Future
by Marcy Whitebook, Deanna Gomby, Dan Bellm, Laura Sakai, and Fran Kipnis (2009)
» Executive summary

» Comparison of K-12 and Early Care and Education Systems

» Part I: Teacher Preparation and Professional Development in Grades K-12 and in Early Care and Education: Differences and Similarities, and Implications for Research
Part I summarizes the differences between the K-12 and the early care and education fields. We found more than enough similarities to warrant a close consideration of the combined wisdom of both fields.

» Part II: Effective Teacher Preparation in Early Care and Education: Toward a Comprehensive Research Agenda
Part II contains an in-depth review of our ECE and K-12 teacher preparation research and outlines what remains to be learned. It concludes with a set of key recommendations for research and policy.

Staff Preparation, Reward, and Support: Are Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Including All of the Key Ingredients Necessary for Change?
by Lea J.E. Austin, Marcy Whitebook, Maia Connors, and Rory Darrah (2011)

Degrees in Context: Asking the Right Questions about Preparing Skilled and Effective Teachers of Young Children
by Marcy Whitebook and Sharon Ryan (2011)