Reviews the research on how pre-K teacher preparation affects learning and program quality. Explores the potential costs and benefits of raising preparation standards, expected challenges, and strategies states and localities have used to address them.
- Successful Strategy: Raising educational standards for pre-K teachers often has a positive, indirect effect on pre-K quality; more rigorous levels of teacher preparation has been shown to support both higher compensation and easier recruitment of well-qualified teachers.
- Successful Strategy: Several states have successfully instituted higher teacher-qualifications, including Wisconsin, New Jersey, California and Georgia, through creating credentialing policies, providing financial incentives for training, developing higher education infrastructures, and providing scholarships and other supports for adult students.
- Observation: Studies show that teachers with a bachelor's degree and specialized training in early childhood education and development are better prepared to provide high-quality classroom environments and promote academic achievement.
- Challenge: Several challenges exist for increasing teacher preparedness, including the overall lack of early childhood development courses in higher education, the cost and time to working teachers in obtaining a four-year degree, and the lack of sufficient training for those teaching English language learners and students with special needs.