October 24, 2006
For immediate release
UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education hosts the first Santa Barbara County Early Childhood – Higher Education Summit on Thursday, November 2 in the UCSB Corwin Pavilion. This event, co-sponsored by First 5 Santa Barbara County and the Gevirtz Research Center, will discuss the best practices for improving education for students pre-kindergarten. The summit will bring together educators and researchers from institutions of higher education, representatives from early care and education institutions, and other representatives from community organizations with an interest in early childhood education and workforce development. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about training, credentialing, and degree programs that have already been established, as well as those that are in development. Issues, options, and future plans regarding workforce development in early care and education will be discussed.
Jane Close Conoley, Dean of the Gevirtz School said, “The youngest among us deserve highly qualified teachers. Research from many fields all point to the importance of this period of life in predicting life long learning, social, and emotional development. Cooperation among community colleges, universities, and early childhood agencies is needed to equip a 21st century workforce of teachers who contribute at the highest levels to California children’s and families’ quality of life.”
The Summit will feature two keynote presentations. In the morning Roberta Peck, the Director of Preschool Planning of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSEA), will present the talk “California’s Efforts to Raise the Standards and Compensation for Early Care and Education Professionals.” When Peck left her previous position at the First 5 CA Preschool Partnership Office in February to join CCSEA, she said, “I am impressed with how much we have accomplished for young children in California and their families. I am particularly proud of our county-state partnerships in developing comprehensive School Readiness Programs in every county, our innovative First 5 Power of Preschool Demonstration Projects, and our commitment to continuous learning and improvement through collaborative technical assistance and evaluation.”
Marcy Whitebrook, the Director of the Center for the Study of Childcare Employment (CSCCE) at UC Berkeley, will be the afternoon keynote speaker, and she will address the “Santa Barbara County 2006 Early Care and Education Workforce Study.” Whitebook joined the Institute of Industrial Relations at Berkeley in 1999 as a researcher focusing on issues of child care employment, and the relationship between good child care jobs and quality child care services. She was the Founding Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for the Child Care Workforce (CCW), which merged with the American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation in October 2002. Founded in 1978, CCW is best known for its landmark National Child Care Staffing Study, led by Dr. Whitebook, which first brought public attention to the low wages of child care workers. Beginning in 1991, CCW spearheaded the national Worthy Wage Campaign, which has led to a variety of organizing drives and public policy initiatives focused on improving child care jobs.In addition to these keynote talks and follow-up question and answer sessions, the day will feature presentations on subjects such as “The Ladder of Lifelong Learning” and “Special Needs Children and Dual Language Learners: Matching Children’s Needs to Workforce Training.” Presenters will include experts from throughout the Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Tri-County region.
[Participants in the summit available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789.]