From Research to Policy: Professional Development for Those Who Care For and Educate Florida's Children, Brief
This document presents findings from a Florida study on the availability and accessibility of formal professional development programs that offer college credit. Researchers identify strengths and weaknesses in early childhood program dynamics and examine course offerings and articulation of credit among institutions of higher education (IHE) in Florida. Overall, institution representatives report having students who want to be educated and faculty with the expertise to provide a quality education. However, while the majority of IHE report offering coursework focusing on the development of children birth to four years, only 61 percent report offering infant and toddler related courses. Half of the respondents reported that programming related to family child care was not available. The racial composition of early childhood faculty clearly demonstrates a lack of ethnic diversity with 74 percent of full-time faculty identified as White, non-Hispanic. Problems with transfer of credit were identified as moderate challenges facing early childhood programs in Florida. Policy implications for the early childhood workforce are discussed.