Policy Brief/Analysis

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion

Creating and Supporting a Highly Qualified Workforce During Pre-K Expansion

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion

One of the goals of pre-K programs funded by states is to support the learning and development of young children. Research finds that only high-quality programs can achieve positive, long-term outcomes in areas such as student achievement, educational attainment, personal and social behavior (e.g., reductions in crime), and adult health and economic productivity. Teachers are not only a strong, but also a direct determinant of the quality of a preschool program. As states plan for expansion of public preschool programs, the working conditions, qualifications, and compensation of the current workforce need to be addressed as well as strengthened to recruit future pre-K teachers who are highly-qualified and prepared to meet each child’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development in partnership with parents.

The Authors

GG Weisenfeld is a Senior ECE Policy Specialist at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education. 

Dr. Lori Connors-Tadros is a recognized national leader in early care and education policy and research and provides technical assistance to states to use research to craft and implement effective policies. Lori has deep expertise in comprehensive state early childhood systems, finance and governance for effective policy implementation, leadership and agency capacity to implement policy and improve access, and research and policy to improve outcomes for young children.