SJ239: Early childhood practitioner professional development; Department of Education, et al., to study.

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 239

Offered January 14, 2015
Prefiled January 10, 2015
Requesting the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services in cooperation with the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation to convene a work group to study and develop a competency-based professional development framework for early childhood practitioners. Report.
Patron-- Favola

Referred to Committee on Rules

WHEREAS, studies of early learning programs have repeatedly demonstrated that early childhood classroom experiences can improve young children's academic and social skills trajectories upon school entry with many effects sustained through adolescence; and

WHEREAS, these benefits are closely correlated with the quality of the practitioner-child interactions and instructional support that children receive while in care, and increasing high-quality practitioner-child interactions will lead to better outcomes; and

WHEREAS, a competency-based professional development framework can help practitioners deliver high-quality interactions by identifying the knowledge and skills that all types of early childhood practitioners should possess in order to provide responsive, rich experiences; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services in cooperation with the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation be requested to convene a work group to study and develop a competency-based professional development framework for early childhood practitioners. The work group shall include representatives from various stakeholder groups.

In conducting its study, the work group shall consider (i) professional support and in-service training proven to promote gains in children's social and academic development; (ii) current professional development standards, such as competencies for practitioners, trainers, and technical assistance providers; (iii) career pathways; (iv) trainer and training approval systems; (v) technical assistance and mentoring programs; (vi) training programs that lead to credentials and certifications; (vii) Virginia's Quality Indicators for Responsive Teaching: Creating a High Quality Preschool Learning Environment, to ensure that the professional development framework recommended by the work group supports teacher-child interactions and personal and social development; (viii) efforts to build capacity with private partners that emphasize hiring teachers with such training; (ix) revisions to Virginia's Star Quality Standards that emphasize elements that demonstrate success, including teacher preparation/professional development versus structural and/or physical plan components; and (x) other relevant research-based information.

Technical assistance shall be provided to the work group by the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the work group for this study, upon request.

The work group shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2015, and shall submit to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Virginia Commission on Youth an executive summary and a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports no later than the first day of the 2016 Regular Session of the General Assembly and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.