The need for qualified early childhood teachers is greater than ever. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs—from Head Start to state-funded preschools to private programs—are essential to preparing children for success in school and life. But good schools need good teachers who understand child development and know how to engage young children in learning at every opportunity.
The EarlyEdU Alliance, led by College of Education faculty Gail Joseph and Susan Sandall, was created to help preschool teachers get the education they need. It offers colleges and universities a complete suite of courses in early childhood education. These courses, developed by leading experts in early childhood education from the University of Washington and other institutions, are relevant, accessible, and engaging to aspiring teachers. The EarlyEdU Alliance has also developed an innovative video sharing and coaching feedback app, the Coaching Companion. With the Coaching Companion, college faculty and their students can view, comment on, and learn from real-life preschool classroom situations.
The EarlyEdU Alliance was developed by the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), an OHS-funded initiative led by Professors Sandall and Joseph. It continues NCQTL's mission to strengthen the early childhood workforce by improving access to affordable, relevant bachelor's degrees. The Alliance's second national pilot of its courses and the Coaching Companion at colleges and universities across the country launched in August 2016. These institutions of higher education, along with representatives from state governments, non-profits, and philanthropic organizations, are the nucleus of a growing national alliance dedicated to improving the quality of preschool teaching.