Collaboration with UCLAxCareerBridge initiative provides recruitment, education, training and job placement
LOS ANGELES – September 9, 2021 – Child360, a leading early learning non-profit, joins forces with UCLA Extension to open doors for the incoming early childhood teacher workforce and ease the teacher shortage, in collaboration with the UCLAxCareerBridge initiative. The pandemic has exacerbated the shortage of teaching staff in early childhood education.
One hundred aspiring early childhood educators will be able to participate in UCLA Extension’s Early Childhood Education Associate Teacher Certificate Program at little to no cost to the student. Students will receive specialized training, wrap-around supports, and the opportunity for job placement through Child360. UCLAxCareerBridge is made possible through funding from the State of California and provides over $1100 per student in the Early Childhood Education Associate Teacher Certificate Program, to cover student’s books and subsidize certificate fees. UCLA Extension’s Early Childhood Education Associate Teacher Certificate Program is fully online and also available in Spanish. The program provides the foundational knowledge needed to become an Associate Teacher in a preschool or childcare setting, for children birth to five years.
The initiative comes at a time when teacher shortages and barriers to education are at an all-time high. Since the start of the pandemic, the early childhood education workforce has decreased by 15 percent; from March 2020 through February 2021, over 4,000 licensed child care facilities in California have permanently closed.
Child360’s workforce development program, Sub360, is a substitute teacher placement program. In collaboration with UCLA Extension, Child360 will recruit participants for the certificate program, provide academic and other supports, training with ongoing career advisement, and place eligible early childhood educators directly into classrooms. By removing financial barriers, the collaboration aims to open doors for ECE professionals to enter or advance in the field. Recruitment is currently underway for the initiative’s first cohort of students to begin taking courses this Fall quarter.
“Every child should feel at home and nurtured in an early learning program. This begins with an equitable classroom and educators that are highly trained in the latest practices for optimal early learning opportunities and environments. When we support our workforce, we are supporting our children and building strong families and communities,” remarked Child360 CEO, William Sperling.
Among the 2.9 million children under the age of six in California, 50 percent are Hispanic, 31 percent are white, 13 percent are Asian, and 5 percent are black. “Now, more than ever, educators need champions and support, and this collaboration with UCLAxCareerBridge positions us to be a part of the solution,” said Sperling.
“UCLA Extension’s Early Childhood Education – Associate Teacher Certificate is one of the few early childhood teacher preparation programs in the state that offers courses in Spanish. This program increases opportunities for early childhood education teachers, and also improves quality care and education for young children including those from Spanish-speaking communities.” Helen Davis, Program Director, UCLA Extension
Child360 is a leading nonprofit working toward a future where every child has the educational opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. This means supporting the development of the whole child, beginning at birth. Alongside trusted community partners, Child360 improves the quality of early learning and elevates the early learning industry through program support, professional development, advocacy, research, and community engagement. From every angle, we are equipping the next generation, empowering them to discover their potential, and advancing our future workforce. Learn more at www.child360.org
About UCLA Extension
UCLA Extension is the division of continuing and professional education serving Los Angeles for over 100 years. Through the UCLAxCareerBridge initiative, UCLA Extension will extend certificate access to more diverse populations by removing financial barriers, providing convenient locations and online formats for busy adults. UCLAxCareerBridge aims to establish critical collaborations with community organizations in the greater Los Angeles area that serve residents who would greatly benefit from this opportunity. Collectively, we will recruit students and assist them throughout their education journey.
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