House Substitute 1 for House Bill 377
151st General Assembly (Present)
Ready for Governor for action
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.
This Act requires the Department of Education to conduct an annual workforce study of early childhood professionals to support the development of a plan and implementation of a system of supports to grow and deepen the early childhood workforce. The first study is due by November 15, 2022, the plan by January 31, 2023, and implementation of the system should be in place by September 1, 2023. The COVID pandemic revealed and heightened an existing difficulty in attracting and maintaining well qualified professionals in child care jobs, which are frequently low-paying compared to K-12 jobs. Since reliable, widely available, high quality child care options are a foundation for the whole workforce, and because the early childhood years are so important to childhood development and school readiness, it is a priority for the State that this crisis be addressed in a systematic, holistic fashion. The Department of Education is tasked with leading this rethinking and prioritization of early childhood careers – through the development of reliable data systems which can help bring living wages, financial and other support for academic and credential attainment, and coordination with CTE programs and institutions of higher education to uplift the profession and support individuals seeking to make a career in early childhood education.
Takes effect upon being signed into law