ATLANTA—The Foundation for Child Development has awarded a $225,000 grant to Georgia State University’s Georgia Policy Labs (GPL) to investigate the role that credentials play in facilitating the supply and placement of early care and education (ECE) professionals in Georgia.
“Many working families with young children have experienced the shortage of capable, well-trained early care and education professionals. It is a persistent issue in staffing licensed Early Care and Education centers,” Goldring said. “Our study will improve understanding of the effectiveness of various credentialing pathways and their contribution to the supply of high-quality ECE professionals in Georgia.”
The study will use a unique research-practice partnership with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), the University System of Georgia (USG), and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) to investigate how their admissions criteria and program requirements, along with child care market conditions and other characteristics, affect the supply and placement of ECE professionals.
“Aspiring Early Care and Education professionals in Georgia can choose from multiple pathways to gain a credential that allows them to work in a licensed child care center or in Georgia’s Pre-K Program,” he said. “Working with our partners, we will use administrative and interview data to understand progression through credential programs.”
The Technical College System of Georgia—the largest provider of ECE credentials in Georgia—offers three credential types: technical certificates of credit, an early childhood care diploma or an early childhood care associate degree. The USG offers associate through doctorate degrees in early childhood education.
DECAL plans to increase the number of credentialed teachers working in child care centers by 10 percent.
“Our research project will contribute to DECAL’s call to action,” Goldring said.
Director of Research
Georgia Policy Labs
Thomas Goldring is the director of research at the Georgia Policy Labs. He supports the faculty directors in managing research projects and providing analytical and technical support across GPL’s three component parts. He has researched issues in K-12 education, including educational accountability, school finance, and graduation rates; career and technical education; postsecondary education; and health care. He received his doctorate in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan prior to Georgia State University.