IAFC in the News – Can Illinois Rescue Its Early Childhood Workforce?

June 22, 2021

(excerpted from Chalkbeat Chicago) – Previous efforts to help experienced workers earn bachelor’s degrees did not go far enough and weren’t really practical for women juggling full-time jobs. Teresa Ramos, the vice president of public policy at the advocacy group Illinois Action for Children, said the consortium effort must really scrutinize what experienced workers need to be successful.

“The challenge we heard is that people want to stay in the field and keep their job. When you are working full-time, you can’t take a college class between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. — and that’s when many four-years offer their classes,” she said. Some of the strict mandates in the consortium bill could pressure colleges and universities to rethink how they set up courses for current workers, she added. “That could shift policy — something that might not just be good for early childhood but other fields.”

Read the full article from Chalkbeat Chicago.