A thriving early childhood workforce is needed for children and families to receive services, for educators to access rewarding careers, for organizations to achieve impact, and for Chicago industries to have strong childcare options for their workers. Chicago’s early childhood sector is focused on growing access to those services and to continuously improving their quality.

In Summer 2019, CWFA was approached by the City of Chicago and a group of local foundations to lead a research effort to profile the workforce-related needs and opportunities in Chicago’s early childhood sector—as well as the potential for a workforce partnership to address those needs and opportunities. The research effort produced by Bellwether Education Partners revealed significant alignment in Chicago early childhood employers’ challenges and priorities; it also confirmed employers’ interest regarding the workforce partnership model.

In February 2020, 20+ early childhood employers convened to draft the purpose, goals, and activities of a workforce partnership. From this initial design session, they agreed to collaboratively act to elevate the early childhood profession; attract and retain more educators; implement systemic strategies that enhance job quality, educator development, and fair compensation; and increase the impact and sustainability of organizations across the sector.

CWFA is currently working with these employers to hire a convener. The convener will help define the initiative’s shared goals and strategies, engage stakeholders whose support is required for impact, and manage implementation of partnership efforts. The convener will be a contracted role, requiring at least 10-20 hours per week, click here for more information – applications are due June 30, 2020.

Additional Funders:

Bellwether Education Partners Executive Summary

For more information, contact Cyndi Solitro at CWFA, csolitro@cct.org