This project will create and launch a nationwide campaign aimed at educating the public about the importance of early childhood educators having deep and specialized knowledge and skills. This effort will begin with the joint development of a set of up to 10 key message points regarding the value and worth of highly-trained and knowledgeable early childhood educators. Public awareness tools will be created using those key messages and disseminated across each of the partner organizations' networks. While the individual 'toolkits' will be comprised of different products-for example, they might contain fact sheets, videos, public service announcements, or the like-the content of the messaging will be the same throughout, reflecting all or some of the key message points. The dissemination strategies will be largely web-based (e.g., email blasts, documents and videos posted on websites, etc.), but might also include print materials and radio and television announcements. The target audiences for messaging will include policymakers, educators, parents, higher education, political leaders, philanthropy, business leaders and other key stakeholders. The impact and success of this effort will be measured at the individual partner level by tracking the number and types of tools disseminated and individuals reached, as well as through a web-based survey to a sample of audience members.
In order to accomplish these goals, each partner has agreed to contribute their expertise in early childhood education, child development, early education service delivery, and/or infrastructure development, as well as resources needed to develop and disseminate the products in individual toolkits. These resources might include the expertise of other personnel in the partner organizations, and supplies and materials needed to develop the various tools.
The primary implementation steps of our national campaign are:
September 2012: Develop up to ten message points.
September 2012: Identify key audiences for each of the partner organizations.
October 2012: Create individual public awareness strategies and toolkits.
October-November 2012: Develop individual dissemination strategies.
October 2012-March 2013: Launch individual campaigns.
November 2012-March 2013: Gather feedback on impact of select outreach strategies.
In the United States, parents, business leaders, policymakers, and the public at large undervalue the importance of high quality early childhood education in setting the pathway for a child's success in school and in life. At the core of the role of high quality early childhood education is the role of the teacher in building the foundation for future learning. Research has demonstrated the importance of both the early years and the educated, knowledgeable early childhood educator. There is a disconnect between what is known about early childhood educators and their impact on children's education and what our nation accepts in minimal standards for the profession, providing few options for career mobility and wage progression, and undervaluing the profession.
This effort is designed to increase public understanding of the critical role of the highly educated, competent early childhood teacher in helping to ensure a young child's future success in school and in life. This initiative is seeking partners who can support the dissemination of materials to contacts within their own organizations or who can financially support the development and dissemination of materials to contacts within other organizations.
Specifically, partners are sought who can contribute one or more of the following: Funding for materials development and dissemination, Marketing expertise in the design of a dissemination plan, Graphic design expertise in the design of materials, Dissemination of materials to targeted audiences within their organization's network.