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Policy levers to promote cultural competence in early childhood programs in the USA: recommendations from system specialists

Authors
  • Porterfield, Mary L.1
  • Scott-Little, Catherine1
  • 1 The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 248 Stone Building, Greensboro, NC, 27402-6170, USA , Greensboro (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Publication Date
Dec 05, 2019
Volume
13
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s40723-019-0066-5
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate ways in which early childhood systems that rate and license child care programs, known as Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs), might incorporate requirements related to cultural competence into the system, including incentives, supports, and rewards for programs that foster cultural competence of the early care and education (ECE) workforce. The study employed a focus group design to consider the research problem from the vantage point of key informants such as coaches and other system staff who routinely support ECE programs to meet system requirements and to engage in quality improvement work. Three focus groups were convened, with a total of N = 28 participants. The meetings were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Emergent themes were noted and grouped into four categories: QRIS requirements; system alignment; ECE progrm administrator training; and ECE teacher training and technical assistance. Focus group members advocated for incorporation of system-level requirements related to cultural competence as well as program supports to ensure that ECE providers could succeed in meeting new requirements. Policy recommendations to support cultural competence development in the ECE workforce and to embed cultural competence in ECE systems are discussed.

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