OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 912

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE STAFF QUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENT FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS.

SUMMARY

Existing law increases the higher education requirements for school readiness staff in two phases. In the first phase, at least 50% of classroom staff in each state-funded school readiness program must hold either a (1) teaching certificate with an endorsement in early childhood education or early childhood special education or (2) bachelor's degree with an early childhood education concentration that is accredited by the state or regionally accredited with state approval. In the second phase, 100% of classroom staff in each school readiness program must have either a teaching certificate or bachelor's degree.

This bill delays the first phase by one year, from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018, and the second phase by one year, from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021.

The bill also creates the following two additional ways for school readiness staff to meet the higher education requirements: (1) by holding a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a similar discipline from a regionally accredited institution (i.e., does not require approval in Connecticut) or (2) under the law that already grandfathers in existing early childcare workers (see BACKGROUND).

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

BACKGROUND

Grandfathering

Two existing statutory provisions allow certain school readiness staff members to meet the higher education requirements (i.e., are grandfathered).

Under one provision, staff members are considered to have satisfied the requirements through June 30, 2025 if they have:

1. an associate's degree with at least 12 credits in early childhood education or child development from a higher education institution accredited in Connecticut and regionally accredited and

2. been employed by the same school readiness program since at least 1995.

Beginning July 1, 2025, these staff members must hold a childhood development associate credential or an equivalent credential or otherwise meet the law's stricter requirements (CGS 10-16p(b)(5)).

Under a second provision, staff members are considered to have met the requirements if they (1) were employed by a program on June 30, 2015 and (2) have a (a) bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child development or (b) bachelor's degree and at least 12 credits in in early childhood education or child development (CGS 10-16p(b)(3)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

36

Nay

0

(03/22/2017)