Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 320

    February Session, 2018

Substitute House Bill No. 5450

House of Representatives, April 9, 2018

The Committee on Education reported through REP. FLEISCHMANN of the 18th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

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

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 10-16p of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(b) (1) The office shall be the lead agency for school readiness. For purposes of this section and section 10-16u, school readiness program providers eligible for funding from the office shall include local and regional boards of education, regional educational service centers, family resource centers and providers of child care centers, as defined in section 19a-77, Head Start programs, preschool programs and other programs that meet such standards established by the commissioner. The office shall establish standards for school readiness programs. The standards may include, but need not be limited to, guidelines for staff-child interactions, curriculum content, including preliteracy development, lesson plans, parent involvement, staff qualifications and training, transition to school and administration. The office shall develop age-appropriate developmental skills and goals for children attending such programs. The commissioner, in consultation with the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the Commissioners of Education and Social Services and other appropriate entities, shall develop a professional development program for the staff of school readiness programs.

(2) For purposes of this section:

(A) Prior to July 1, [2018] 2020, "staff qualifications" means there is in each classroom an individual who has at least the following: (i) A childhood development associate credential or an equivalent credential issued by an organization approved by the commissioner and twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from an institution of higher education (I) accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education, and (II) regionally accredited; (ii) an associate degree with twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from such an institution; (iii) a four-year degree with twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from such an institution; (iv) certification pursuant to section 10-145b with an endorsement in early childhood education or special education; (v) an associate degree with a concentration in early childhood education from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited; or (vi) a bachelor's degree with a concentration in early childhood education from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited;

(B) From July 1, [2018] 2020, until June 30, [2021] 2023, "staff qualifications" means that for each early childhood education program accepting state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program, (i) at least fifty per cent of those individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children (I) hold certification pursuant to section 10-145b with an endorsement in early childhood education or early childhood special education, (II) have been issued an early childhood teacher credential, pursuant to section 10-520b, (III) hold at least a bachelor's degree with a concentration in early childhood education from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited, or (IV) satisfy the requirements of subdivision (3), (4) or (5) of this subsection, and (ii) such remaining individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children hold an associate degree with a concentration in early childhood education from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited; and

(C) On and after July 1, [2021] 2023, "staff qualifications" means that for each early childhood education program accepting state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program, one hundred per cent of those individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children (i) hold certification pursuant to section 10-145b with an endorsement in early childhood education or early childhood special education, (ii) have been issued an early childhood teacher credential, pursuant to subdivision (2) of section 10-520b, (iii) hold at least a bachelor's degree with a concentration in early childhood education from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited, or (iv) satisfy the requirements of subdivision (3), (4) or (5) of this subsection.

(3) Any individual with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child development or a bachelor's degree and twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, who, on or before June 30, 2015, is employed by an early childhood education program that accepts state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program shall be considered to meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection. No such early childhood education program shall terminate any such individual from employment for purposes of meeting the staff qualification requirements set forth in subparagraph (B) or (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(4) Any individual with an associate degree or bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child development or an associate degree or a bachelor's degree and twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited, other than an associate degree or a bachelor's degree with a concentration in early childhood education, may submit documentation concerning such degree for review and assessment by the office as to whether such degree has a sufficient concentration in early childhood education so as to satisfy the requirements set forth in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(5) Any individual with an associate degree with twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from an institution of higher education (A) accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education, and (B) regionally accredited, who has been employed in the same early childhood education program that accepts state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program since 1995 shall be considered to meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection until June 30, 2025. On and after July 1, 2025, such individual shall hold a childhood development associate credential or an equivalent credential, described in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, or otherwise meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraph (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection. Any such individual who terminates his or her employment with such early childhood education program on or before June 30, 2025, and accepts a position at another early childhood education program accepting state funds for spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program shall submit documentation of such individual's progress toward meeting the staff qualification requirements set forth in subparagraph (B) or (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection in a manner determined by the office.

Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) The Office of Early Childhood shall, within available appropriations, conduct an analysis of the staff qualifications requirement prescribed in subsection (b) of section 10-16p of the general statutes, as amended by this act. Such analysis shall include, but need not be limited to, (1) a review of the goals of the requirement that those individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children hold at least a bachelor's degree with a concentration in early childhood education, and an assessment of the results of evaluations of the effectiveness of a bachelor's degree requirement at achieving such goals, (2) an examination of the effectiveness of the state's implementation process for bringing early childhood education programs into compliance with the staff qualifications requirement, (3) an assessment of the effect of the staff qualifications requirement on the field of early childhood education, including its effects on educators, program providers, children, parents and families, (4) a cost-benefit analysis of the staff qualifications requirement with respect to the state, early childhood education program providers and educators and children and families, and (5) a consideration of alternative approaches to achieving (A) the bachelor's degree requirement of the staff qualifications requirement, or (B) the goals of the bachelor's degree requirement. In conducting such analysis, the office shall seek public input and feedback from early childhood education program providers, early childhood educators and parents. Not later than January 1, 2020, the office shall submit such analysis and any recommendations for legislation to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. As used in this section, "early childhood education program" means a program that accepts state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2018

10-16p(b)

Sec. 2

from passage

New section

ED

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill requires the Office of Early Childhood to conduct a study and makes changes to certain staff qualifications, which is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact as it is administrative in nature.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5450

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

SUMMARY

By law, state-funded early childhood education program staff must meet an increasingly advanced level of educational attainment over the next three years. These heightened staff qualification requirements increase in three distinct phases. This bill extends the duration of each phase by two years, giving staff more time to comply with the education attainment requirements.

It also requires the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) to complete an analysis of the state-funded early childhood education staff qualifications requirement, within available appropriations, and submit it and the office's recommendations to the Education Committee by January 1, 2020.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018, except the provisions on OEC's analysis take effect upon passage ( 2).

1 — STAFF QUALIFICATIONS

First Phase

Under current law, through June 30, 2018, each classroom must have at least one staff member who meets one of the following qualifications:

By law, either the OEC commissioner or the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) president, in consultation with the commissioner, determines whether a classroom teacher has fulfilled the 12 credit minimum for the above select requirements.

The bill extends these current qualification requirements for an additional two years through June 30, 2020. (It appears under existing law that these requirements apply only to school readiness classrooms.)

Second Phase

Under current law, from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2021, staff qualifications for state-funded early childhood education programs require that at least 50% of head classroom teachers meet one of the following standards:

The remaining head classroom teachers must hold an associate degree with an early childhood concentration from a regionally accredited higher education institution.

The bill extends this heightened phase of qualification requirements by two years, beginning on July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023.

Third Phase

Under current law, the last phase of the heightened staff qualifications, beginning on July 1, 2021, requires 100% of state-funded early childhood education head classroom teachers to meet one of the following standards:

The bill postpones this final phase of qualification requirements by two years; thus, it begins on July 1, 2023.

2 — ANALYSIS OF STAFF QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Under the bill, OEC's analysis must at least do the following:

The bill also requires OEC to seek public input and feedback from the following constituencies when conducting the above analysis: early childhood education program providers, early childhood educators, and parents.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

36

Nay

0

(03/19/2018)

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