Most early childhood education providers in Philadelphia are women of color, making child care a vital economic sector in a city desperate to retain successful businesses and create safe spaces for young children. But too often, Black, Hispanic, and Asian providers are left out of the conversation when it comes to developing the quality regulations, hiring practices, and curriculum appropriate for children of color.
Children First launched the Racial Equity Early Childhood Provider Council to remedy this egregious oversight. The Council is working to ensure that racial equity is embedded in all aspects of child care quality improvement such as program development, business development, and the definition of quality.
Hear from Sim Loh, a member of the Council and Family Partnership Coordinator at Children’s Village, as she talks about why race and ethnicity are integral in early learning.
THE EARLY CHILDHOOD PROVIDER COUNCIL:
- Creates a shared definition of program quality for Philadelphia providers.
- Identifies solutions that address the policy and operational systems gaps found in the Philadelphia’s Early Learning Community Speaks Out: An Action Plan for Quality Improvement report.
- Creates an organization model that will ensure that the Council remains diverse, representative of all provider types, and becomes self-sustaining over time.
- Gives input and guidance into the design and operation of the quality improvement systems contracted by the state and city.
The makeup of the Council is 90% women, 80% Black providers, and another 10% other providers of color. It has representation from a variety of providers – center-based, family-based, group family-based, and school-based – and all types of funding streams and quality ratings. It’s a very solid and intentional foundation on which to build future success.
Providers participate on Council subcommittees and get hands-on with the work of building the group into a strong and influential organization. Subcommittees address topics like business development, engaging parents and families, independence planning for the Council, and racial equity.