In every region of Illinois, more early childhood educators are needed – especially those with Bachelor’s degrees and Professional Educator Licenses (PELs). As we continue to work toward universal preschool, demand for qualified early educators will only grow. Despite the strong demand for highly qualified ECE educators, we’ve seen a decline in ECE Bachelor’s degree programs over recent years. In fact, there were 34 percent fewer Early Childhood Education graduates from public universities in 2019 than 2010.
The Community College Baccalaureate (CCB) Degrees pathway addresses four key factors in this decline:
The CCB pathway is also an opportunity to expand access to early childhood bachelor’s degrees and PELs—along with the subsequent higher-paying career options—among Black and Latinx educators, according to enrollment data. Black and Latinx educators are underrepresented in higher paying EC positions that require a BA and/or educator license.
We surveyed more than 450 current or aspiring Illinois early childhood providers and they told us they need affordable, flexible college opportunities that are close to home.
We can help make this happen, but we need your legislator to support legislation that would make it possible to earn an Early Childhood Bachelor’s Degree at community college (SB 1832/HB 3619). Contact them, today!