What does this measure?
This measures the overall education level, in terms of degree or credential, of early childhood educators who have registered in the Georgia Professional Development System (GaPDS), a depository where early childhood educators can record their educational achievements, training, and certifications.
Only teachers in a Georgia pre-K program and teachers in programs participating in Quality Rated are required to register in the GaPDS, and the system is voluntary for the remaining early childhood workforce. Therefore, the system may not contain a representative sample of the entire workforce. As more programs enter Quality Rated, teacher qualifications reported in the system will become more representative of the field. However, the percentage of teachers at higher levels may decrease.
The measure reports the number of GaPDS registrants at each of the levels.
The GaPDS verifies reported credentials and assigns professionals one of 12 career levels. Data are managed by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL).
Why is this important?
Teacher qualifications are associated with classroom quality, which in turn is associated with child outcomes. Research results are mixed on the level of teacher qualification needed to impact child outcomes.