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ooTennessee's Statewide Early Childhood Training System (TECTA)

by Connie Mietlicki
March/April 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/tennessees-statewide-early-childhood-training-system-tecta/5019285/

A critical issue facing our nation today stems from the fact that many classroom teachers in Early Childhood Education lack adequate training. This deficit in the professional education of teachers impacts outcomes for children every day. In the state of Tennessee, approximately 65% of preschool-aged children receive some form of routine non-parental care. The Department of Human Services (DHS) licenses 5,042 child care agencies; 43,711 child care providers, assisted by more than 30,000 additional staff members, provide Early Childhood Education and school-age child care for over 349,691 of Tennessee's children. In short, on-the-job-only training typifies the average provider's professional preparation. Some do not even have high school diplomas or GEDs, which results in low average income (around $17,316) and high job turnover rates (around 40%).

In 1991, when federal Child Care Development Block Grant funds ($1.2 million annually) became available to make quality improvements in the child care system, Tennessee allocated one-third of its funding to develop a training system (Wall & Lovell, 1996). The state steering committee determined that, in order to improve the quality of child care, they needed to develop a system that would provide quality training in Early Childhood Education for the current workforce. Survey results indicated fully ...

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