The last opportunity to widen our scope and our view of Early Childood Education we can look one step further and consider the wide variety of international contributors, organizations and roles that can make a valuable impact on our professions or on us as professionals.
In my area, I’ve considered organizations in the Lehigh Valley (Pennyslvania) including Community Services for Children, LANAEYC and the United Way of the Lehigh Valley, meanwhile considered the impact that the Council for Professional Recognition, the National Women’s Law Center, and Child Care Aware can have on our field at a more federal or national level. Now, finally considering the bredth of opportunities and considerations that the field of Early Childhood Education has world-wide, there are a lot more ways to consider to contribute to the field. Of the international organizations that I found that were of interest to me, below you can find more information regarding the Global Partnership for Education, “We”, and the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Global Partnership for Education (https://www.globalpartnership.org/)
The Global Partnership for Education is the only global fund solely dedicated to education in developing countries.
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is the only global fund dedicated to education in developing countries and was established in 2002. The GPE aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries in order to dramatically increase the number of children who are in school and learning. The organization brings together developing countries, donors, international organizations, civil society, teacher organizations, the private sector and foundations in order to call for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all children by 2030. GPE’s strategic plan for the next five years turns this vision in actionable goals and objectives.
The GPE has additional focus areas including:
- Children with Disabilities – Education is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of discrimination that children with disabilities experience. GPE promotes inclusive education to ensure all children can go to school.
- Countries affected by Conflict – 35% of the out-of-school children worldwide of primary school age live in areas of conflict. Education can give them a visible sign of return to normalcy in these difficult contexts.
- Development Effectiveness – GPE is strongly committed to the principles of development effectiveness adopted by the international community to achieve results in the education sector.
- Early Childhood Care and Education – Investing in care and education for children in their early years improves their well-being and their chances to learn and escape poverty. GPE supports ECCE programs for the poorest children.
- Girls Education and Gender Equality – GPE encourages partner countries to help more girls enroll in school to receive a good quality education. Educated girls make good choices for themselves and their families.
- Knowledge and Good Practice Exchange – GPE strengthens technical and institutional capacity of its partners to build effective and efficient education systems that deliver improved outcomes in learning, equity, gender equality and inclusion.
- Out-of-School Children – There are still too many children, most of them poor and marginalized, who don’t have access to school. GPE aims to reduce the number of out-of-school children through targeted support in partner countries.
- Teaching and Learning – Too many children attend several years of school without learning the basics. GPE works to improve their learning experience in particular in reading and math.
As part of this organization, there are many professional opportunities avialable and are organized by jobs specifically at the Global Partnershp for Education as well as jobs at other organizations central to their goals and strategic vision.
The current job opportunity at the GPE is an Analytical and Programmatic Support to Early Childhood Education initiatives. The objective of the work of this role is to support analytical and operational work in the area of early childhood education by:
- Support analytical work in review of early childhood education activities in Education Sector Analyses (ESAs), Education Sector Plans (ESPs), and Education Sector Plan Implementation Grants (ESPIGs) by developing charts, graphs, and text for related policy briefs and reports.
- Lead analytical work in 3 -5 country case studies for understanding the connections (or lack thereof) of early childhood education across ESA, ESPs, and ESPIGs under the close supervision of the Early Childhood Education Specialist. This would primarily be a desk review, but theremay be potential for short guided interviews with GPE Secretariat staff and partners supporting the country work. This is done by submitting drafts and final reports of case study findings and process.
- Contribute to ECCE policy brief(s) and other written tasks as needed
- Support operations of activities under ECCE thematic area. This may include administrative andtechnical support to consultative activities with relevant country representatives and ECCE experts as well as providing updates and guidance on funded activities done through meeting minutes, weekly or bi-weekly summary of progress, draft reporting to foundations, etc.
This role would require a post-graduate degree in education, public policy or economoics, relevant analystical or research expereinces in the education field, skills in literature review, interviews, data analysis and presentations and must posess strong writing and organizational skills. The job is not long term (Jan-June 2018) but could be extended for the right candidate.
WE is a movement that believes when we come together we can create an even better world. The organization “WE” aims to make it easy for anyone to get involved by offering resources to help individuals create positive social change in their community and around the world. WE is founded on five core beliefs:
- Me into WE – We are capable of doing more together than any one of us could do alone.
- WE is Everyone – Anyone can make a difference. We believe in the democratization of impact.
- WE are the Change – We believe that our actions will inspire others to do the same. These actions will help create a tidal wave of impact. We know that small things add up to great change. Because, WE starts with me.
- WE are a Global Community – We believe in giving of ourselves to help raise a compassionate future generation that looks for any opportunity to make a difference.
- I am WE – WE is a movement that exists for one reason: to make the world a better place. We are shameless idealists who believe that there is a version of our highest selves that comes from living a life of daily legacies. Our lives take on a deeper, transformative meaning when we impact the lives of others. I am WE.
WE is an organization that works with individuals, has WE Schools that involve experiential service-learning, WE Famillies that involve famillies focusing on giving and making positive impacts, We Living which involves trips and camps for youth and famillies, and WE Villiages that focus on international development to address the five primary causes of poverty (education, water, health, food and opportunity).
WE believes that it all starts with schooling, and notes that almost 60 million children are not in school according to the UN. Because education is so important, it’s the cornerstone of Free The Children’s WE Villages model, and the foundation on which all our programs rest.
There are a multitude of positions available with the WE organization be it administrative or otherwise. One particular position that stood out to me inlcuded their Youth and Family Engagement Specialist role. In this role, the employee will act as ambassadors to the organization, managing a portfolio of youth and their families, mentoring the youth and ensuring increased involvement from year-to-year. The Youth and Family Engagement Specialist will report to, and consult with, the Manager of Youth and Family Engagement, as well as the Co-Founder and work out of the Toronto office. More detailed job duties include:
- Manage a portfolio of youth and their families within the network of the Co-Founders, serving as an advisor and mentor to youth, as well as providing them with resources and support to activate their passions
- Become an expert on WE Schools curriculum and WE Families resources in order to best support youth and their families
- Inform your portfolio of youth about, and encourage their participation in, new contests, campaigns and activities
- Occasionally attend and contribute to the planning and organization of conferences, events and speaking engagements, as well as Youth Committee meetings
- Analyze stakeholder behavior for improvement opportunities
- Liaise with key individuals in relevant WE Charity and ME to WE departments to develop cross-organizational growth opportunities
- Manage and enter data meticulously in order to cultivate and capture the best information and evidence of work happening in the field
- Work closely with the Correspondence and Communications teams in the Executive Office to hone and monitor an ongoing relationship management with key stakeholder families
- Prepare and provide regular reports on the status of your portfolio and activities to the
- Manager of Youth and Family Engagement, as well as the Chief of Staff and Co-Founder, when relevant.
An individual in this role must have 3 or more years of profesional experience, project managment experience, time management skills, have a high level of interpersonal skills including written and oral skills, ability to travel and have flexible working hours and must posess an bachelors degree in a related field.
Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (https://www.decdecide.org/)
This particular organization is a subsidiary of the Council for Exceptional Children and focuses on Early Childhood Education. The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) promotes policies and practices that support families and educators in the development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The organization is an international membership organization for any professionals that work with or on behalf of young children 0-8years of age with disabilities or other special needs and their famillies.
The DEC provides opportunities for Early Childhood professionals to participate in special interest groups that vary by location, topic area and opportunities.
I specifically chose to highlight their DECIDE program, which is designed to enhance the quality of doctoral education in order to grow and develop DEC’s future leaders. Higher Ed faculty, researchers, and policy and advocacy members of DECIDE can have a role in the preparation of students and anyone can participate who has DEC membership and an interest in doctoral education.
DECIDE provides a reciprocal relationship that allows for students to have support and mentorship while offering participating leaders in the field an opportunity to collaborate with future leaders, essentially creating a meaningful community of practice. Together, professionals and students work together to help shape the future of the fields of early intervention and early childhood special education. I wanted to explore and highlight this particular interest area because it was very simmilar to that of my current capstone project – allowing for opportunities for mentorship and collaboration within an area or organization in order to specifically develop and mentor current and future leaders of the field.
In this group, student can participate in webinars that have various topics of interest, can take courses at universities and online conducted by participating faculty, participate in conferences and have the opportunity to obtain “virtual internships” that offer preparation for leadership positions in the EI/ECSE community. Faculty themselves can offer those webinars and couses, facilitate face to face collaborations and gatherings, host those “virtual internships” and engage with the students and members involved.
Individuals that are members of DEC can take a brief survey to screen for membership or contact the coordinating professional, Dr. Elizabeth Steed directly for more information. Though this is not a job or position, it is a valuable opportunity for the field of ECE.