Programs & Local Initiatives
In Arizona, Jumpstart offers professional development to preschool educators through our Workforce Pathways program in order to increase access to high-quality preschool programming for Arizona children. Unlike traditional Jumpstart programs where college students are trained to serve in preschool classrooms, the Workforce Pathways program trains current teachers who are already working in early learning centers.
For children in early education programs, success is largely determined by the knowledge and skills of their teachers and by the quality of the interactions with those educators.1 Arizona has one of the lowest degree and credentialing requirements for early childhood educators, paired with some of the largest classroom sizes.2 The need for more support and professional development for Arizona’s early educators is clear.
Teachers who participate in the Arizona Workforce Pathways program spend their first 14 weeks receiving customized trainings from Jumpstart staff covering early childhood education research and theory, as well as best practices to apply in their classrooms. In the second half of the year, teachers learn how to integrate activities from Jumpstartʹs research-based language and literacy curriculum into their daily lessons. Additionally, teachers receive direct coaching and support from Jumpstart staff throughout the year, positively impacting all children in their classrooms.
Through partnerships with local community colleges, this program also provides pathways for teachers to earn college credit and further their education, which in turn contributes to the overall professionalization of the early education field in Arizona.
With its Arizona Workforce Pathways program, Jumpstart is developing the skills and knowledge of early educators, strengthening the language and literacy skills of preschool children, and improving the quality of early childhood education in Arizona.