TitleProfessional Development Scholarships Increase Qualifications of Diverse Providers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLipscomb, ST, Schmitt, SA, Pratt, ME
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
Pagination232 - 249
Date Published08/2015

Efforts to improve school readiness call for improvements in the professional qualifications of the early childhood workforce. It is critically important that these efforts are inclusive of a diverse workforce. Providers from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds make up a sizable portion of the early childhood workforce, yet diversity continues to be disproportionally concentrated among providers with lower qualifications. This study examines the effect of a state-wide scholarship program on increasing qualifications for nondegree-seeking providers from diverse groups caring for children in early childhood settings. Data from two components of Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for early care and education were linked with individual provider identification numbers (N = 1,783): the Oregon Child Care Professional Development Registry (PD Registry) and the state-wide Betty Gray Scholarship Program. Findings revealed that providers from ethnic and linguistic minority backgrounds had lower qualifications, on average, but also accessed scholarships at elevated rates. Scholarships were associated with modest increases in professional qualifications for all groups of providers but did not reduce the gap in qualifications between providers from minority and nonminority backgrounds. Implications for teacher educators who deliver training and/or education to providers are discussed. Directions for future research and programming related to qualifications of early childhood providers are also presented.

Short TitleJournal of Early Childhood Teacher Education