Early Educators’ Virtual Training Experiences and Preferences during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Findings from the District of Columbia Child Care Policy Research Partnership
This brief describes DC early educators’ participation in professional development planning and virtual training during the first year of the pandemic, as well as their preferred training topics and formats. Findings are based on analyses of administrative data from the Quorum e-learning system and a 2021 survey of teaching staff (N= 417) in licensed child development centers and homes that participate in DC’s quality rating and improvement system, Capital Quality. Participation in online training was high and peaked during the height of the pandemic as training topics focused on child health and safety and COVID-19 protocols. Seventy-five percent of early educators reported benefiting a lot from virtual training, and most would like to continue receiving training through recorded videos or live webinars rather than in-person formats. Curriculum and assessment and supporting children’s mental health and teachers’ own self-care were rated highly for future training topics. Findings can inform future planning and delivery of early educator professional development.
For more information on survey findings and related research, see the DC Child Care Policy Research Partnership project page.