DHS Launches Early Childhood Education Workforce Registry

Published on Monday, February 05, 2024

The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced the launch of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Workforce Registry, the first component of the Rhode Island Start Early System (RISES) to go live. The Workforce Registry will support the early childhood field by providing comprehensive data about the early childhood education workforce, supporting access to professional development and higher education opportunities, and increasing efficiency for program licensing reviews.

“The workforce registry will be an essential tool to support the early educators who care for our youngest learners,” said DHS Director Kimberly Merolla-Brito. “With this system, we can ensure educators know about upcoming training opportunities, higher education scholarships, and job opportunities. We will also be able to answer important policy questions for the field, including regular reporting on the demographics and compensation of the field.”

The Workforce Registry will initially be available for ECE educators working in child care programs that are licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and in RI Pre-K programs across the mixed-delivery system. Expansions to other parts of the early childhood field will be considered as part of future updates.

“RI Pre-K, our state’s pre-kindergarten program, is part of the mixed-delivery system. More than 70% of RI Pre-K classrooms are in programs that are licensed by DHS. We are proud to partner with DHS on this initiative to ensure that we are understanding and supporting all ECE educators equitably across the system,” said RIDE Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green.

“As an early learning provider, this new tool will help me more easily track professional development, recruit educators to my program, and provide needed information for licensing,” said Charlene Barbieri, executive director of Little Learners Academy. “I appreciate the state’s focus on making the registry accessible and easy to use, while providing additional value for educators.”

The Workforce Registry is the first of four components of the RI Start Early System, which will also include an updated licensing system of record, provider portal, and consumer website. Development of RISES is supported by American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds, the Preschool Development Birth through Age Five Renewal Grant, Child Care Development Block Grant, and Preschool Categorical Funds.

Early childhood educators will receive more information about how to register for the program in upcoming communications from DHS and RIDE. Additional information about the Workforce Registry is available on the DHS website here: https://dhs.ri.gov/programs-and-services/child-care/workforce-registry