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Marcy Whitebook

Biography: Marcy Whitebook, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research focuses on issues of employment in settings for young children with specific attention to its relationship to children's development and learning, and appropriate and accessible professional preparation and learning environments for the early childhood workforce. Prior to her current work, Dr. Whitebook was the founding executive director of the Washington-based Center for the Child Care Workforce (CCW), an organization she began in 1977 as the Child Care Employee Project.

Dr. Whitebook has led several large-scale early childhood research projects, including the landmark 1989 National Child Care Staffing Study, which first brought public attention to the low wages and high turnover of child care teachers and their impact on child outcomes. Recently she has designed two new measures:
  1. Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory, a tool to assist policymakers and other stakeholders develop a more nuanced understanding of the early childhood higher education programs currently available in states
  2. SEQUAL (Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning), a tool to assess how well the workplace supports teaching staff to apply what they know and to continue to develop their knowledge and skills on the job.

Dr. Whitebook works collaboratively with national, state and local communities and policy makers to develop workforce development systems inclusive of publicly-funded and community-based early care and education programs, and to provide technical assistance to states and localities implementing workforce data systems, incentive and professional development initiatives. She co-developed the Early Childhood Mentor Program in California, now operating in over 110 colleges in the state, and has helped design several policy initiatives, such as CARES (Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Education Standards) in California, a program to encourage the professional development of the early care and education workforce. During the Clinton Administration, she was appointed to the Presidential Child Care Work Group in the Department of the Treasury and represented the U.S. Department of Labor, at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) International Conference on Female-dominated Occupations. She was appointed to the California P-16 Council in 2005. She served on the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce Workshop Advisory Committee in 2010.

Her recent publications include Supporting Teachers as Learners: A Guide for Mentors and Coaches in Early Care and Education (2013); State of Early Childhood Higher Education: New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island (2013); By Default or By Design? Variations in Higher Education Programs for Early Care and Education Teachers and Their Implications for Research Methodology, Policy, and Practice (2012); More Than Teachers: The Early Care and Education Workforce (2012); Degrees in Context: Asking the Right Questions about Preparing Skilled and Effective Teachers of Young Children (2011); Preparing Teachers of Young Children: The Current State of Knowledge, and a Blueprint for the Future (2009); Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Programs in Early Care and Education (2008); and Partnering for Preschool: A Study of Center Directors in New Jersey's Mixed-Delivery Abbott Program (2008). In 2008, she served as Visiting Professor in the Mills College Leadership in Early Childhood MA/Ed.D. Program, authoring and piloting a leadership curriculum for new and emerging agents of change in the early childhood field.

Dr. Whitebook worked as an infant/toddler and preschool teacher for many years. Dr. Whitebook earned her Bachelor's Degree in Religious Studies and Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Development Studies in Education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She was a Scholar in Residence, at the Center for the Future of Children, David and Lucile Packard Foundation (1995-1996), and she received the Women of Vision Award in 2001 from the Ms. Foundation for Women. She was named one of the Top 25 Working Mothers of the Year in 1999 by Working Mother Magazine.

Marcy Whitebook's Books

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