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Why Do States Implement Workforce Registries?

Last week we shared one in a series of white papers published by the National Workforce Registry Alliance focused on the work of the Alliance and its member registries. A second paper has recently been published to provide background information about why most states have elected to implement a workforce Registry (currently there are over 40 states with active workforce registries). 

What is a Registry?

A registry is an information system for the early childhood and school age workforce that promotes professional growth and development, captures critical information about the workforce, recognizes professional achievements and milestones, provides data for compliance and quality initiatives, and informs administrators, innovators, and policy makers.

Registries were initially developed to collect and manage data for the purpose of providing recognition of professional achievements and to disseminate basic data for state and federal reporting needs. As registries have evolved, they have become an essential source for the data necessary to inform discussions and decisions around state and federal initiatives and policies. Additionally, registries can support the key elements of a state career development system.

Key elements include: 

  • Access and Outreach
  • Quality Assurance
  • Qualifications, Credentials, and Pathways
  • Core Professional Knowledge
  • Financing and Compensation

State workforce registries are encouraged to join the National Workforce Registry Alliance; a private, non-profit, voluntary organization of state early childhood/school age workforce registry and professional development leaders. The mission of the National Workforce Registry Alliance is to provide registries across the country with resources regarding standards of quality for workforce data systems, and to be a strong national voice driving relevant policies and initiatives. The Nevada Registry is an active member of the Alliance! 

Registries play a critical role in contributing to the early childhood and school age workforce national data set, which can have a major impact on the profession. In order to contribute to the national data set, a state registry must verify that their data collection and maintenance methods meet rigorous standards that ensure consistency and quality. The National Workforce Registry Alliance has created Partnership Eligibility Review (PER), a process that verifies that a state is ready to contribute data to the national data set. The Nevada Registry is one of only 15 registry systems currently PER approved! 

Data informed decisions are critical for the success of the workforce in any profession, and registries provide that data. Based on the information provided in the National Workforce Registry Alliance’s 2017 Workforce Dataset: Early Childhood and School Age Workforce Characteristics, we learned that for the registries where data could be matched between the 2015 that the 2017 data sets, the overall staff retention rate between 2015 and 2017 was 64%. Staff turnover is a big barrier to obtaining and maintaining high quality experiences for children and having access to this data allows individuals and groups to advocate for initiatives and policies to address workforce retention issues. Aggregated data from The Nevada Registry is included in this report! 

States have a myriad of reasons for implementing an early childhood/school age workforce registry, and regardless of the reason, running a workforce registry can seem daunting at times. Joining the National Workforce Registry Alliance provides a registry with a support system that includes standards regarding data collection, as well as the ability to interact with other registry professionals all over the country.

One area where support from other state’s registries can be very helpful is with the topic of membership. Some registries require membership, while others are completely voluntary. As participation in the national data set by state registries increases, we will hopefully be able to demonstrate the critical need for each state to have a comprehensive early childhood/school age workforce registry where the participation by all members of the workforce is seen as important and necessary to the success of the early childhood and out of school time (OST) field. Membership with The Nevada Registry has been required for professionals working in licensed child care facilities since 2012!

Visit the National Workforce Registry Alliance's publication page for more information about the work of the Alliance. 


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