This paper focuses on professional development as a contributor to high quality
preschool education. We look first at the research on the linkages between professional
development and the quality of early childhood care and education environments. We
turn then to an assessment of the challenges that states currently face or will face as they
make the decision to substantially expand their preschool programs so that all lowincome
children, or all children irrespective of income, have access to a high quality
preschool program for at least one year before kindergarten. We conclude by noting steps
that can contribute to an expansion of a well-qualified early childhood workforce.
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These working papers have been prepared for the conference “Creating a National Plan for the Education of 4-Year Olds.” They have not been through a formal review process and should be considered drafts. Do not cite or distribute these papers.