With efforts supported by California Community College Early Childhood Educators (CCCECE), alignment project members and colleagues began discussions in early 2005. Motivated by impending legislation that would provide preschool for all of California’s four-year olds, faculty took the initiative to work on a shared core of courses for entry level professionals. These discussions led to a formal recommendation supported by over two hundred faculty to develop coursework that maintained the unique qualities of the early care and education profession while improving the teaching and care practices for young children in California. Project funding was provided by WestEd’s E3 Institute in Santa Clara County in 2006; and subsequent years funding provided primarily by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, First 5 California and with additional financial support secured by CCCECE from multiple sources.
EC/CD Faculty from Community Colleges and California State Universities joined course work groups to develop the competency-based courses. A group of 32 representatives met monthly for the first year involving over 200 additional faculty members in these discussions. A Steering Committee and an Advisory Council of statewide teacher preparation partners offered outside perspective to plan the content of eight, 3-unit courses. By the end of the 2007 academic year, the CAP 2007-2008 Recommendation for "The EC/CD Lower Division 8" as a shared and essential portion of a lower division program of study was disseminated. Another key effort of the Curriculum alignment Project is to facilitate the transfer of these eight courses as an integrated course of study to the California State Universities, promoting access to ongoing education and degree attainment. CAP continues to collaborate with California State Universities and work toward the integration of the Lower Division 8 into baccalaureate programs.
In 2007-2008, in collaboration with CCCECE and the Child Development Training Consortium, the 2007-2008 Recommendation was sent to 103 Community Colleges, an Alignment Process was developed with Technical Assistance Leads in each region and in 2008 the alignment Verification Process was complete. To date 93 colleges have submitted their Statement of Intent to align with the CAP Recommendation.
All CAP projects are funded by: The California Department of Education / Early Education and Support Division / Quality Improvement Office.