Early Childhood Education


The Early Education Workforce Project offers unique higher educational and career pathways specifically geared to meet the needs of the state-licensed, adult-leaner, pre-college early education workforce. This project has been developed to provide much needed state and national visibility and opportunity for America’s under-served, non-degreed early childhood educators.

We design, implement, and evaluate a cross section of higher education/workforce development strategies as the means to shift the academic and professional playing field for this vital American workforce.

Adult literacy/ESOL screening is our first step to ensure early childhood educator success in both academic and professional settings. Measuring the adult literacy (ABE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) competence of pre-college early childhood educators, is a pivotal stepping stone that facilitates their ability to take practical, concrete and effective steps to move ahead in academic settings, in the workplace and on the career ladder.

All of our coursework prioritizes the contextualization and integration of workplace education, early education professional development, basic computer skills, college placement test preparation, and reading, writing, and math developmental tutoring, and credited coursework in early education. Our courses are co-taught by a professional licensed adult educator and a college instructor/professor. We have a special interest and expertise in serving dual-language, English language learners and the under-prepared native English-speaking adult-learner early childhood educator. To date we’ve have produced significant and positive adult learning outcomes for each of these populations.

We collaborate with family childcare systems, center-based employers, community colleges, other academic institutions, labor, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, early education advocacy groups, and social institutions committed to the early education and care workforce.   

Dr. Gilbert has garnered considerable state and national recognition for her work.

Elizabeth Gilbert shines a light on a problem no one wants to acknowledge: the low skills of many who care for our nation’s youngest children”

Libby Doggett, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary, Obama Administration, US Department of Education, Office of Early Learning 

The Early Childhood Education Project has received state and national recognition. Below are two articles written by Dr. Gilbert and published by The Washington Post.



Dr. Gilbert’s Famous Word Gap article was picked up and featured in Education Week,
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2015/02/word_gap_exists_among_early_educators_too.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3 and on Harvard University’s Saguaro Seminar Strategies for Children: www.strategiesforchildren.org/.