Partner Spotlight: EQuIPD

When the organization that became Ready for School, Ready for Life was a grassroots effort in Guilford County, we were glad to have partners like EQuIPD by our side, even as EQuIPD was starting its important work.

EQuIPD’s mission is to nurture and empower early care and education professionals with sustainability and success tools.

“We’re small but mighty,” said Ashley Allen, EQuIPD’s work environment and compensation coordinator. “We come at the issues from many perspectives and offer coaching, mentoring, and professional development.”

EQuIPD holds community learning events for early childhood educators. At the events, educators learn information they can use immediately. “What makes us unique is that we offer follow-up events where educators can discuss challenges and successes. We connect people to support peer to peer growth and build communities of practice through the process.”

Allen says EQuIPD began in 2014 with support from UNC-Greensboro through its Department of Human Development and Family Studies and The Guilford County Partnership for Children. “So many pieces of what we do really fit with Ready Ready’s strategic plan,” Allen said. “It’s a natural collaboration since we both bring different strengths to the table.“

EQuIPD is committed to lifting early care and education professionals’ voices and experiences to inform and inspire systems change. Current policy efforts include early child care wage increases. “We expect early childhood educators to get degrees and build curriculum but don’t support them with liveable wages or even enough planning time or resources. And during the pandemic, we see even more stress on the system since they are essential workers.”

According to its website, EQuIPD staff members are champions for equity, diversity, and inclusion through personal and professional practice, provisions of services, and engagement with stakeholders and the community.

“We have knowledgeable, talented, passionate educators preparing the next generation of our workforce,” Allen said. “The work EQuIPD and Ready Ready are doing to support them and system-level change will make a difference for Guilford County and North Carolina.”