Strategic Growth: Helping Registries SOAR

| The NWRA

The National Workforce Registry Alliance promotes state/regional workforce registries and their role in early childhood and out-of-school-time state systems, as well leveraging workforce members’ collective data to inform and strengthen state priorities, policy, and investments supporting the Early Learning Workforce. Registries provide more than two dozen critical functions within these systems (12 which are common across states), including but not limited to:

  • career pathway placement,
  • training and trainer approval,
  • facilitate access to workforce support, critical information, timely announcements, and
  • tracking/reporting of workforce compliance on key requirements (e.g., licensing, QRIS, competencies, etc.).

In partnership with Registry Directors, and to efficiently support the continued growth of registries in meeting evolving system needs, the National Workforce Registry Alliance established four overarching state goals with specific benchmarks over a five-year period beginning in 2017. These goals aligned with Saturation, Operations, Accountability, and Reciprocity (SOAR) and contain benchmarks and goals articulated by registry leadership identifying areas for state improvement.

“To help all children thrive, we must reach all providers with the recognition, preparation, and critical support they need to flourish.

The way we reach all people caring for children is through state Professional ECE Registries.

To help all providers succeed, we strengthen their registries. Because, when Registries SOAR, we elevate Early Learning Professionals.”

The goals and benchmarks are outlined below:

  • Saturation:

The extent to which we accounted for/captured all of our given target. Our target is the presence of registries across the nation and the rate of workforce participation within each of them. The NWRA seeks to support an increase in the number of professional registries nationally, including those that perform professional development approval processes and increased participation by staff (i.e., teaching staff, directors) in regulated, licensed programs.

  • Operations:

The NWRA seeks to expand the quality standards for operations and Core Data Element alignment to incorporate all remaining operational functions of state registry systems (e.g., training, trainer approval, CCDG training requirement tracking). Additionally, the NWRA seeks to improve the effectiveness of registry operations by increasing the number of states meeting best practice standards through Partners in Employment Reporting (PER) recognition and to promote registry staff participation in public policy activities, ensuring existing workforce data inform policy decisions and registry leaders help to inform and shape their state’s system.

  • Accountability:

Accountability means that the National Workforce Registry Alliance and its members are known, trusted providers of accurate, representative data used to inform decisions about the early childhood and afterschool workforce. The NWRA seeks to increase the number of recognized registries (PER approved) contributing workforce data to the aggregate national data set/workforce picture and to ensure full participation by registries (regardless of PER status) participating in the SOAR goals and benchmarks.

  •  Reciprocity:

While reciprocity can take many forms in the registry work, the NWRA is focused on credential portability and streamlined criteria for training/trainer approval to promote portability of training completions and strengthen the provision of professional development offerings. The NWRA seeks to increase the acceptance of credentials and training among and between registries and to increase the number of states using streamlined criteria for trainer/training/sponsor approval.


2023 State Registry SOAR Goals and Benchmarks

In collaboration with Member Registry Directors, The National Workforce Registry Alliance identified goals in four key areas with corresponding benchmarks to better monitor progress toward the goals.


1. Increase the presence of early childhood and school-age workforce registries nationally (Saturation)

a. 100% of all workforce registries will collect provider data by 2023
b. Increase by 10% the number of registries performing professional development approval processes (i.e., trainer/training/sponsor approval).

2. Increase the participation rates within individual workforce registries (Saturation)

a. 55% of directors in licensed care participate in the state’s registry.
b. 50% of providers in licensed care participate in the state’s registry.
Note: For those registries exceeding the benchmarks, their benchmark will be 10% growth per year


3. Increase the effectiveness of registry operations for all types of collections (Operations)

a. 50% of all registries are approved for Partners in Employment Reporting (PER).
b. Every registry informs three public policy activities each year.

4. Expand the best practice standards by outlining standards of operations and core data elements for remaining registry functions (Operations)

a. Expand PER to include data elements for the following functions: CCDBG training requirements, training approval, trainer approval.


5. Establish National Workforce Registry Alliance as the primary source of early childhood and afterschool workforce data (Accountability)

a. 100% of PER-approved registries provide data to the NWRA aggregate national dataset.
b. 100% of registries participate and contribute to the SOAR Goals and Benchmark for landscape tracking.

6. Establish the registry as the primary source of workforce data in respective service delivery areas (Accountability)

a. 100% of registries contribute to some state data collection effort (provide record-level data to support administrative functions for PD systems or aggregate-level data to support systems-level decisions).
b. 75% of registries provide participants with real-time, permission-based access to workforce data.


7. Increase the number of states using streamlined criteria for trainer/training/sponsor approval (Reciprocity)

a. 50% of registries will use the NWRA’s Training Organization Recognition (TOR) in lieu of state approval processes.

8. Increase the acceptance of credentials and training among and between registries (Reciprocity)

a. 33% of registries accept registry-approved credentials and/or training from other states.


Download a PDF of the overview document Access State Goals & Benchmarks here Access 2023 SOAR Progress Report & Benchmarks here