Professional Development

One indicator of high quality programs is the employment of a teaching staff that has the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests. Children benefit most when their teachers have high levels of formal education and specialized early childhood professional preparation.

Teachers who have specific preparation, knowledge, and skills in child development and early childhood education are more likely to engage in warm, positive interactions with children, offer richer language experiences, and create more high-quality learning environments. Opportunities for teaching staff to receive supportive supervision and to participate in ongoing professional development ensure that their knowledge and skills reflect the profession’s ever-changing knowledge base.

Pennsylvania Keys to Professional Development is a comprehensive, statewide career development system for practitioners serving children and families in early childhood and school age programs including: child care; early Head Start and Head Start; Early Intervention; public school; and private academic school.

This system provides a clearly articulated framework that defines pathways which are tied to certification (leading to qualifications and credentials) and addresses the needs of individuals and adult learners. Elements of the Pennsylvania Keys to Professional Development system include: core knowledge competencies, qualifications and credentials, quality assurances, access, and outreach and funding.

Pennsylvania's Professional Development Registry

The Professional Development Registry is a learning management system (LMS) that supports the professional development of Pennsylvania's early learning and school-age workforce. Using this system, each early learning and school-age professional can create and manage a personal professional development plan, access hundreds of courses offered throughout the state and online, print certificates for completed courses at any time, and view a transcript containing a personal history of professional development achievements and PQAS (Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System) credit hours.

Approved PQAS instructors and professional development organizations can post the courses they offer, manage enrollments, view and print class rosters, and keep track of attendees. Early learning and school-age facility directors can monitor the professional development of staff members, purchase and distribute course catalog credit to their staff, and ensure compliance with State regulations for professional development related to the programs they offer. State and regional administrators can run reports with valuable information about early learning and school-age programs, facilities, and the workforce in general. This information will enable administrators to gain insight into the demand for specific areas of professional development, which will help with forecasting, planning, and delivery.

To learn more about the PD Registry and creating your Professional Development Plan, click here.