Early Childhood Professional Development Specialists

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Job Overview: Professional development specialists or trainers help teachers and administrators develop, plan and achieve continuous learning goals. These specialists do research to assess the needs and desires of the workforce. They then are able to create professional development opportunities that align with those needs, whether they are offered at the program, community or state level. These specialists assure that the professional development activities are accessible, high quality and affordable and may offer community calendars with various options.1 

Places of Possible Employment:
For-Profit, Non-Profit and Early Care and Education Centers, Head Start, Early Head Start, Local and State Government Agencies, Colleges/Universities, High Schools, Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, Self-Employed, Professional Associations1

Minimum Education:  
Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or Youth Development1 

Recommended Education
Graduate Degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or Youth Development1  

Salary Range
:  $30,560 – $73,620

Recommended Previous Experience:
Prior experience with teaching young children or administering an early childhood program in addition to formal education.1 Professional Development Specialists are also encouraged to have prior experience in training/teaching adult learners.

Professional Standards:
In addition to NAEYC’s Professional Standards and Competencies and the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, these are additional professional standards specific to the job of an Early Childhood Professional Development Specialist: 
  • The ability to teach diverse students  
  • A clear understanding of the adult learning principles as well as learning styles 
  • The capability to teach in various settings – face to face or online

Additional Resources:

Principles of Adult Learning & Instructional Systems Design: https://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/downloads/freebies/172/PR%20Pre-course%20Reading%20Assignment.pdf 

 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct: https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/position-statements/Ethics%20Position%20Statement2011_09202013update.pdf 

Training and Professional Development Overview for Early Childhood Trainers: https://ncchildcare.ncdhhs.gov/Provider/Training-and-Professional-Development 

 How to Become an Approved Trainer in NC: https://ncchildcare.ncdhhs.gov/Provider/Training-and-Professional-Development/Health-and-Safety/Ongoing-Training-FAQ 


1 Child Care Services Associations. Careers in Early Childhood: A North Carolina Directory. https://www.childcareservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/NC-ECE-Career-Directory-051419.pdf Child Care Services Associations. Careers in Early Childhood: A North Carolina Directory.

2 DHHS- Division of Child Development and Early Education. (2021, Feb. 1). Chapter 9- Child Care Rules. North Carolina  

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