Strategic Plan

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Strategy 6.2

Implement a high-quality, competency-based professional development system.

6.2.1   Establish a comprehensive professional development system that includes diverse representation from across the early childhood care and education workforce.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

6.2.2   Revise, as appropriate, and align core competencies and the development of credentials across all early childhood care and education positions, drawing from national evidence-based practices and standards. Ensure they include knowledge and performance competencies that prepare professionals to support all children at all levels of ability.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

6.2.3   Engage two- and four-year institutions of higher education in the development of articulation agreements supporting transfer of early childhood major courses to create additional degree advancement opportunities for early childhood care and education professionals.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

6.2.4   Coordinate the activities of professional development contracts across state agencies to realize efficiencies, ensure effectiveness, and identify key investment areas.
State agency led tactic.

6.2.5   Select, promote, and provide training, mentorship, coaching, and support to integrate best and/or evidence-based practices into service delivery. Ensure key topics like trauma-informed care, early childhood mental health, early literacy, and cultural responsiveness are addressed.
State agency led tactic.Local individual or small group champions.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

6.2.6   Identify gaps in awareness of, access to, and availability of professional development opportunities, including evidence-based practices, early childhood credentials and credentialing opportunities, and quality initiatives and programs. Develop plans to effectively and efficiently address those gaps for all early childhood care and education roles.
State agency led tactic.Local individual or small group champions.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

6.2.7   Identify strategies to create and promote joint participation in professional development activities across settings and roles, including opportunities for school-based and non-school-based early childhood care and education professionals.
State agency led tactic.Local individual or small group champions.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

Progress Update

As the Workforce Registry and Career Pathway are developed, complementary work toward a competency-based professional development system is also in progress. The Workforce Development Advisory Group is analyzing various national and regional core competencies to identify the appropriate standards for the Kansas early childhood workforce, which will also align with initiatives such as Links to Quality. Higher education is present in these conversations, supported by representation from the Early Childhood Quality Instruction Partners Group and the Kansas Board of Regents.

Smaller scale efforts to strengthen early childhood professional development include PDG Quality Subgrants, ASQ trainings, and the Kindergarten Transitions Toolkit.

The Child Care Provider Experience Mapping initiative provided data to identify improved coordination opportunities during the pre-licensing, licensing, and post-licensing processes. Nearly 400 providers were surveyed, and many participated in interviews and a co-creation session to further explore the bright spots and challenges of being a licensed child care provider in Kansas.

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