Learning Leader

Supporting Professional Development in Our State's Early Learning Guidelines

The Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth, as the Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development, serves early childhood stakeholders in all settings, and in many different ways. CLI’s state initiatives partner with communities, organizations, schools, administrators, caregivers, teachers, and parents to serve our state. Earlier this year, CLI launched free, public access to many resources on our online platform CLI Engage. The platform houses online courses and activities that administrators, teachers, caregivers, and parents can access at no cost.

This summer, CLI will be sharing new online training courses to support professional development in our state’s early learning guidelines and core competencies on CLI Engage:

  • Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators – Coming June 2017
  • Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines – Coming July 2017
  • Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines – Coming August 2017

These courses will be available at no cost to all early childhood stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, policymakers, and parents who set-up a free, public access account on CLI Engage. By making these online training courses available across the state at no cost, all early childhood professionals will have access to resources and materials to help improve the quality of care and education young children receive.

The Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators were published in March 2013 by the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office and the Texas Early Learning Council. There are concepts, practices, and knowledge that early childhood practitioners and administrators must know and be able to demonstrate in order to be effective in facilitating children’s growth and development. Core competencies are defined as an individual’s demonstrated skills and abilities. Texas’ Core Competencies list observable competencies that, when accomplished, demonstrate competency in a particular area of knowledge. In Texas, all professional development hours for child care staff are aligned to these Core Competencies for either administrators (such as child care program directors) or practitioners (including teachers, caregivers, and assistant teachers). For several years, the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS) has hosted the online training courses for practitioners and administrators. These online courses provide an introduction to the Core Competencies for both administrators and practitioners. Learn more about the Core Competencies on the TECPDS website. In June 2017, the Core Competencies online training courses will also be available on CLI Engage.

In 2015, the Texas Education Agency updated the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines. CLI partnered with the Texas Education Agency to develop online training for the new prekindergarten guidelines, as well as share this new resource across the state. The revised prekindergarten guidelines are aligned with the kindergarten Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), sequenced to follow child development, and provide instructional strategies to support skill development. The guidelines offer educators the information and support to prepare children for kindergarten, and are used in preschool and pre-k classrooms across the state. The new Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines online training will provide educators with an overview of the domains and guidelines, totaling eleven courses. The training will include video examples of child behaviors in all 10 domains and provide instructional strategies that teachers can use to support students' growth. Additionally, the training courses will have facilitation guides available, so trainers and specialists can facilitate training for classroom staff face-to-face or remotely. Learn more about the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines on TEA’s website. The new Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines online training courses will be available on CLI Engage and Texas Gateway by the end of July 2017.

The Texas Early Learning Council published the Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Early-Old Early Learning Guidelines in 2013. These guidelines detail what children should know and be able to do at different ages and stages of their development from birth to 48 months. Additionally, the guidelines provide strategies that all caregivers, including parents and teachers, can use to support skill development in young children. CLI has hosted face-to-face training modules of the guidelines on our website for several years, but these modules need to be delivered by a trainer or administrator. In August 2017, CLI will launch a new set of online courses for the guidelines that can be completed by individuals. The new online training courses will include five courses, including an introduction and a course for each of the four developmental domains, as well as video demonstrations of child skills and strategies to support their development. Learn more about the early learning guidelines on our website. In August 2017, the Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines online training courses will also be available on CLI Engage.

Everyone who accesses these courses on our state’s early learning guidelines and professional competencies will be able to earn a training certificate, in either Child Care Licensing clock hours or continuing professional education (CPE) hours, in recognition of their professional development. To access these courses, all you need to do is create a quick account on CLI Engage! Sign up now to access lots of resources, and be ready to access the new online training courses in a few short weeks.


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