Strategic Directions: Technical Assistance Professionals in State Early Childhood Professional Development Systems

Executive Summary

As part of its Early Childhood Workforce Systems Initiative, the National Association for the Education of Young Children involved approximately 294 individuals in the fall of 2011 and winter of 2012 in focus groups, an online survey, and individual interviews to better understand how states are creating policies for developing, supporting, and monitoring professional development technical assistance professionals as part of their state early childhood professional development systems and quality improvement efforts, with a focus on the specific roles of mentor, coach, and consultant. NAEYC examined the providers’ qualifications, kinds of support being provided, approaches to quality assurance, and state policy opportunities and challenges for integration of these methods into state professional development systems.

This report presents strategic directions for integrating technical assistance providers into state professional development systems based on NAEYC’s analysis of the responses generated as a result of these focus groups, online survey, and individual interviews and identifies public policy opportunities in four areas:

1. Common terminology;

2. Standards, specialized knowledge and competencies, and qualifications and  credentials;

3. Pathways, ongoing support, and compensation; and

4. Data, evaluation, and quality assurance.