Professional Competencies and Standards

Professional competencies and standards define the skills and knowledge required by those working in the early childhood and after-school fields. Because you have a profound impact on the children and families you work with, professional quality matters.

Professional competencies and standards are the foundation of quality in a professional development system. They are relevant to many positions such as teacher, director, assistant, home visitor, coordinator, volunteer, provider, home-visitor, or paraprofessional. They apply to those working in schools, childcare centers, community-based organizations, child care homes, recreation programs, and more.

As early care practitioners become professionals in the early childhood and after-school fields, it is essential that they know and follow the ethical standards of the profession. Ethical conduct is a key competency of professionals.

Competence is always developing – no matter what your level in the professional development continuum. Competency develops from experience, coursework, effective supervision and reflective practice.

Professional standards and competencies are used:

  • to provide common expectations and language
  • as the framework for early childhood and after-school career pathways
  • to plan and assess professional development activities and curricula
  • as the foundation of a credential
  • to develop job descriptions and performance evaluations
  • to structure supervision and mentoring

View the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge and Competencies document here, or download the PDF here.

Best the Best at Your Job

Whether you’re a director or an early childhood teacher, the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge and Competencies can help you achieve your best by giving you greater insight into quality early childhood education. 

Here’s how you can use it to grow your career and professionalism:

Directors/Administrators

  • Provide your staff with an orientation into the early care and education field
  • Develop job descriptions
  • Develop salary scales
  • Track professional development growth
  • Assess strengths, challenges and learning needs for your staff
  • Support your staff in creating personalized development plans

Teachers/Assistants

  • Assess your skill level, knowledge, strengths and abilities
  • Create your personalized professional development plan
  • Identify your learning needs and areas of growth

Family Child Care

  • Assess your skill level, knowledge, strengths and abilities
  • Identify your learning needs and areas of growth
  • Differentiate yourself from other family child care providers by knowing evidence-based practices
  • Track professional development growth
  • Create your personalized professional development plan

Prospective Teachers

  • Assess your skill level, knowledge, strengths and abilities
  • Differentiate yourself from other teachers and assistants by knowing evidence-based practices
  • Identify areas to grow your career and learn how to get there

Instructors/Technical Assistance Providers

  • Align competencies with training objectives
  • Design and organize professional development opportunities
  • Provide trainings that progress through each core knowledge area

Workforce Knowledge and Competencies

You can get your free copy of the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge and Competencies by downloading it here.

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