Professional development is an important part of having an effective early childhood workforce in programs that serve young children and families. The Department of Early Learning's Professional Development team is dedicated to supporting people who are passionate about early education and wish to find ways to enhance their training, attend informational, educational and/or networking events and more.
This team helps Washington's early childhood education workforce become as prepared and knowledgeable as possible for the development of our state's children during some of their most formative years.
With a growing need for educators, DEL's Professional Development (PD) team is using new ways to reach out and grow the PD community. One of those ways is through the launch of their new Facebook page, which already has a community of over 1200 people who get up-to-date announcements about training, tips for career enhancement and more.
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC),
"The professional development of all early childhood educators—at all levels of expertise—should be an ongoing process: All professionals need to continue to update their knowledge and skills—through a coherent and systematic program of learning experiences."If you care for and teach young children professionally or you’re interested in a career working with children and families, Washington’s professional development system can help you:
- Learn what you need to know and be able to do when caring for children.
- Manage your training and education record.
- Find opportunities for training and education.
- Find resources and financial support for your professional development.
MERIT. MERIT (Managed Education and Registry Information Tool) is an online portal that helps professionals in the field of early care and education in Washington:
- Keep track of their education and training experience
- Find training opportunities by state-approved trainers
- Share their qualifications with current and future employers
- Complete a portable background check application
- Be recognized and receive awards for their professional achievements
- Family home child care
- Child care centers
- Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)
- Head Start
- School-age child care
- Administrators, including facility directors and program supervisors
- Coaches and trainers
- K–12 educators and higher education faculty
- Child Growth and Development
- Curriculum and Learning Environment
- Ongoing Measurement of Child Progress
- Families and Community Partnerships
- Health, Safety and Nutrition
- Program Planning and Development
- Professional Development and Leadership