Public Comment Period for New Practitioner and Administrator Core Competencies Opens August 10!

The Council is very committed to supporting the early childhood workforce in Texas, and we will soon release new resources for early childhood professionals - new Core Competencies for Practitioners, and Administrators.  The Council recently released the draft Infant and Toddler Early Learning Guidelines for public comment - the deadline to provide feedback is August 20, 2012.  Next month, the Council will release another document for public comment - the draft Core Competencies for Administrators and Practitioners!  The Council has been developing new Core Competencies over the past year, and we're excited to release them to the public and receive your thoughts and comments.

Core Competencies for early childhood professionals are basic statements about skills and knowledge that professionals should possess to be successful in their career.  You might be familiar with the Texas Core Knowledge and Skills Areas (CKAs).  The new Core Competencies will be an update of the CKAs, incorporating the latest research on early childhood professional skills and knowledge.  The name change from CKAs to Core Competencies also reflects current thinking in early childhood research.  These new Core Competencies will include additional domains of skills and knowledge over the domains included in the CKAs.  Additionally, the Core Competencies will be organized into three levels, introductory, intermediate, and advanced.  When the new Core Competencies are finalized and released to the public, Texas will become one of only a few states to have early childhood Core Competencies for four groups of early childhood professionals: Practitioners, Administrators, Trainers, and Coaches and Mentors.

The Council will release the draft Core Competencies for Practitioners and Administrators on August 10, 2012.  The Core Competencies for Practitioners relate skills and abilities of professionals who work directly with children, such as teachers, providers, and assistants.  The Core Competencies for Administrators are intended to relate to a more diverse group of professionals that may include center directors, assistant directors, curriculum specialists, school administrators, early childhood coordinators, principals, and office managers.  The following shows the expansion of skills and abilities from the current CKAs to the new Core Competencies for both Practitioners and Administrators.

Texas CKAs - Practitioner Categories
  • Practitioner Categories
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Health and Safety
  • Professional Practice Methods and Curriculum
  • Guidance
  • Family and Community Relationships
  • Cultural and Individual Diversity
  • Observation and Assessment
  • Professionalism
New Texas ECE Core Competencies - Practitioner Categories
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Learning Environment, Professional Practices, and Curriculum and Standards
  • Responsive Interactions and Guidance
  • Family and Community Relationships
  • Diversity and Dual Language Learners
  • Observation, Assessment, and Documentation
  • Professionalism and Ethics
  • Supporting Skill Development
Texas CKAs - Administrator Categories
  • Maintaining an Effective Organization
  • Financial Management
  • Maintaining a Healthy and Safe Environment
  • Personnel Management
  • Implementing a Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum
  • Instituting Family Centered Programming
New Texas ECE Core Competencies - Administrator Categories
  • Establishing and Maintaining an Effective Organization
  • Business and Operations Management
  • Maintaining a Healthy and Safe Environment
  • Human Resource Leadership and Development
  • Implementing a Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum and Environment
  • Instituting Family and Community-Centered Programming

A major advancement in the new Core Competencies will be the addition of three levels of competencies in each category: introductory, intermediate, and advanced.  Core Competencies in each category will be organized into subcategories, and then into the three levels.  Professionals can advance through the levels by acquiring more skills and knowledge in each category.  As professionals advance from introductory to advanced, they should be able to relate increasing knowledge through more advanced demonstration of skills and abilities in each category.  In the future, professional development will relate to the Core Competency category (such as Supporting Skill Development) and also a level (introductory, intermediate, or advanced).

The Core Competencies are a key element of the new Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS), also in development by the Council.  TECPDS will use the new Core Competencies in place of the current CKAs to classify trainings and professional development opportunities.  The Texas Trainer Registry, the first phase of TECPDS, will launch in August 2012 with the current CKAs, but will be updated with the new Core Competencies after they are finalized by the Council.

The Council began the development of the Core Competencies in Spring 2011.  The Workforce and Professional Development Subcommittee is working with a researcher at Children's Learning Institute to research and write the Core Competencies.  The Subcommittee and the Council have reviewed the draft Core Competencies several times since December 2011.  Now, we invite your feedback!  The draft Core Competencies documents include an introduction section with information about intended users and intended uses, as well as detailed definitions of each level and descriptions of professional skills and knowledge that advance through the levels with additional professional development.

In addition to the Practitioner and Administrator Core Competencies, the Council is also developing Core Competencies for Trainers and Coaches/Mentors.  We hope to release the Trainer Core Competencies in October 2012 for public comment.  The Core Competencies for Coaches and Mentors will be written after the completion of another Council initiative focused on mentoring, the new Professional Coaching and Mentoring Toolkit.  The Council will be researching successful mentoring strategies and then developing a toolkit for early childhood programs to set-up their own in-house mentoring programs.  This research will be used to guide the development of the Coaches and Mentors Core Competencies.  We hope to release these final Core Competencies for public comment in Summer 2013.

The Council will release the Practitioner and Administrator Core Competencies for public comment on August 10, 2012.  We will send an e-alert with information on downloading the draft Core Competencies and providing feedback.  This information will also be listed on our website on the Opportunities for Public Comment webpage.  The public comment period will be open for at least a month.  Stay tuned for more details!

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