In the very late 1990s and 2000, I worked on a large, two-state project to develop core competencies for early childhood teachers for the state of Missouri and the state of Kansas (Kansas & Missouri Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals). I cannot and do not claim that the core competencies were all my work – I served as staff and one of the editors for the project along with Denise Mauzy of Missouri’s OPEN Initiative, and Becky Wertz with the Professional Development Initiative for Early Care and Education in Kansas The process involved research, listening to early learning professionals across two states, and bringing together work groups. I think this was the first project where I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I learned about teamwork, how to strategize and implement a complicated process of forums, work sessions, and dissemination.
Core competencies are what you need to know to provide quality early childhood and youth development activities and interactions. The Core Competencies for Early Childhood and Youth Development Professionals (Kansas and Missouri) is a framework that defines the standards for early childhood and youth development professionals. They set the expectations for professionals who care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children, and older youth.
The core competencies are still in use, and have been updated to reflect new research and best practices. The fact that they remain an important part of the framework for professional development for early care and learning teachers shows that first edition was a quality product and met a real community need. These are two reasons why I feel a sense of accomplishment in being part of the team for the core competencies.