The Indiana Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning Career Pathways
The Indiana Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning Career Pathways recognizes the hours of formal education, formal training and credentials of early childhood educators, school age and youth workers. The purpose of the Career Pathway is to help practitioners plan their training, education and career development goals so they may be well-prepared to educate, nurture and meet the needs of infants, children, youth and their families.
The Indiana Technical Assistance Framework
Research shows that technical assistance is an effective strategy for enhancing quality practice among professionals who work with infants, young children, youth and their families (Yazejian and Iruka, 2015). In 2011, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies defined technical assistance in the Early Childhood Professional Development: Training and Technical Assistance Glossary (hereafter, the Training and Technical Assistance Glossary). Indiana’s Framework for Technical Assistance Professionals (hereafter, the TA Framework) uses the NAEYC/NACCRRA definition: “Technical assistance is the provision of targeted and customized supports by a professional(s) with subject matter and adult learning knowledge and skills to develop or strengthen processes, knowledge application or implementation of services by recipients.” Technical assistance is a professional development strategy that includes coaching, consultation, mentoring and professional development advising, with the goal of supporting professionals as they put their knowledge and skills into practice.
Indiana’s TA Framework identifies the dispositions, core knowledge and core competencies needed by individuals who provide technical assistance to professionals working with infants, young children, youth and their families. The TA Framework also assumes that a TA professional has a foundational knowledge of best practice in early childhood and out-of-school time. This includes but is not limited to knowledge of and experience with the Core Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood, School Age and Youth Professionals as defined by the Indiana Professional Development Network as well as knowledge of and experience with Indiana’s Early Learning Foundations.
Indiana Core Knowledge and Competencies
The Indiana Core Knowledge and Competencies, second edition, was adopted by the Indiana Professional Development Network on April 6, 2016. The Indiana Core Knowledge and Competencies identifies what professionals need to know and be able to do when working with infants, children, youth and their families. It includes a professional development planning tool to help you assess your knowledge and skills and chart a course for your own professional development journey.
The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning funds several ongoing quality improvement projects using federal grant funds designated specifically to strengthen and improve early care and learning environments in child care facilities for Indiana's young children. This quality investment in child care has an economic impact and benefits communities as well as families and children.
Research indicates that young children's learning and development depends on the educational qualifications of their teachers. To increase the professional development and educational qualifications of child care center teachers, directors and family child care providers, OECOSL provides funding for the following professional development projects: