About the Institute
The North Carolina Institute for Child Development Professionals (Institute) provides both free and fee-based services.
Debra Torrence, Institute Director
The Institute has since its inception in 1993 focused its efforts on building a comprehensive professional development and recognition system that links education and compensation for the over 40,000 Early Educators who work with children or support the work of child care and school age programs. The work of the Institute addresses a very important need in our state – to support the development of an educated child care workforce to provide healthy, safe and stimulating environments and experiences for over a quarter million young children and their families.
The Institute was established in 1993 as a result of NAEYC’s national effort to address the need for national and state-level early care and education professional development systems. In September 2008, the Institute incorporated as a non-profit in North Carolina. In September 2009, its first Board of Directors was formed.
The mission of the North Carolina Institute for Child Development Professionals (the Institute) is to promote the implementation of a comprehensive professional development and recognition system that links education and compensation for child development professionals to ensure high quality care and education services for children and families.
The work of the Institute is conducted by the Board and Institute partners who work together in task groups and committees with the common purpose of working toward the Institute’s mission. Through in-person and virtual forums, outreach efforts and implementation of the NC Early Educator Certification (EEC) system, the Institute engages leadership within and across sectors, at various levels, to develop and implement strategies designed to enhance and strengthen North Carolina’s approach to professional development for early care and education and school age professionals.
Collaboration & Planning
Ongoing and grant-funded efforts are underway in North Carolina at the state level within agencies and organizations as well as efforts focused specifically on professional development.
The Institute is composed of a large partner network. Partners include Early Educators who work directly with and those working on the behalf of children ages birth to twelve in early care and education settings. State level partners support the work of the Institute through participation on Task Groups and Committees, provide resources, meeting space, materials and support the implementation of collaborative activities.
- Form 990 (2011)
Defining an Early Educator Professional Development System
Why is a strong early childhood professional development system important? Over the last two decades there has been increasing interest in learning about the experiences of children in early care and education settings: what settings are good and how early care and education influences later school performance and behavioral patterns.
In particular, we have learned a great deal in recent years about the benefits and cost of high-quality early care and education services, and how to improve programs to meet the needs of all children. This and the evidence about the impact of a teacher’s education has increased the need to shift from scattershot training to intentional forms of ongoing education and professional development to build, grow and retain a high qualified workforce.
Professional development, in this context, refers to a combination of education and continuing education via college courses, continuing education units, conferences and professional forums as well as workshops.
Well-designed professional development includes a broad range of activities and audiences:
Why It Matters
A quality early care and education and school age workforce matters.
For Our State, Business and Industry
What It Is
An Early Educator professional development system is a comprehensive approach to providing professional development opportunities. When an effective ecpd system has been built:
In addition, a well-drawn system builds on base education and articulates prior learning (education and training) into the professional development pathway for the individual; supporting forward progress toward personal education goals without redundancy and continuing education is provided by highly qualified staff.