Trainers, faculty, professional development providers and instructors are all adult educators. Adult educators may provide learning opportunities for college credits, contact hours or continuing education units (CEUs).

Why CEUs Count

Research has shown that the application of what is learned in a training session is supported when participants are self-directed learners, content is grounded in their experience and sessions allow participants to learn new information, apply it, reflect on using it and then gain feedback to further inform practice.  One-hour workshop formats are not able to provide the depth needed to support adult learners making the critical connection between what is learned and application in the early care and education setting.

In 2008, the NC Institute for Child Development Professionals (Institute) implemented an individual certification for early educators working directly with or on the behalf of children ages birth to twelve. Early Educator Certification (EEC) is an educational assessment based on a standardized scale of levels, based on formal education benchmarks. EEC requires that certified early educators earn continuing education units (CEUs), college credits or a combination of credits to remain certified for a period of three or five years. The validity period is based on the individual’s education level. As of May 2015, more than 13,000 early educators hold a current certification. Hundreds of certified early educators also hold speciality endorsements.  

To support the advancement of the state’s early childhood professional development system to be inclusive of in-depth trainings that are structured to impact practice, North Carolina’s early childhood partners have worked together to lay the foundation for a professional development system inclusive of CEUs.

The Institute is working with its partners and the provider community to share the why — research about continuing education and what matters for early educators, the how — strategies for aligning and integrating CEUs into existing and tandem systems and tools which support individuals building high quality CEU sessions will be provided to participants using a lecture style approach,, and the who — information about North Carolina’s Professional Development Endorsement process for those interested in providing CEUs for EEC renewal.

CEU Development Training for Adult Educators

Train-the-trainer sessions will be provided online throughout the year to increase the supply of high quality CEUs available for certified Early Educators.  Click here to learn more.

Evidence Base for CEUs

Professional Development Practitioner Endorsement

The Institute is working with professional development providers and state early childhood systems to advance the quality of trainers providing continuing education units.  The Professional Development Endorsement may be required by the CEU issuing body.

Learn more about the Professional Development Endorsement here.

Seeking CEU Content Approval

The endorsement of an Adult Educator by the Institute and/or the development of a CEU does not automatically guarantee an approving body will provide CEUs for the content.

It is strongly advised that CEU developers first check with an approving body from which you will seek CEU approval prior to development of a CEU to ensure alignment of content with the approving body’s respective requirements.

To learn how to align your training content, please visit the Continuing Education, CEU Guidelines & Documents section.

Recognized bodies that are eligible to grant CEUs include regionally accredited colleges and universities, LEAs and bodies approved by IACET. A list of NC suppliers providing CEUs which you may wish to partner with to offer CEUs is provided in the CEU Events section,

Entities may choose to provide CEUs for a session and/or hire adult educators who meet their required criteria, often reflective of the field’s guidelines (Professional Development Endorsement) to provide a CEU session as the content expert.

Quick Tips

  • 1 CEU = 10 contact hours
  • CEUs offer more than training and less than a college course.
  • CEUs have a similar cost to workshops.
  • CEUs may be offered at one time or over several sessions, over a long period of time or at a conference as a defined track.
  • Quality may vary. Shop wisely!
  • CEUs are typically taught by instructors with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, are seasoned adult educators with experience and knowledge in the subject area.

CEU Topic Areas

What are the DCDEE nine topic areas?

  1. Planning a safe, healthy learning environment
  2. Children’s physical & intellectual development
  3. Children’s social & emotional development
  4. Productive relationships with families
  5. Program management
  6. Professionalism
  7. Observing & recording children’s behavior
  8. Child growth development
  9. Inclusion of children with special needs

Sample CEU Outlines

CEU Announcement Sample

Download sample CEU announcement description to help you share important information certified Early Educators are seeking in advertising your sessions.

©AWS - 2010 NC Institute for Child Development Professionals, PO Box 959, Chapel Hill, NC 27514