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Professional Development for the Child Care Professional - Let's Get to the Nitty Gritty on What

Anyone who knows me, knows if there is a rumor running around the mill, I am going to investigate, ask questions, and address the issue.

Today's issue: What does or does not count in meeting annual training requirements for Professional Development. Specifically focused on HOW the training is obtained.

This is what I am hearing as I go out into the field providing child care workshops and training materials to folks all over Texas:

Professional development for annual training requirements can only include 3 self-instructional or self-study hours, including those provided through a training source recognized by CCL.

The key to understanding what is truly "self-instructional" is in the Licensing's Minimum Standards. The section on definitions provides a detailed explanation and is the first place I was directed to when speaking to Licensing regarding this issue. So, with that said, let's delve in!

All standards discussed in this post are copied and pasted directly from the Minimum Standards for Child Care Centers; however, the definitions and standard requirements on professional development are the same for centers, homes, and before/after school programs.

§746.123. What do certain words and terms mean?

(17) Clock hours – An actual hour of documented: (A) Attendance at instructor-led training, such as seminars, workshops, conferences, early childhood classes, and other planned learning opportunities, provided by an individual/s as specified in §746.1317(a) of this title (relating to Must the training for my caregivers and the director meet certain criteria?); or (B) Self-instructional training that was created by an individual/s as specified in §746.1317(a) and (b), or self-study training.

(45) Self-instructional training – Training designed to be used by one individual working alone and at the individual’s own pace to complete lessons or modules. Lessons or modules commonly include questions with clear right and wrong answers. An example of this type of training is web-based training. Self-study training is also a type of self-instructional training.

Another example of this is training designed and provided by an independent trainer recognized by Child Care Licensing as a qualified training source for the training materials provided. A self-study packet provided by ZYX Child Care Training, includes a test on competency and a certificate is issued for "self-instructional," "self-study," or "independent study."

This is where things get confusing, but with Licensing's help, I have a qualitative answer for you:

Self-study training – Non-standardized training where and individual reads written materials, watches a training video, or listens to a recording to obtain certain knowledge that is required for annual training. Self-study training is limited to three hours of annual training per year.

*This would be like going to the public library and checking out and reading a book on Child Development or going onto the world wide web and pulling down reading materials or watching a video that talks about a specific child care issue and giving yourself hours based on how long it took you to watch the video or read the book. It may take you 9 hours to read the book and 4 hours to watch the video, but it will only get you three (3) hours of training that counts toward meeting the annual requirement.

§746.1317. Must the training for my caregivers and the director meet certain criteria?

(a) Training may include clock hours or CEUs provided by: (1) A training provider registered with the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System Training Registry, maintained by the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office; (2) An instructor who teaches early childhood development or another relevant course at a secondary school or institution of higher education accredited by a recognized accrediting agency; (3) An employee of a state agency with relevant expertise; (4) A physician, psychologist, licensed professional counselor, social worker, or registered nurse; (5) A person who holds a generally recognized credential or possesses documented knowledge relevant to the training the person will provide; (6) A director at your child-care center who has demonstrated core knowledge in child development and caregiving if: (A) Providing training to the director's own staff; and (B) Your child-care center has not been on probation, suspension, emergency suspension, or revocation in the two years preceding the training or been assessed an administrative penalty in the two years preceding the training; or (7) A person who has at least two years of experience working in child development, a child development program, early childhood education, a childhood education program, or a Head Start or Early Head Start program and: (A) Has a current Child Development Associate (CDA) credential; or (B) Holds at least an associate’s degree in child development, early childhood education, or a related field.

Training may include clock hours or CEUs obtained through self-instructional materials, if the materials were developed by a person who meets one of the qualifications in subsection (a) of this section. (c) All training, including instructor-led and self-instructional training, must include: (1) Specifically stated learning objectives; (2) A curriculum, which includes experiential or applied activities; (3) An evaluation/assessment tool to determine whether the person has obtained the information necessary to meet the stated objectives; and (4) A certificate of successful completion from the training source.

So, as the rumor mill often goes, you can bet there is some truth to the information that has been twisted and changed as it is passed along. Yes, be careful the sources you use to obtain your training materials from whether it be in person or via the web.

Trainers who create their own curriculum study packets spend an enormous amount

of time in the classroom gaining expertise and even more as they prepare quality trainings for folks

working in the child care industry. Yet, there are still those who are qualified to train in some areas of the core competencies and not others, so make sure you ask questions, request a sampling of their offerings, and be clear on how they meet the requirements as a trainer for child care professional development.

Just know, if I give you a training packet, my materials have been approved by TECPDS and as a trainer through the Texas Trainer Registry, those training materials are accepted by CCL for meeting your annual training requirements, whether I am standing in front of you at a workshop or you are working on a packet from the comfort of your own environment at your own pace.

And, as always, WHEN IN your Licensing office for clarification!

Happy Holidays!


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