Competencies and Standards

Professional competencies and standards define the skills and knowledge required by those working in the early childhood and afterschool fields.  Because of the profound impact professionals have on the children and families they work with, professional quality matters.

Competence is always developing. It develops from experience, coursework, effective supervision or mentoring and reflective practice.

Professional standards and competencies are used:

  • as the self- assessment in an IPDP (Individual Professional Development Plan)
  • to provide common expectations and language
  • as the framework for early childhood career ladder, afterschool career pathways, teacher licensure, and credentials
  • to plan and assess professional development activities and curricula
  • to develop job descriptions and performance evaluations
  • to structure supervision, mentoring and job descriptions

Alignment chart of Core Knowledge areas, CDA and VT Agency of Education Standards

Vermont’s professional development system is based on the following competencies and standards



In addition to professional competencies and standards, there are program standards and learning standards/guidelines for children   Together, like interdependent gears, these help us measure our quality and define our goals.