Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies

Core Knowledge & Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals  describe the skills and knowledge of professionals working with children birth to grade three in group settings.  They can be used by everyone working in the field of early childhood – classroom teachers, adult instructors, coaches and mentors, family child care providers, para-educators, special educators, supervisors, sponsors of professional development, and others. They align with the Early Childhood Career Ladder.

NEW! 2017 VT Core Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals. NOTE: Previous versions are still accepted.

 Make up of Core Knowledge & Competencies (2017)

The ‘core’ is the foundation describing what professionals need to know and do.

Core knowledge refers to the big chunks: the knowledge needed by professionals to effectively work with young children and their families. There are eight core knowledge areas that encompass  Vermont’s 2017 core knowledge and competencies for early childhood professionals. These align with both the VT Agency of Education teacher licensure standards with early childhood endorsement, and the NAEYC professional standards.

  • Child Development
  • Observing and Assessing
  • Families and Communities
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • How We Teach
  • What We Teach
  • Professionalism
  • Program Organization

Subheadings break the core knowledge areas into smaller chunks. They describe the component parts that make up the core knowledge area. For example under Child Development one subheading is Individual Variance.

Core competencies are the smallest pieces. They detail the observable skills needed by professionals to provide high quality services. In the competency documents are examples of how you might see these core competencies in practice.

Levels sort the core competencies in order from entry level to advanced. The Core Knowledge & Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals document details level I, II, III and IV.  The levels build on each other: each level also includes the ones below.  The highest level aligns with the VT Agency of Education teacher licensure standards with an early childhood endorsement.

Dispositions are attitudes, values and beliefs that professionals should hold. They are seen in their behaviors with children, families and colleagues.

Other knowledge & competencies extend from these core competencies. In Vermont these include the Vermont Program Director  knowledge and competencies.