Training and Coursework

There are thousands of trainings and college courses available to prepare you, help you meet your professional goals, and meet requirements.

For help learning about trainings in your region, contact your Northern Lights at CCV Resource Advisor.

To meet requirements for early childhood and afterschool professionals, training and coursework meet three criteria:

  1. Relate to the core knowledge areas for early childhood and afterschool professionals. The  list of sample related college courses, sorted by the Core Knowledge Areas is a guide.  AND
  2. Relate to the age range you are working with (early childhood: birth to grade 3, or school age: kindergarten to sixth grade)  AND
  3. Documented and verified
    • by a training certificate that includes: a) sponsor name and logo; b) title and description of content; c) date(s), time, total training hours; d) name of participant; and e) signature of sponsor or instructor to verify attendance  OR
    • by college transcript that is: a) original or copy as issued by the college registrar (must have college name, student full name, course name/department, grades and dates completed); b) clean and readable paper or PDF (no photo or fax); c) grade of C- or higher; and d) from a college or university that has acceptable accreditation 

Training and coursework should be entered into your BFIS credential account. Northern Lights is charged with verifying and entering your documented professional development into your BFIS Credential account.  They get this information in two ways:

  1. From Bright Futures Information System (BFIS)  Sponsors  that Northern Lights has approved. Only the trainings given by these sponsors are listed in the BFIS Course Calendar.  These sponsors also submit attendance to Northern Lights to enter it into participants’ BFIS Credential accounts – so you don’t have to!
  2. From other sponsors of training and coursework in Vermont or elsewhere, that meet the three criteria above. These training certificates and college transcripts must be submitted by you to Northern Lights to enter into your BFIS account.  Please complete and submit this Cover sheet when submitting documents to Northern Lights. It explains what to submit to be entered into your BFIS Credential account, where to submit it, and where to find it once it is entered into your account.

A note about online training (not for college credit)

Sponsors of online training that is not for college credit must be approved by Northern Lights. These are the only online trainings that meet CDD Child Care Program licensing requirements annual training hours. There are over a thousand trainings to choose from and they can be taken any time. These trainings are NOT listed in the course calendar. To get them into your BFIS Credential Account use this Cover sheet  and submit it with a copy of your certificate.


Where do I get help for career advising and finding training I need? Contact your regional Resource Advisor.

What does the Child Development Division (CDD) require to meet child care program licensing requirements?  Find the answers on the CDD website: Training Requirements  and  Specialized Child Care training requirements.

What does the VT Agency of Education and Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) require for staff training?  The VT Agency of Education has requirements for personnel preparation of licensed teachers and administrators, based on the type of license. The type of license, the employer and the professional development plan of the individual, determine what ongoing training is needed.  Staff working with CIS programs need to meet their own profession’s liscensing requirements, as well as the requirements of the employer.  CIS staff orientation materials are required for some staff.

How do I find and pay for college courses?  Find courses from VT colleges and universities on the Northern Lights Colleges and University coursework webpage. Find financial resources on the Northern Lights Financial Assistance webpage.

Does training from other states count? Yes, as long as it meets the three criteria above.

What is the definition of group training and coursework? It is an activity among adults designed and led by a qualified instructor, in which:

  • participants are engaged through interaction with each other and the material;
  • with the purpose of meeting the specified learning objectives;
  • with content that covers one or more of the core knowledge areas below;

Child and youth development; Observing and documenting; How we teach; What we teach; Health, safety, and nutrition; Families and communities; Professionalism; and/or Program organization

  • using adult learning principles:
    – Respect for the experience and knowledge adults bring.
    – Immediacy so learning can applied by the participants during the session and in thier own settings.
    – Relevance to the learners and significant to their lives.
    – Safety so that participants are able to trust  the learning environment and also challenge themselves.
    – Engagement so learners are actively involved in what they are learning
    – Inclusive so that the learner is moved to collaborate and open to learning

Are team meetings, orientations, events or webinars considered training? No they are not. WHY?  They do not meet the definition of training sited above. Staff meetings and orientations have a different purpose, such as to inform staff, have them complete work together,  and/or make decisions or recommendations.  Documentation of participation in these events may be used to support a STARS program application in the arenas of Program Practices, Families and Communities, or Program Administration.  Check with the STARS office.

When a staff meeting is set aside for all staff to attend a training taught by a qualified instructor, based on specific learning objectives on a specified topic that meets the training criteria above, it may be documented as training.

EVENTS such as  college fair, resource fair, advocacy or legislative event, are not a training. While the event may have an over-all goal to inform, or make a public statement, these are not the same as learning objectives. Unlike a training, a resource or advocacy event supports each participant to meet their own needs by attending, and often does not require participants to attend the whole time.

A WEBINAR is a presentation that people watch and listen to through the computer or other screen.  Though the participants may interact, in a webinar there is no requirement to participate or interact with the presenter or other students, nor is there a requirement to evaluate the participants’ learning.  In Vermont, professionals may use the content of a webinar as part of the content of a face to face training with a qualified instructor. CDD or the Agency of Education in VT may offer select webinars where the administrators do track participation and assess if learning objectives are met by these participants. In these special circumstances, the webinar will be posted as approved by Northern Lights.