Training and Coursework

There are thousands of courses and workshops available across Vermont both in face to face classrooms and online. Training and coursework may meet requirements for credentials, certificates, degrees and/or regulations. Here are ways to find them:

There are many resources to help pay for coursework and workshops.

To meet requirements for early childhood and afterschool professionals, training and coursework must be related to your work with children and families.

  • relate to the core knowledge areas for early childhood and afterschool professionals. See the list of sample related college courses, sorted by the Core Knowledge Areas
  • relate to the age range you are working with (early childhood: birth to grade 3, or school age: kindergarten to sixth grade
  • The Child Development Division child care program licensing regulations and the Agency of Education teacher licensing standards also have criteria for what personnel must complete to meets their regulations

Trainings and classes must be documented with a either a transcript or a 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. Instructors should be in the Instructor Registry.

Training and coursework should be entered into your BFIS credential account. This Cover sheet explains what to submit to be entered into your account, and where to find the information in your Account.  Northern Lights is charged with verifying and entering your documented professional development into your BFIS Credential account.

If the training attendance is NOT submitted by the Sponsor to enter into your BFIS credential account, please print, complete and submit the Cover sheet  with your professional development documentation to Northern Lights to verify and enter for you. PLEASE check your BFIS Credential account to see if the documentation is already in your account, before sending it to Northern Lights to enter.

To find instructors or apply to be an instructor go to the Instructor Registry page of this website (under Roles).

If you are a BFIS approved sponsor working with Northern Lights to offer training and coursework, go to Sponsor page of this website (under Roles).


What is the definition of group training and coursework? It is an activity among adults designed and led by an 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:
    -Child and youth development
    -Teaching and learning environments /curriculum
    -Healthy and safe environments
    -Families and communities
    -Professionalism and 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

Training and coursework may meet requirements for credentials, certificates, degrees  and/or regulations.

Are team meetings, events or webinars considered training? No they are not. WHY?  They do not meet the definition of training above. 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.  Consider the examples below  –

TEAM MEETINGS follow an agenda, but that is not the same as meeting learning objectives.   For example on the topic of outdoor environments: IN A TEAM MEETING the agenda might be to brainstorm or review ideas for revisions of the outdoor play environment of their program.  AT A TRAINING the instructor would already have deep knowledge of the topic and use the experiences and needs of the learners to plan the training.  Instruction on this topic might have the learning objective: “learners  will design an outdoor learning environment for a specified age group, based on elements of quality outdoor training design”.  The Instructor might lead the participants through stages:  reflection on the topic, gaining researched based  information on effective practices, practicing applying the new knowledge, and planning for implementation.

EVENTS such as  college fair, resource fair, advocacy or legislative event, it is 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.   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 instructional component of a face to face training with a qualified instructor.