Professional Development Opportunities

All Vermont child care providers are required to complete a minimum of six hours of training per year to be in compliance with state requirements. These essential trainings are offered through every VACCRRA member agency and are available throughout the state. Specialized Care Providers are required to complete an additional six hours of specialized care training per year. In addition to these minimum training requirements, many providers go above and beyond. To access a comprehensive Career Guide, developed by the Child Development Division, click here. Below is a brief summary:

Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Council for Professional Recognition

(202) 265-9090 or (800) 424-4310

The CDA program is designed to provide performance-based training, assessment and credentialing of early childhood professionals working with children, birth through age five. Competency Standards, statements of the skills needed to be a competent caregiver and the basis upon which caregivers are assessed, are the core of the CDA program. In addition to 480 hours of experience working with children, candidates must document 120 clock hours of formal child care education within the past five years prior to being assessed. Training hours must fall within the following subject areas. Credential is valid for three years, then may be renewed for five year periods.
1. Safe & Healthy Environments
2. Physical & Intellectual Development
3. Social & Emotional Development
4. Relationships with Families
5. Program Operation Management
6. Commitment to Professionalism
7. Observing & Recording Behavior
8. Child Growth & Development

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

(800) 424-2460

NAEYC administers a national, voluntary accreditation system to help raise the quality of all types of preschools, kindergartens and child care centers. NAEYC’s reinvented early childhood program accreditation system, effective September 2006, requires programs to complete four steps to achieve NAEYC Accreditation.

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

(800) 359-3817

NAFCC is the only national accreditation system for family child care providers. Each program goes through the in depth accreditation process requiring training, health assessments, criminal background checks, as well as an observation verifying compliance with the Quality Standards for NAFCC Accreditation standards.

Northern Lights

Kate Giusti (802) 828-0124
VT Northern Lights Career Development Center

The Vermont Northern Lights Career Development Center, through collaboration with the Community College of Vermont (CCV) and the Vermont Child Care Industry and Careers Council (VCCICC), helps unify the current professional development system in our state through various strategies. Find out more about various professional development opportunities.

VT Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS)

Child Development Division (800) 649-2642
Learning Partners, Inc. (802) 479-5261

STARS is a VT initiative designed to expand the ways providers are recognized and rewarded for program quality. Achieving STARS recognition indicates that an early care, education or school age program has gone above and beyond basic regulatory standards. STARS recognition is determined by completing a self-assessment, and submitting supporting documentation. Providers apply for recognition in five arenas: compliance history, qualifications and training, families and community, program assessment, and administration; and choose whether to apply for one to three points in each arena for a total of 15 possible points. Learning Partners, Inc., a contracted administrator, validates the self-assessment and supporting documentation; then the Child Development Division awards the appropriate level of STARS recognition. Certificates are valid for one year and must be renewed to continue participation.

To find out more about trainings and professional development opportunities available in your area, contact the community resource development specialist at your VACCRRA member agency!