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Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood Professional Development



The Professional Development department at the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) is dedicated to maximizing the healthy growth and development of Delaware’s children by supporting quality early care and educational programming for all children, their families and their communities. In partnership with both public and private stakeholders, DIEEC works to create and sustain a responsive, data driven system for enhancing the professional knowledge and skills of those who work with children from birth through age twelve. We provide a framework and registry for linking Early Childhood Educators with professional development opportunities through instruction and individual technical support in order to create world-class early childhood programming.

The Professional Development department designs, delivers and coordinates professional learning that meets the needs of a diverse workforce of 6,000 plus members working in a variety of early childhood settings including: public school, inclusive and special education environments and the private business of home-based child care.


A competent early childhood workforce, supported and engaged families, and high quality early childhood programs are accessible to all Delaware children and youth. All of Delaware’s children will become successful adults, contributing members of our community, and participants in a global economy. Delaware’s early childhood system will be an effective collaboration of families, programs, and services that support children as they grow, develop, and learn.


The mission of Professional Development at the DIEEC is to support early childhood professionals through high quality, coordinated professional learning experiences that enhance skills, knowledge, career opportunities and support high quality programs. The DIEEC joins Delaware’s Early Success (2006) in supporting the same mission: All of Delaware’s families will have access to early care and education programs that will offer families a safe learning environment to ensure positive outcomes for children. Early care and education programs will be staffed by professionals educated and skilled in supporting the growth, development and learning of young children. Programs will be regulated to ensure basic safeguards for children, both physical and developmental.

Guiding Principles

  • Quality early childhood professional learning opportunities are available and accessible to all early childhood professionals, across all sectors of the workforce.

  • Delivery of quality early childhood services is linked to a coordinated, comprehensive and effective professional development system.

  • Planning for professional development includes an understanding that: the care and education of children are inseparable; is based on developmentally appropriate practice; and that children learn through play.

  • A common set of professional competencies and core knowledge is grounded in sound research and reflects best practice.

  • Professional development includes the achievement of professional goals and fair compensation.

  • Professional development adheres to, but is not limited to regulation requirements.

  • Professional development plans are based on the needs and goals of the individual.

  • Professional development curriculum recognizes and reflects the importance of quality standards in its development and evaluation.

  • Articulation is necessary for multiple career advancement opportunities to exist.

  • Training and educational opportunities are ongoing and accessible in terms of time, location, level and cost.

  • Training and education programs are responsive and relevant to the variety of roles, program philosophies, and adult learning styles, as well as the educational and experiential backgrounds of practitioners.

  • Training and education programs incorporate a diverse scope of strategies and engage the participant.

  • Training and education programs address the broad diversity of children, families, and professionals including: age, gender, disabilities, culture, race, and ethnicity.

  • Policymakers, legislators, businesses, parents, and the general public need to be educated about the benefits and costs of quality childhood care and education programs in order to help build a diverse and consistent funding base of both public and private funds.

Goals of Professional Development at the DIEEC

Goal 1: To provide a range of accessible professional learning experiences.

Goal 2: To ensure that professional learning opportunities are responsive, of the highest quality, and are monitored to ensure that the content of training is research-based and aligned with state standards for the field.

Goal 3: Build early childhood community capacity, through technical assistance, to support the development of other organizations and trainers to be partners in DIEEC.

Goal 4: To provide a range of professional development curriculum and experiences that advances the early childhood professionals’ knowledge in core content and Early Learning Foundations areas.

Goal 5: Provide professional development so that early childhood programs can move to higher quality, as indicated by the Delaware Stars 5 star quality rating and improvement system.

Goal 6: Coordinate a quality-assured professional development system that follows the Department of Education’s early childhood professional development framework.

Goal 7: Engage families in the development of the early childhood education system.

Goal 8: Provide early childhood demonstration sites for professionals to learn best practices.

Goal 9: Show improvement on core, quality indicators as well as child, family, and community outcomes.

Ongoing activities of Professional Development Department

  • Collaborates with other organizations, institutions and agencies that offer professional development and quality initiatives in early childhood.

  • Acts as a clearinghouse to make these services accessible to all sectors of the early childhood field.

  • Develops and delivers professional learning experiences that support the Delaware’s integrated professional development framework for early childhood practitioners.

  • Conducts an annual needs assessment.

  • Creates new professional development opportunities to meet the priorities established by the Delaware Early Childhood Council Committee on Professional Development.

  • Recruits, prepares and supports trainers and technical assistants in providing professional learning and quality initiatives to improve early childhood programs.

  • Locates and coordinates online training opportunities to meet the changing needs of the early childhood community.

  • Manages a training calendar/newsletter along with registration to training opportunities and resources for professional learning.

  • Expands professional development opportunities to meet more of the specific needs of providers employed in different types of programs

  • Provides coordination for early childhood technical assistance and Delaware Stars Quality Rating and Improvement System.

  • Provides information for families.

If you have additional questions or comments, please Contact Us.

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