for Early Childhood Professionals
The information below is organized by the
Kansas and Missouri Core Competencies for Early Care and Education
Professionals. The competency areas describe what professionals
who work with young children and families need to know and be
able to do to provide quality early care and education services.
For more information on the Competencies, visit:
Child Growth and Development
Learning Environment and Curriculum
Play is fun and enjoyable. Just as important, it promotes
children's social and emotional development. One particular
form of play — pretend — is especially important for young
children. And, according to Radu Bogdan, professor of Philosophy
at Tulane University in New Orleans, preschoolers are primed
and ready to pretend.
learning through conversation
Literacy learning is about much more than reading and writing.
Having opportunities for conversation helps young children
understand the connection between written letters and sounds.
Gathering children in small groups creates a wonderful setting
for encouraging conversation.
cleaning with young children
Young children can help with cleaning tasks, especially
when they are members of a team that works together. Such
activities help children focus on a task, talk about what
needs to be done, and follow through until completion. These
experiences can promote a sense of competence and show children
that everyone benefits from teamwork.
Did you know that Missouri was once ranked 16th in the nation
in milk production? According to the Missouri Department
of Agriculture, in 1997 Missouri dairy farmers produced
2.4 billion pounds of milk. Of this milk, some was separated
as cream and later became butter. Early childhood educators
can use such tidbits of information to support children's
development and learning.
Children and Space
What would you think if someone told you that how you arrange
your classroom space can provide more time for children
to learn and play? Some researchers asked a group of preschool
teachers, “What are children’s favorite play spaces?” After
hearing the different answers, the researchers discovered
that the spaces had one thing in common, they were small.
Ideas for Toddlers (also available as a
Literacy in Young Children (pdf)
This book contains a variety of activities to promote children’s
interest in literacy. The activities have been organized
according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education’s Early Childhood Literacy Standards.
Child Observation and Assessment
Families and Communities
Health, Safety and Nutrition
Interactions with Children
Program Planning and Development
Professional Development and Leadership
OPEN is Missouri's career development
system for early childhood professionals. To learn more
about early childhood professional development opportunities,
Need to locate child care provider
training opportunities? Child Care AwareŽ of
Missouri can provide information on training opportunities
all over the state. Go to the For Child Care/Early Ed Staff page for more information on
training opportunities in your area.