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Promoting Professional Development and High Quality Early Childhood and School-Age Programmes

How to Use this Guide


Working with children is an opportunity to shape lives and to help ensure the future of our community, nation, and world. The field of early childhood education (working with children birth to age 8) and school-age programs (working with children 6-12 years of age) offers numerous opportunities for careers that are both satisfying and rewarding. These career opportunities range from working directly with children; to providing supports to parents and other caregivers; to supervising staff; to providing training, and education to adults so that they develop the knowledge and skills needed to provide high quality services.

This resource guide has been developed for three main purposes:

  • To provide people considering a career in early childhood and school-age programs basic information about the field, the many career opportunities available, and how to prepare for particular positions.
  • To help practitioners assess their current status and develop plans for their ongoing professional development in the field.  
  • To help program administrators and supervisors support their employees in the professional development planning process.

To meet theses purposes, this resource guide was developed as a comprehensive source of information about the programs that provide early childhood education and school-age services, the positions that are available in these programs, and the qualifications needed to work in those positions.  Information is also provided about the education and training programs that prepare candidates for their careers as early childhood and school-age educators.

Much of the information contained in this guide is general and can assist someone planning a career in early childhood and school-age programs anywhere. However, some of the information is specific to New York State. For example, teacher certification in this guide refers specifically to the processes and programs leading to teacher certification in New York State. In addition, the training opportunities listed in the Training Resource Database and the programs and options listed in the College and University Database are exclusively resources and programs available in New York State.

As part of the guide, a number of tools have been created to help students and working professionals develop and implement career development plans. These include:

  • a database that can be searched to find appropriate New York State college and university courses and degree programs
  • information on financial aid for college studies and web links for additional resources
  • a database of New York State training resources that address a variety of early childhood, school-age, and related topics to meet the needs of individuals and groups
  • self-assessment tools that identify competencies needed to provide quality services
  • templates for development pf plans for additional education and training
  • step-by-step instructions for developing professional portfolio
  • tips on how to develop a resume and sample resumes
  • alternative suggestions for career direction that enrich the field of early care and education 

This web-based tool provides the user with a comprehensive array of information that can be obtained in a variety of ways.  Among the advantages of a web-based guide are:

Getting the Specific Information You Need

Accessing Additional Information


Getting the Specific Information You Need

Accessing Additional Information

This web-based tool provides the user with a comprehensive array of information that can be obtained in a variety of ways. Among the advantages of a web-based guide are:

Getting the Specific Information You Need

This tool allows you to skip from section to section based on your specific interests or need for information. In this way, you are essentially able to modify the tool to supply only the information you need. For example, if you are interested in becoming a director of a child care center you would go to Section II, select child care centers, and learn about typical staff positions and how centers are regulated. After looking over the list of potential child care center staff positions, you would click on the reference that follows child care director/administrator and you would automatically come to the place in Section III that describes that position and the educational preparation that you would need to qualify for this position.

After reading about the education requirements, you are then able to click on a link that would take you to Section V where you find information on how to obtain the necessary education.

You can also get to the specific information that you want by using the multiple layers of the table of contents. By clicking on each of the section headings of the table of contents, you will learn what sub-sections are contained in that section. Then by clicking on the sub-section all the headings of the areas covered in that sub-section appear. Clicking on any of these headings will bring you to that location in the guide. 

Accessing Additional Information

A significant benefit of a web-based tool is that it is easy to provide access to relevant information that is available on other websites. To gain access to this information, simply click on the links that have been included. For example, in Section V there is a database of colleges and universities in New York State that offer educational programs relevant to people interested in a career in early childhood and/or school-age programs. For each college, information is available on how to contact the college, the degrees and certificates offered, and the various majors or programs that the college or university provides that would be of interest to people in early childhood and school-age programs. To get specific information about these programs, admission requirements, or other information, you click on the link and you will be brought directly to the college website. 


There are a number of people who played a significant role in the development of this resource guide. For nearly ten years, people representing every major early childhood and school-age organization in New York State met and worked together under a variety of circumstances as part of the NYS Career Development Initiative. Hard work, planning, and much dialog over the years led to the development of the Resource Guide and website. These contributors cannot be thanked enough.

The original concept was developed by Judy Sikora and Bob Frawley of the NYS Council on Children and Families, but it never would have reached completion if it were not for the work of several others. Christine Allgeier, Director of the Career Development Initiative developed an initial version of this tool and created an earlier edition of the college and university database. Kristi Lekies from Cornell University recruited students to update the information. Kristi and her students, Michelle Gottlieb, Parijat Sharma and administrative assistant Joshua Eckenrode made a significant contribution to the field through their tireless efforts to uncover relevant information about all the various educational programs for individuals interested in early childhood and school-age programs in New York State. Christine Bain, from the Council on Children and Families, spent countless hours developing a database that could be easily accessed.

Maureen McCarthy conducted an exhaustive review of training resources in New York State that led to the development of the Training Resource Directory. Susan Gibbons of the New York State Head Start Association updated this information and provided the crosswalk of selected program standards that is included in Section IV. The final version of the Resource Guide was developed by Pat Amanna and Barbara Nilsen who also contributed to a number of other resources within the guide. 

In addition to Bob and Judy, a cadre of regionally-based early childhood professors and staff of local child care coordinating councils reviewed the College and University Database and the Resource Guide for accuracy. Jacqui Berger, Gretchen Kinnell, Marcia Scheer, Patty Skinner, and Rachel Theilheimer helped to gather accurate information on college and university educational programs in each region of the state. Emily Kudela, Nancy Maldonaldo, Cindi Swernofsky, and Ginni Albertelli helped make the guide both accurate and as useful as possible to wide range of potential users.

The support of Karen Chavis, Mariea Young, Pat Wood, and Robin Miller and the guidance of Debbie Benson, Pam Reylea, and Alana Sweeny, were essential for the production of this Resource Guide.

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