Being a professional in the field of early learning means keeping up new ideas and trends in the field.  This article will guide you through the various resources available to support you in your career.

You've always wanted to be a teacher.  You prepared a professional resume, interviewed professionally and you finally landed that job!  Now that you've been working for a period of time, you find that you love the children and are excited about what you are learning. 

Great, but how do you keep growing your career?  To keep building your professional network and stay on top of the latest trends, these are some well-respected and well-connected organizations you might consider joining:

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Association for Early Learning Leaders

Association for Childhood Education International

National Association for Bilingual Education

National Head Start Association

Council for Professional Recognition


Another opportunity to grow your career is through further education.  Studies have shown that the level of teacher training influences the quality of childcare.  There are many degree options available as well as specific early learning certifications, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credentials.

The Council for Professional Recognition, headquartered in Washington, D.C., manages the Child Development Associate (CDA) credentialing program.  The program was designed to provide performance-based training, assessment, and credentialing that focused on the skills of early child care and education professionals. 

The program represents a national effort to credential qualified caregivers for the task of working with children from birth through age five in various CDA settings, ensuring that they have demonstrated competence in meeting the CDA Competency Standards.

The CDA prepares child care professionals to meet the specific needs of children and works to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in the child development framework.  The CDA Credential is awarded to child care professionals, home visitors and family child care providers who have demonstrated their skill in working with young children and their families by successfully completing the CDA assessment process.

Watch this video on childcare providers discussing how earning their CDA Credentials made them better teachers.

To learn more about the the CDA Credentials, try the CDA Council website or read our Guide to Preparing for Your CDA Credentials


For more information on developing your career in early learning, check out our professionalism series:

Becoming a Professional

Being a Professional

Growing as a Professional

Sign depicting an apple and a note of appreciation and thanks to all teachers






Here are some additional resources you might find valuable:

Educational Excellence and Equity for ELLs

Association for Early Learning Leaders Emerging Leader Toolkit

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems for Early Care and Education

The Montessori Method

Answers on Philosophy and Practice of Waldorf Education

Sign depicting it takes a big heart to shape little minds for preschool teachers