Workforce

Research shows that high-quality early childhood education produces substantial long-term educational, social, and economic benefits with the largest benefits for children occurring when teachers are professionally prepared and adequately compensated.

Furthermore, the knowledge and skills required of an effective early education teacher has increased as science has revealed more about the capabilities of young children, how they learn best, and the importance of early learning for later school success. Therefore it is essential that a core component of Rhode Island’s efforts to build a high quality early learning system is a highly qualified workforce with access to a high quality professional development system.

As we transition into the updated 2023 Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards (RIELDS), RIDE, in partnership with the Department of Human Services, is adopting the Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators.   

Background on Workforce Knowledge and Competencies (WKC) 

In 2013 RIDE introduced the Workforce and Knowledge Competencies (WKC’s) for key roles in the early care and education field. WKCs provided the foundation for a high-quality professional development system and were based on research and theory. There were four frameworks: Workforce Knowledge and Competencies for Teachers and Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Educators, the Workforce Knowledge and Competencies for Teacher Assistants, the Workforce Knowledge and Competencies for Family Child Care Educators, and the Workforce Knowledge and Competencies for Professional Development Providers, which includes higher education faculty/staff, trainers, and technical assistance providers. Each framework was the result of extensive work of many dedicated individuals across the field of early childhood education and care in this state. They articulated the essential skills and knowledge that educators who work with young children in Rhode Island should know, understand, and be able to do to promote young children's healthy development and learning. The competencies were designed for many purposes including, but not limited to supporting an educator’s individual professional development efforts, helping program administrators’ articulate teacher job expectations and design evaluation processes for staff, and guiding higher education and professional development providers on the creation of curricula for college courses and teacher training offered in the community. 

Future Direction for Professional Competencies in Early Childhood: Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators  

As we transition into the updated 2023 Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards (RIELDS), RIDE, in partnership with the Department of Human Services, is pivoting away from the WKC’s, and transitioning to using the Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators held by NAEYC and designated in the Unifying Framework for the Early Childhood Education Profession as the core competencies for the profession.  Rhode Island recognizes the importance of ongoing early education and care research and believes that by adopting the NAEYC Professional Standards and Competencies, we will ensure that our workforce will remain current on best practices.  The Professional Standards (linked below) include Child Development and Learning in Context; Family-Teacher Partnership and Community Connections; Child Observation, Documentation and Assessment; Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices; Knowledge, Application, and Integration of Academic Content in the Early Childhood Curriculum and; Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator. 

NAEYC has a long history in developing, supporting, and advocating for the early childhood workforce. By adopting these standards and competencies, Rhode Island is positioned to ensure that professional standards are in alignment with national best practice.   

Beginning in Spring 2023, the RIDE Early Learning Team opened all RIELDS PD Trainings for content revision, with an anticipated Summer/Fall 2023 launch. Course revision teams will be mindful to incorporate content from the revised 2023 RIELDS, Early Learning Curriculum Framework, NAEYC’s Professional Standards and Competencies, and other recommended practices into the trainings to build a strengthened and aligned early learning system.  

Download the Statement in English (PDF) 

Descargue la declaracion en espanol (PDF) 

Download the Executive Summary 

The Rhode Island Early Learning Standards Project provides four professional development opportunities to support early care and education professionals in creating high-quality, Standards-based programs for young children. Professional development participants receive exceptional training from experienced RI Early Learning Standards Certified Trainers, work in small and large groups, share information, reflect on past and current practice and complete assignments that lead to improved early childhood programs and effective teacher practices..

For information about RI Early Learning and Development Standards Certified Trainers please contact Elaine.Remillard@ride.ri.gov.

The following guide has been created to help individuals and programs identify what qualifies as relevant RIELDS training for BrightStars and the RIDE's Comprehensive Early Childhood Education (CECE) Program Standards. PLEASE NOTE: these requirements address program standards requirements. Individuals should always select the training that best meets their professional development needs first.

  • This course is intended to provide an overview to the RI Early Learning Development Standards document, and in how Standards are used. Participants in this eighteen hour, six session training will develop an understanding of the RIELDS nine domains of learning; begin to develop an understanding of key components of child development, 0-5 that influence practice; recognize how families are partners in their child’s growth and development; understand the relationship of responsive caregiving and curriculum and the importance of each to the growth of young children.

    This course is intended for individuals new to RI Early Learning and Development Standards. It serves as a pre-requisite for Teacher Assistants, Teachers, Administrators and other Early Childhood Professionals. Those holding a certificate from previous attendance at a RIELS training do not need to attend this course.

    Upon successful completion of the six session training, participants receive a Certificate of Achievement from the RI Department of Education and eighteen hours of RIDE professional development credits.

  • Trainings

    You will need to login to eRIDE to register for the course - please note, you only need to register for the first session.

  • This thirty-six hour, twelve session course focuses on developing an understanding of the RIELDS nine domains of learning and development and how they inform care and teaching; defining reflection and using reflection regularly; developing a working knowledge of the four components of curriculum: content, context, process, and teaching and facilitating. This training is intended to be an overview of curriculum, and to support the development of a curriculum framework. Participants will examine their classroom curriculum and align their practice to the standards.

    Successful completion of either a RIELS training of completion of the Foundations course is required before beginning this course. Participants choosing this course should have previous training in child development, experience working with the 0-5 population, and be prepared to complete college-level written and reading assignments. This course is equal to a 100 level college course in difficultly, thus participants should have completed a GED or have a high school diploma.

    Upon successful completion of this twelve session course, participants receive a Certificate of Achievement from the RI Department of Education and thirty-six hours of RIDE professional development credit. Participants who complete thirty-six hours of core training plus nine hours in the Next Steps series are eligible to receive three undergraduate credits through the University of Rhode Island.

  • Trainings

    You will need to login to eRIDE to register for the course - please note, you only need to register for the first session.

  • This thirty-six hour, twelve session course focuses on developing and implementing a high quality classroom which includes: an understanding of the RIELDS nine domains of learning and development for children birth through age 5; recognizing the connection between responsive care and education for infants and toddlers; reflecting on teaching practices; understanding the connection between a quality standards-based classroom and the RIELDS; creating meaningful opportunities for community and family engagement; expanding knowledge of the four components of curriculum; and understanding authentic assessment and using assessment information in curriculum planning. Upon completion of this training participants will have developed a broad understanding of the key components of a high quality classroom.

    Successful completion of either a RIELS training of completion of the Foundations course is required before beginning this course. Participants in this course should have a strong early childhood background with knowledge and experience in the areas of curriculum and assessment. Participants should also currently be working in a classroom, since activities used throughout the course relate to day to day teaching. Individuals should have an early childhood educational background that includes a minimum of twelve higher education credits in Early Childhood Education. This course is equal in difficulty to a 400 level college class.

    This course includes twelve, three hour sessions. Participants who successfully complete the thirty-six hours of training receive a Certificate of Achievement through the RI Department of Education and thirty-six hours of RIDE professional development credits. Participants who complete thirty-six hours of core training plus nine hours in the Next Steps series are eligible to receive three undergraduate/graduate credits at the 400 level through the University of Rhode Island.

  • Trainings

    You will need to login to eRIDE to register for the course - please note, you only need to register for the first session.

  • This thirty-six hour, twelve session course for Educational Coordinators and other Early Childhood Administrators focuses on understanding the RIELDS nine domains of learning and development and how to use this information in implementing a standards based program. Topics covered include recognizing the connection between responsive care, early care and education and the RIELDS; reviewing the content presented in the curriculum and the classroom course staff will have attended; recognizing and connecting RI’s QRIS system (including RIDE approval and Bright Stars) and strategies for staff support in implementing RIELDS. Work will include developing a personal and Program Improvement Plan with an emphasis on strategic planning.

    Successful completion of either a RIELS training of completion of the Foundations course is required before beginning this course. Participants in this course should have a strong early childhood background that includes a minimum of an Associate’s degree. This course is equal in difficulty to a 400 level college class.

    This course includes twelve, three hour sessions. Participants who successfully complete the thirty-six hours of training receive a Certificate of Achievement through the RI Department of Education and thirty-six hours of RIDE professional development credits. Participants who complete thirty-six hours of core training plus nine hours in the Next Steps series are eligible to receive three undergraduate/graduate credits at the 400 level through the University of Rhode Island.

  • Trainings

    You will need to login to eRIDE to register for the course - please note, you only need to register for the first session.

  • The Next Steps Workshop Series consists of a series of workshops designed for those who have completed RIELDS course. The sessions are designed to provide a deeper look at content within the Standards.

  • Trainings

    You will need to login to eRIDE to register for the course - please note, you only need to register for the first session.

RIDE Workforce Registry Report

The State of Early Childhood Higher Education in Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley, was asked to investigate early childhood higher education opportunities available to the state’s early learning workforce. The Inventory describes the early childhood degree programs offered in the state, focusing on variation in program content, age group focus, student field-based learning, and faculty characteristics. This information allows the Council and other stakeholders to identify gaps and opportunities in the available offerings, and to assess the capacity of the higher education system over time. This document presents the Inventory findings.