A Framework for Reviewing Professional Development Strategies in Child Care and Early Education


State and territory child care and early education (CCEE) leaders typically support a range of professional development (PD) opportunities for the CCEE workforce. This highlight describes the Professional Development Matrix for Quality Improvement created by Douglass, Tout, and Doyle. The matrix provides a framework for organizing and describing PD that can support CCEE leaders’ decisions about what PD to fund and how to support evaluation of PD efforts. The highlight also provides examples and summarizes research evidence for each type of PD in the matrix.


State and territory CCEE leaders invest in a portfolio of PD strategies to improve the quality of CCEE for young children and their families. A matrix (Figure 1) originally described in Considerations for Incorporating the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) as a Quality Improvement Methodology in Early Childhood Systems can help CCEE leaders describe, organize, and evaluate state/territory PD efforts:

  • The matrix provides a framework and terminology to help CCEE leaders describe the many types of PD that their state/territory funds.
  • CCEE leaders can use the matrix to organize the various PD strategies, which can help them better understand the collection of strategies they fund.
  • The matrix can support CCEE leaders to evaluate their PD strategies, collecting data about how strategies are improving knowledge or practice for particular types of providers or organizations.


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