• What’s New in Early Childhood Professional Development?


    Back to School with Q

    Back to School with Q – School Readiness Starts with Quality

    Back to School with Q – School Readiness Starts with Quality is a campaign developed by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) designed to highlight one of the key drivers for successful school readiness—quality early learning.  Four briefs about the importance of quality in early learning settings for young children and information about the Virginia Star Quality Initiative are available on the Smart Beginnings website at www.vecf.org.

    USDOEPreschool Development Grants

    Applications are now available for the $250 million Preschool Development Grants competition. The goal of Preschool Development Grants is to support states – including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – in building, developing and expanding voluntary, high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities for children from low- and moderate-income families. The new grant program will be jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.  For an overview, view the powerpoint from the August 20, 2014 webinar.

    USDHHSAs a state that currently serves 10 percent or more of four-year-olds (through the Virginia Preschool Initiative), Virginia is eligible to apply for an expansion grant not to exceed 17.5 million. A state-level team including staff from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, the Virginia Department of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Education has been assembled to develop Virginia’s application.  For additional  information, download the Expansion Grant webinar and powerpoint presentation.

    Applicants will be selected based on the quality of their plans to
    • Commit to implement high-quality preschool programs;
    • Implement state-level infrastructure and quality improvements;
    • Collaborate with sub-grantees and ensure strong partnerships between school districts and other early learning providers;
    • Align preschool programs within a birth-through-third-grade continuum of services; and
    • Create sustainable programs by coordinating existing early learning funds, and projecting costs and number of children served.

    Applicants can receive additional points under the following competitive priorities:
    • Contributing matching funds,
    • Supporting a birth-through-third-grade continuum, and
    • Using at least 50 percent of their funding to create new state preschool program slots

    Applications are due by Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Awards will be made in December 2014.


    Gov of VAChildren’s Cabinet and Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success

    On August 11, 2014, Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 21 (2014) establishing a Children’s Cabinet.  The cabinet ” shall develop and implement a comprehensive policy agenda related to the education, health, safety, and well-being of youth throughout the Commonwealth. It shall evaluate and recommend strategies to optimize and align local, state, and federal public resources, and public-private partnerships to enhance current and prospective programs and services for Virginia’s children and their families, particularly those at highest risk. It shall also identify best practices and areas for improvement.”

    In addition, Executive Order 22 (2014)  created the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success. This Council will be chaired by Lt. Governor Northam and will “address the basic health, education, and child care needs of young children, including the early identification of intellectual and developmental delays, access to stable housing and nutritious foods, and high quality child care and early education programs. ”

    Click HERE to read the press release and the full texts of the Executive Orders.


    DEC new logo DEC Recommended Practices 

    The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children has released the 2014 edition of the DEC Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education.  The DEC Recommended Practices, initially developed in 1991, provide guidance to practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve the learning outcomes and promote the development of young children, birth through five years of age, who have or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The purpose is to help bridge the gap between research and practice by highlighting those practices that have been shown to result in better outcomes for young children with disabilities, their families, and the personnel who serve them. The updated set of practices consists of eight domains: Leadership, Assessment, Environment, Family, Instruction, Interaction, Teaming and Collaboration, and Transition. It is anticipated that the practices will be helpful for those engaged in both pre-service and in-service professional development.



    Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning Pyramid Model Training

    Most challenging behaviors (think biting, hitting, children who won’t follow the rules) can be prevented by using strategies taught in a CSEFEL (Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning) Pyramid Model Training Event.  The training is open to anyone who works with children 0-3 (eg. early intervention, center based providers, nurses, doctors, family day home providers, early head start, and many others).  The cost is $25 for 12 hours of training, and the 12 hours count towards licensing hours!

    Northern: August 9 and September 27

    The Child Care Network, Fredericksburg
    10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day
    Registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/w4q40y/4W

    Western: August 22 and September 26
    Southwest Virginia Community College, Richlands
    9:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. each day
    Registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/q4q41h/4W

    Piedmont: September 13 and September 27
    Sentara RMH Atrium, Harrisonburg
    8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. each day
    Registration coming soon!

    Participants are eligible to receive social and emotional resources ($25.00 value) for their work setting after completing the full 12 hours of CSEFEL training.


    general assembly buildingVirginia Commission on Youth Early Childhood Education Workgroup on Quality

    The Virginia Commission on Youth Early Childhood Education Workgroup on Quality met on June 17, 2014 at the General Assembly Building.  Go to http://vcoy.virginia.gov/meetings.asp to review handouts including: Review of the Research on Quality in Early Learning Settings and Virginia’s  Early Learning Quality Improvement Initiatives from the Department of Education, Department of Social Services, and Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.  The full Virginia Commission on Youth will be meeting September 16 (10:00 a.m.), October 20 (1:00 p.m.), November 17 (10:00 a.m.), and December 2 (1:00 p.m.) in House Room C at the General Assembly Building.


    CASTLUpskilling the Early Care Workforce

    The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation is partnering with the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, to offer a free online course to early childhood educators interested in improving the quality of their teaching. Over the next two years, 200 teachers will be able to take advantage of this college-level course to boost their skills in teaching and motivating young children during the preschool years. The course, “Effective Classroom Interactions,” was developed by CASTL and is the first such course targeting the types of teacher-child interactions that are essential to children’s development and learning.  To be eligible for the course, participants are required to be employed as teachers at child care centers, preschools or family child care homes that participate in the Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI) — a voluntary program that assesses, improves and communicates the level of quality in early care and education settings. The first class of 100 is finishing the first semester this summer, and VECF is preparing to recruit a second class of 100 to begin the course in fall 2014.


    Early Childhood Investigations

    Early Childhood Investigations

    Early Childhood Investigations offers free webinars to early childhood educators. The series is produced by Engagement Strategies, LLC., and presented by leading authors, experts, and leaders. All of the webinars are recorded and may be viewed live or via recording.  Click HERE to register. Upcoming topics include:

    • 09/03/2014:   Empowering Teachers to Build Language and Literacy Through Strength-based Coaching, by Betty and Kori Bardige
    • 09/17/2014:   The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love and the Meaning of Life, by Alison Gopnik
    • 10/01/2014:   Powerful Interactions In Early Childhood Programs: How Teachers Connect with Children to Extend Their Learning, by Judy Jablon


    Save the Children

    Save the Children: Get Ready Get Safe Training Hub Courses

    Save the Children offers online courses for early childhood educators.  Take advantage of the FREE online Child Care Emergency Preparedness Training Workshop offered by Save the Children on its new website.  Over 500 providers have already taken the course and are using the information to create Preparedness plans to better protect children in their care.  The online workshop can be taken in your own time frame in the luxury of your home or center. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate for contact hours of professional development.  Right click here for additional information and to register.


    HVC logo

    Summer Professional Development from the Home Visiting Consortium

    The Home Visiting Consortium has space available in a number of upcoming professional development opportunities: For dates, locations and to register, please visit their website. 

    • Motivational Interviewing
    • SBIRT for Risky Health Behaviors
    • Family Engagement and Retention
    • Substance Use: Risks and Effect in Pregnancy and Early Childhood
    • Adult Mental Health


    VASCD logoEffective Strategies to Improve Children’s Abilities to Control their Behaviors and Emotions

    ​The Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASSCD) is offering a full-day workshop on October 9 in Williamsburg.  Teachers will learn about the importance of developing children’s self-regulation skills, and classroom-wide and individualized strategies that improve children’s ability to control (self-regulate) their behaviors and emotions in the classroom.  The workshop will focus on flexible and easy to implement strategies which reduce children’s disruptive behaviors (e.g. non-compliance, impulsivity, conflict).  Teachers will be provided with a menu of strategies and specific steps to implement in their classrooms, and will leave the session with activities that they can use in the classroom to gather information about children’s engagement and to inform their instruction.

    Then, in a half-day session on November 6, teachers will learn targeted strategies that can be used for students who present with particularly disruptive behavior. At this session, teachers will bring back data they have collected after the first session in order to receive individualized consultation and support on how to develop a behavior management plan for a particular child in their classroom.  Register for the first session only, or for both sessions.





  • Conferences

    Save the Date

    CCSS logoCreating Connections to Shining Stars 2015

    Mark your calendar for Creating Connections to Shining Stars 2015!  The conference is scheduled for July 8-10, 2015 at the Wyndham Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach.  This statewide conference will focus on evidence-based, quality, early childhood practices (birth through five). Sessions will include hot topics in the field of early intervention, care and early childhood/early childhood special education, such as: behavior, coaching in early childhood, curriculum and assessment, social-emotional development, infant mental health, and inclusive practices.

    Our keynote speaker is Dan Habib.  Dan Habib is a Filmmaker and Project Director of the Inclusive Communities Project at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, where he has worked since 2008. Previously, he was Photography Editor at the Concord Monitor from 1995 to 2008, where he was named National Photography Editor of the Year in 2006 and 2008.  Mr. Habib created a nationally broadcast film about his son, Including Samuel, and has made many other documentaries on topic related to disability and education. He received the Justice for All Grassroots Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities in 2013 and the Champion of Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association (New Hampshire) in 2012. In July 2014, he was appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.  Mr. Habib received a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

    DEC Conference Logo

    International Division for Early Childhood Conference

    Registration is open for the 2014 International Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children Conference.  The conference will be in St. Louis, Missouri on October 7-9, 2014.

    ei_institute_2014Early Intervention Institute

    The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia is sponsoring an Early Intervention Institute on October 14, 2014 in Charlottesville.   The Early Intervention Institute is designed as a professional development opportunity to provide EI practitioners with current, practical knowledge and skills related to the implementation of evidence-based practices with families of infants and toddlers.  The cost is $50 per person.  Click HERE for additional information and to register.

    HVC logo

    Home Visiting: Investing from the Start, Building for the Future

    Mark your calendar for the annual Virginia Home Visiting Conference.  It is planned for Tuesday October 28, 2014 at the Richmond Marriott Hotel.

    cec logo

    Virginia CEC 2014 Conference

    The 2014 Virginia Council for Exceptional Children Conference will be held at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center on October 17-18, 2014.  Join their dynamic keynote speaker, Rick Lavoie, in exploring the conference theme, Student Engagement.  Click here for additional information.

    naeyc logo

     2014 NAEYC Conference

    The next National Association for the Education of  Young Children (NAEYC) Conference will be in Dallas, Texas on November 5-8, 2014.  This is the world’s largest early childhood education conference with tens of thousands of educators in attendance.

    ASQ logo

    Virginia ASQ-3 Train the Trainer and Train the Coach Training

    The Ages and Stages Questionnaire Third Edition (ASQ-3) Train the Trainer and Train the Coach event is designed to increase the number of trained ASQ-3 trainers and coaches within the state. Trainers become part of regional cross-sector professional development teams being developed now in Virginia. Participants will learn strategies to train infant and toddler childcare providers to effectively use the ASQ-3. The ASQ-3 is a screening tool that is the most accurate, family-friendly way to screen children for developmental delays.  Training will be held in Northern Virginia on January 15- 16, 2015.  The application deadline is December 11, 2014.  Click here for additional information and the application.

    VAECE logoFuture VAECE Conferences:  Mark Your Calendar!

    The 2015 Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education(VAECEconference is planned for March 19-21, 2015 in Richmond.  The theme is “Don’t Stop Believin.’”  Contact Sara at 703.946.3413 for more information and the Call for Proposals.  The 2016 conference will be March 17-19 , 2016 also in Richmond.    

    SECA logo2015 Southern Early Childhood Association Conference

    Save the dates of January 15-17, 2015 for the 66th Annual Conference of the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA).  The conference will be held at the Astor Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.  The theme is The World from Our Front Porch: Community and Culture.  Click the link to access conference information and the Call for Proposals.

    Inclusion-Institute-Save-the-Date-2015_02015 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute

    The 2015 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute sponsored by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is scheduled for May 12-15, 2015 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    naeyc logoNational Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development

    The National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development is designed for professionals who prepare, mentor and train early childhood professionals.  Sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Institute is scheduled for June 7-10, 2015 in New Orleans.  Click the Institute link for information about the 2014 Institute and registration for 2015 when it becomes available.

    DEC new logo2015 Division for Early Childhood Conference

    The 2015 Division for Early Childhood Conference is planned for October 7-9, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email to dec@dec-sped.org.


  • Resources

    Sites that provide a broad array of early childhood professional development resources:

    Early Childhood Encyclopedia

    This Encyclopedia, published on the Internet, covers topics related to the development of the child, from conception to the age of five, and presents the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. The Encyclopedia is produced by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) and the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development (SKC-ECD)

    Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC)

    The ECLKC is a part of the Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) system designed to support Head Start  program staff in delivering high-quality, evidence-based  services to children and families.

    Early Childhood Personnel Development Center

    The ECPC is funded by the United States Department of Education to serve as a national resource on personnel standards, competencies, and recommended practices;  assist States in aligning personnel standards to national professional organization standards for personnel who serve children with disabilities and their families; assist state agencies and IHEs in partnering to align preservice and inservice training; and assist States to develop an integrated and comprehensive system of personnel development for all who those serve children (aged birth to 5) with disabilities and their families. The Early Childhood Personnel Center is a project of the A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

    The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

    The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center) is a national center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to support early intervention and preschool special education programs and practitioners. The ECTA Center assists states in building effective, efficient systems; scaling up and sustaining effective services; and, promoting research-based interventions for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities and their families. The Center is built upon the foundation of several successful OSEP-funded TA centers including NECTAC, TACSEI, CELL, and ECO.

    Frank Porter Graham Professional Development Center

    The Frank Porter Graham Professional Development Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers institutes and intensive workshops, online learning, technical assistance services, and study visits in areas related to child development and learning.  Evidence-based practices, research and evaluation methodologies, and systems building and change are among the subject areas.


    HighScope Educational Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit research, development, training, and public outreach organization with headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  HighScope’s mission is to lift lives through education.  Although much of their focus is on training to support those who use the HighScope Curriculum or assessments, many courses and workshops reflect best practice and are useful to anyone, regardless of the curriculum or assessments used.  Training includes online courses, workshops, and conferences.

    The IRIS Center

    Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the IRIS Center is headquartered at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Their primary objective is to create resources about evidence-based practices for use in preservice preparation and professional development programs. IRIS then disseminates and offers trainings on those resources. IRIS has resources on a wide range of topics including early intervention/early childhood, collaboration, and behavior management

    National Center on Child Care Professional Development Systems and Workforce Initiatives (PDW Center)

    ACF’s Office of Child Care (OCC) and Office of Head Start (OHS) created the PDW Center to work with Child Care and Development Fund grantees, Head Start/Early Head Start leaders, and their partners to design and implement professional development systems that align with other quality improvement efforts within and across early childhood and school-age settings, sectors, and systems. All of the PDW Center’s services and activities support OCC’s goal of improving teaching and learning through training and TA.

    QRIS National Learning Network

    The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) National Learning Network was formed by a coalition of states and organizations united in the desire to use rating and improvement strategies to elevate the quality of care in state early care and education systems and to support and improve children’s develop.

    Teaching Channel

    Teaching Channel is a video showcase — on the Internet and TV — of innovative and effective teaching practices in America’s schools.  The website includes access to videos, a newsletter, and a blog.   Teaching Channel is a non-profit organization.

    Teaching Strategies

    Teaching Strategies is an early childhood education company that provides innovative and effective curriculum, assessment, professional development, and family connection resources to programs serving children from birth through kindergarten.  Teaching Strategies offers products such as The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool and Teaching Strategies GOLD®.  Professional development options include books, videos, online coursework, in-person workshops, and an online CDA program.

    Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

    The  Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center provides information, resources and a broad range of professional development efforts specifically designed for early interventionists, students, families, faculty and all committed to ongoing learning. The Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center was created as part of Virginia’s Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) and is maintained by the Integrated Training Collaborative and the Partnership for People with Disabilities.

    Zero to Three

    ZERO TO THREE is a national nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and the know-how to nurture early development.


    Sites with a specific topical focus:


    Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center of Excellence (VCU ACE)


    The Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI)

    Center on Social Emotional Foundations in Early Learning (CSEFEL)  

    Early Childhood Mental Health Virginia

    Home Visiting

    Home Visiting Virginia

    Inclusion of Children with Disabilities

    CONNECT Modules



    Online training modules/courses/webinars:

    Child Care Aware of Virginia’s Online Training Academy

    Child Care Award (CCA) training courses are designed to help early childhood professionals complete annual training requirements and acquire required training hours for those seeking a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, CDA credential renewal, or in-service training.  Courses are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Early Childhood Investigations

    Early Childhood Investigations offers free webinars to early childhood educators. The series is produced by Engagement Strategies, LLC., and presented by leading authors, experts, and leaders.  All of the webinars are recorded and may be viewed live or via recording.  Topics include curriculum, child development, child care administration, technology, and many more!

    Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center 

    The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center)  is a national center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to support early intervention and preschool special education programs and practitioners.  They host and archive webinars regularly on topics including inclusion, autism, child outcomes, and evidence-based practices.

    National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning

    Join Head Start’s National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning on the fourth Monday of each month from 1–1:45 p.m. ET for a facilitated broadcast call on research and implications for practical application.  Guest presenters include well known researchers and other leaders.  Known as the Front Porch Series, these calls are archived for use anytime.

    Response to Intervention (RtI) in Early Childhood: Free Webinar Series

    How can you use RTI to help improve young children’s outcomes?  Learn about the role of tiered intervention in bolstering social-emotional, behavioral, and academic development in early childhood settings. Key leaders in the field offer sessions on progress monitoring and RTI, tiered instruction in early childhood settings, embedded instruction to support early learning in RTI frameworks, and preschool inclusion and RTI for children with disabilities.  Click the link to access free archived webinars.

    Save the Children: Get Ready Get Safe Training Hub Courses

    These free trainings help caregivers prepare for and respond to the needs of children in emergencies. Self-paced courses include: Child Care Emergency Preparedness, Child-Friendly Spaces, and Children First: What to Do When Disaster Strikes.


    Teachstone offers live and archived webinars related to the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) and improving teaching and learning through adult-child interactions.

    TED Talks

    TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues.

    World-Class Instructional Design and Assistance (WIDA): Early English Language Development

    This series of three webinars provides an in-depth view of each component of Early English Language Standards and implications for use as well as implementation in various early education and care programs. The webinar series was sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), in partnership with WIDA. Intended audience are Early Education and Care Partners who support young dual language learners (DLLs). Session topics are: Language in Play: Introduction to the Early English Language Development (E-ELD) Standards; Understanding Language Growth: The E-ELD Performance Definitions; and Playing with Language: Understanding and Using the Model Performance Indicator (MPI) Strands


    Links to early childhood workforce development and systems building resources: 

    BUILD Initiative 

    BUILD Initiative Report on Virginia’s Smart Beginnings

    The Nuts and Bolts of Building Early Childhood Systems through State/Local Initiatives


    Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

    Building Cross-Sector Professional Development Systems

     Developing and Implementing Cross Sector Competencies for Early Childhood Personnel

    Elements of a Professional Development System for Early Care and Education: A Simplified Framework


    National Association for the Education of Young Children

    NAEYC Early Childhood Professional Development: Adult Education Directory

    NAEYC Early Childhood Professional Development: Training and Technical Assistance Glossary

    Strategic Directions: Technical Assistance Professionals in State Early Childhood Professional Development Systems

    Workforce Designs: A Policy Blueprint for State Early Childhood Professional Development Systems


    National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices

    Building an Early Childhood Professional Development System


    New America Foundation

    Subprime Learning: Early Education in America Since the Great Recession

    Beyond Subprime Learning: Acclerating Progress in Early Education


    Society for Research in Child Development

    Investing in Our Future: The Evidence Base on Preschool Education


    United States Department of Education

    Toward the Identification of Features of Effective Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators – Literature Review


    United States Department of Education: Office of Early Learning

    Increasing Access to High Quality Early Childhood Education in Virginia


    Virginia Early Childhood Foundation

    Virginia’s Biennial School Readiness Report Card 2013

    Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Evidence Based Directory


    Sites for professional development resources:

    Association for Talent Development (ATD/ASTD)

    Formerly the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) , the Association for Talent Development (ATD)  is the world’s largest association dedicated to the training and development field.  Their mission is to empower professionals to develop knowledge and skills successfully.  Check out the free Trainer’s Toolkit App!


    Businessballs is a free ethical learning and development resource for people and organizations, run by Alan Chapman, in Leicester, England.  Businessballs includes  a wealth of teambuilding games, quizzes, video’s, posters of inspirational quotes, and much more.


    Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

    Creative Training Techniques: The Bob Pike Group

    The Bob Pike Group trains trainers in their interactive, participant-centered instructional system designed to ensure transfer of knowledge.  They offer a Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp, online webinars,  a conference, and a store of training resource materials.


    Dipity is a free digital timeline website. Their mission is to organize the web’s content by date and time. Users can create, share, embed and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location and timestamps.

    The eLearning Guild

    The eLearning Guild is a member-driven organization providing information, networking, and community for eLearning professionals. The Guild produces conferences, online events, eBooks, research reports, and Learning Solutions Magazine. Their goal is to create a place where eLearning professionals can share their knowledge, expertise, and ideas to build a better industry—and better learning experiences—for everyone.

    Making Training Stick

    This website provides support for trainers interested in increasing the transfer of training. Sign up for Sticky Notes, a free monthly e-newsletter providing tips and ideas, and take a look at the free icebreakers, closers, and other materials for trainers.

    Oriental Trading Company

    Oriental Trading Company is a great source for purchasing training tools and toys such as large dice, beach balls, koosh balls, awards, etc.


    Puzzlemaker is a free puzzle generation tool.  Create and print customized word search, criss-cross, math puzzles, and more-using your own word lists.

    Trainer’s Toolbox

    Trainer’s Toolbox is a publication of the  Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center,  a component of the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice located in Fairfax, Virginia.  The toolbox is a resource for icebreakers, closers, techniques for dividing groups or selecting a reporter, etc.  These ideas can be used with any type of professional development and are not specific to victims of crime.

    Trainer’s Toolbox

    This toolbox was developed by Human Resources at the University of California, Riverside.  Sections include designing a course, course template, activities, and icebreakers.

    Trainers Warehouse

    Trainers Warehouse offers hundreds of effective, innovative and fun products for trainers and educators.   Popular products that improve retention and make training more engaging include game show templates and buzzers, icebreaker and team-building games,”fiddles,” presentation software, debriefing tools, tactile memory joggers, and achievement rewards.

    Word Search Labs

    Word Search Labs is a free web application built by Matt Johnson.  Word Search Labs is the simplest way to build, print, share and solve word searches online.


    Wordle is a free online tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.


    Links to professional development strategy resources:

    Professional Development and Teacher Change by Thomas R. Husk

    Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, Vol. 8, No. 3/4, 2002


    Resources commonly used in Virginia:

    Ages and Stages Questionnaire

    Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

    Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals

    Environmental Rating Scales 

    Milestones of Child Development: A Guide to Young Children’s Learning and Development from Birth to Kindergarten

    Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)

    Preparing Virginia’s Preschool Children for School Success: Aligning Expectations and Measuring Quality

    Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds

    Virginia’s Preschool Curriculum Review and Rubric Planning Tool

    Virginia’s Quality Indicators for Responsive Teaching: Creating a High Quality Preschool Learning Environment

    Virginia Star Quality Initiative: Mentor Toolkit


    Sticky Walls:

    Sticky Walls may be purchased or made.  To buy a sticky wall, consider a purchase from the ICA Store at the Institute of Cultural Affairs or just search sticky wall in your search engine.   To make a sticky wall and for tips about usage, click here for instructions from the University of Arkansas Research and Extension.  VCPD members have also been successful creating a sticky wall from an inexpensive plastic table cloth (dollar store type).  You will need repositioning artists spray mount adhesive (such as 3M) available at office supply stores, and good quality masking tape to hang the sticky wall.


  • Welcome!

    Welcome from the The Virginia Cross-Sector Professional Development Team (VCPD). The VCPD promotes planning, implementation and evaluation of professional development with the intent to ensure coordination of all early childhood PD in Virginia. VCPD team members are committed to working together to build a unified system to support all families and their children (prenatal to age 5) in Virginia.