Professional Development

*New* Virtual Learning Resource

It’s difficult to have professional development experiences in the traditional classroom these days.  With that in mind, we’ve provided some simple tips to help make the virtual learning experience as positive and productive as possible.


Leap Early Learning Partners offers a diverse and evolving catalog of trainings throughout the region to help professionals meet their career goals and the annual training requirements established by Bright from the Start:  Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Each month, we publish a new training calendar and e-mail a hard copy to every licensed and registered child care program in our region.  Each calendar includes training events as well as other helpful information such as professional development news, tips and best practices.  As trainings are scheduled, we update our events calendar online and share the updates via email. If you would like to be included in training updates, let us know!  Please include your name, child care program name and county of residence.

In addition to trainings offered by Leap Early Learning Partners, there are many approved trainers and trainings available around the state.  Georgia Professional Development System for Early Childhood Educators maintains a searchable database of every approved trainer and training and is the definitive source for statewide training opportunities. Read Right from the Start (Rollins Center for Language & Literacy) also offers free online courses for Bright from the Start credit. To access and download the Post Training Plans for the Read Right from the Start trainings, please visit our downloads page.

Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

In addition to “traditional classroom training,” Leap Early Learning Partners is equipped and ready to provide PLCs across our region.  Learn more here.

Credentials, Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees

Professional development doesn’t begin or end with training. There are many reasons to consider taking the next professional step towards a credential, certificate, diploma or degree. It can all be confusing or even overwhelming, but there are many reasons to take that next step!

Child Development Associate (CDA)
According to the Council for Professional Recognition, the CDA “is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE.”  Because of the national recognition, the CDA can be a good option for those who have plans to move to a different state and provide child care in the near future.

The CDA is available through Augusta University’s Division of Professional and Community Education.  After visiting the link, you can find other CDA instructors in Georgia through the Georgia Professional Development System for Early Childhood Educators as well as others that are identifiable through the Council’s list.

Technical Certificate of Credit (TCC)
Technical Certificates of Credit are a great option for professionals who wish to meet Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning professional education requirements, while also having the option to later continue their studies towards a diploma or degree in early childhood.  Coursework and class settings vary among the technical colleges throughout the state.

Early Childhood Diplomas and Degrees
Many professionals, upon completing their TCC, decide to continue their studies in the form of a diploma or degree program.

Financial Assistance

In these and previously-mentioned areas of study, professionals should know of the SCHOLARSHIPS program.  This is an education assistance program funded by Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning for those seeking TCC and higher level degrees.

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning also supports professional development and retention through the INCENTIVES and AWARDS programs.  INCENTIVES is a program that promotes increased levels of study along with commitment to remaining employed with a child care program for a minimum amount of time.  AWARDS is a time-limited program that provides a financial bonus to teachers who raise their level of education.