Skip to content
Printer-friendly version

California Early Childhood Educator Competencies


California Early Childhood Educator Competencies (PDF; 2MB)

The California Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Competencies describe the knowledge, skills and dispositions that early childhood educators need in order to provide high quality care and education to young children and their families. The California ECE Competencies are organized into twelve overlapping areas: (1) Child Development and Learning; (2) Culture, Diversity and Equity; (3) Relationships, Interactions, and Guidance; (4) Family and Community Engagement; (5) Dual-Language Development; (6) Observation, Screening, Assessment, and Documentation; (7) Special Needs and Inclusion; (8) Learning Environments and Curriculum; (9) Health, Safety, and Nutrition; (10) Leadership in Early Childhood Education; (11) Professionalism; and (12) Administration and Supervision. The term early childhood educator includes everyone responsible for the care and education of young children.

The California ECE Competencies are research-based, and are aligned with the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations to guide professional development and related quality improvement activities.

This revised version of the California ECE Competencies now includes a second section (Focus 2) that displays the same information found in Focus 1 in an alternate grid format. The Focus 1 section gives us a grid-format chapter for each of the 12 competency areas (12 chapters). The Focus 2 section provides an alternate grid chapter for each of the 4 competency contexts (4 chapters).

Development of the California ECE Competencies began in June 2008 in collaboration with First 5 California, and has involved expert advisors including representatives from the California Community Colleges and California State University systems to ensure that the competencies are based on current research and practice.

ECE Competencies Videos

An Introduction to Early Childhood Educator Competencies External link opens in new window or tab. (6:42)

Child Development and Learning External link opens in new window or tab. (16:32)
This video addresses “Knowledge About Child Development and Learning” and “Facilitating Child Development and Learning.”

Culture, Diversity, and Equity External link opens in new window or tab. (16:49)
This video addresses “Respect for All Differences and Similarities,” “Culturally Responsive Approaches,” “Culture and Language Development and Learning,” and “Culturally Inclusive Learning Environments.”

Relationships, Interactions, and Guidance External link opens in new window or tab. (19:44)
This video addresses “Supporting Children’s Emotional Development,” “Social-Emotional Climate,” and “Socialization and Guidance.”

Family and Community Engagement External link opens in new window or tab. (19:11)
This video addresses “Communication with Families,” “Relationships with Children and Families,” and “Community Resources.”

Dual-Language Development External link opens in new window or tab. (20:52)
This video addresses “Dual-Language Program Models and Strategies,” “Development of the Home Language and of English,” “Observation and Assessment of Young Dual-Language Learners,” and “Relationships with Families of Dual-Language Learners.”

Observation, Screening, Assessment, and Documentation External link opens in new window or tab. (19:25)
This video addresses “Observation,” “Screening and Referral,” “Assessment,” “Documentation,” and “Interpretation, Planning, and Implementation.”

Special Needs and Inclusion External link opens in new window or tab. (12:39)
This video addresses “Philosophy, Policies, and Practices,” “Developmentally and Individually Appropriate Practice,” “Collaboration with Families and Service Providers,” and “Environmental Access and Adaptive Equipment.”

Learning Environments and Curriculum External link opens in new window or tab. (21:26)
This video addresses “Curriculum and Curriculum Planning,” “Environments, Schedules, and Routines,” and “Strategies to Support Learning and Development.”

Health, Safety, and Nutrition External link opens in new window or tab. (17:32)
This video addresses “Environmental Health and Safety,” “Emergency Preparedness,” “Nutrition,” “Response to Health Requirements,” “Child and Family Health,” and “Physical Activity.”

Leadership in Early Childhood Education External link opens in new window or tab. (22:00)
This video addresses “Systems and Change Development,” “Adult and Community Development,” and “Advocacy and Policy Formation.”

Professionalism External link opens in new window or tab. (19:42)
This video addresses “Professional Development,” Professional Conduct and Behaviors,” “Competence in a Specialized Body of Knowledge,” and “Pedagogy.”

Administration and Supervision External link opens in new window or tab. (15:02)
This video addresses “Program Planning, Development, and Operations,” “Human Resources,” and “Organizational Systems, Policies, and Procedures.”

Return to Top

Related Content
Questions:   Child Development Division | ececomp@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6233
Download Free Readers