Create a Professional Development Plan

A professional development plan helps you set goals and take action in a way that is right for you.  Taking time to think about your work and develop goals can help you set yourself up for success. 

Whether you work  with young children and families or you work as a trainer, coach, consultant or mentor, a plan for your professional development is important. And we’re here to help.

Getting started

The first step is to know yourself as a learner and to be willing to ask yourself critical questions. We each carry our own ideas about ourselves, others, and what working with young children, families, or the early childhood workforce should look like.

These ideas are developed over time through our experiences and influence our practice.  It is important to check your practices through others’ point of view and consider:

  • Do I really know everything I need to know about working with young children, families, or the early childhood workforce?
  • Have I considered what others may think about my work?
  • What should I consider as areas of growth or new learning opportunities?
  • How will my new learning and new practice affect children, families or the early childhood workforce?

Using the reflection tool

We’ve created a tool for developing your individual professional development plan (IPDP) based on OEC’s core knowledge and competencies for early care and childhood professionals and the core knowledge and competencies for technical assistance providers.

The reflection tool is your personal guide for thinking. Choose the format that works best for you:

If you’re a supervisor and would like to talk with your staff about their professional development, the reflection IPDP tool may help.

Reflection tools

Make sure to follow best practices for reflective supervision and check out reflective supervision resources.

Use the reflection tool to engage in an a conversation about growth opportunities — not to evaluate your staff.

Last updated July 21, 2023