TSR Connect

March/April 2019

relevant research

Building Your Career Pathway

In 2013, a joint project between the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office (THSSCO) and the Texas Early Learning Council initiated a new statewide program to support early childhood professionals, by providing them with resources and tools to help meet their professional development needs. The Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS), the result of this combined effort, was designed with web-based features that enhance the state’s professional development opportunities and career development for the early childhood workforce. Housed in the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) and funded as a partnership between the CLI and the THSSCO, TECPDS now provides support to over 13,000 registered professionals, and is quickly gaining new users across the state.

Early childhood professionals use the tools and resources on TECPDS to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to best serve young children and their families, and to understand what steps to take in order to progress in their careers. Continued use of this robust professional development system will ultimately improve the quality of the early childhood workforce as a whole, supporting school readiness outcomes for young children throughout the state.

The TECPDS platform is unique in that it serves everyone working in the field of early childhood, regardless of their role, sector, or level of experience. TECPDS continues to enhance available features and expand the array of professional development opportunities to better meet the needs of a variety of professionals. Comprised of interconnected elements that are accessible anytime through the internet, TECPDS is an ideal system to support you in building your personal career pathway.

Texas Workforce Registry

This web-based database allows you to store and access your education and employment history, as well as the professional development hours you have accrued. A single and secure storage location, the Texas Workforce Registry offers free accounts available in two types.  

The Practitioner Account is ideal for you if you are a teacher, assistant teacher, specialist, or coach/mentor at an early childhood program. It is also appropriate if you are interested in starting your career in the early childhood field. With your free account, you can:

  • Create an online record of your professional development, education, and work experience
  • Link your personal profile to your center/school
  • Access professional development resources, including links to online training and scholarship opportunities for degrees/credentials
  • Learn your career lattice level, which will provide tips on how to advance your career

The Center Director Account is appropriate for you if you are the director or administrator of an early childhood program. With this account, you can:

  • Create an online record of your staff's professional development and qualifications
  • Track the education, professional development, and work experience for you and your staff
  • Search trainings offered by registered Texas trainers to meet the needs of your program
  • Access a job board to post open positions and find qualified staff
  • Use reports to guide compensation and promotion decisions in your program

Career Lattice

By entering your education, professional development, and work experience, this tool identifies where you are in your progression from entry level and up. It allows you to reflect on your progress and assists in creating and implementing your individualized professional development plan. The Career Lattice helps you to assess your knowledge and skills, prioritize specific areas for growth, set goals, and identify resources to support your plan.

Core Competencies

These are concepts, practices, and knowledge that all early childhood practitioners and administrators must know and be able to demonstrate in order to be effective in facilitating children’s growth and development. To help you obtain this foundational knowledge, you can download full Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators documents in English and Spanish. To further support your understanding, CLI Engage offers separate self-paced Core Competencies trainings for practitioners and administrators. Utilizing these resources will put you on the path to skill mastery.

Job Board

This tool allows program administrators to post open positions currently under recruitment, and is available for review by anyone who visits the website. You can use the Job Board to search for early childhood job openings throughout the state.

Professional Development Resources

TECPDS provides additional links to professional development resources that are relevant to anyone who works with young children, as well as resources specific to trainers, and a list of web links to organizations/agencies in Texas that either provide or regulate professional development for this field. You can review these resources to discover funding opportunities, identify colleges/universities offering early childhood programs, connect with early childhood associations, and much more.

Texas Trainer Registry

This statewide voluntary system approves early childhood trainers and their trainings, and offers resources for those who deliver training to the early childhood workforce. The Texas Trainer Registry offers two types of accounts.

The Non-Registered Trainer Account is a free account for those that train but are not approved by TECPDS to train under Child Care Licensing’s Trainer Requirements. This account provides trainers with access to the new Certificate Generation Tool. If you provide staff training, you can use the tool to help you create sign-in sheets, track attendees, and automate the generation of certificates of completion.

The Registered Trainer Account requires completion of the Texas Trainer Application to verify the trainer’s qualifications to provide trainings to child care providers across the state. If you are responsible for staff development, you can use the Texas Trainer Registry as a resource to search for a vetted trainer and to locate trainings that will benefit your staff.

Together the complementary components comprising TECPDS offer many opportunities for positive impacts in early childhood professional development across our state. Visit https://tecpds.org to learn more about these features, and how you can benefit from these resources.

Teacher sitting at computer      Trainer sitting with teacher in front of computer

teaching tips

  • Create a Texas Workforce Registry account to store professional experience and education information in this free records repository. Keeping all such records stored in a single place makes location and retrieval of data easy when needed. Use the simple document upload and data entry features to input everything from resumes to work notes. A comprehensive collection of your personal portfolio can be amassed quickly and securely stored, safe from physical damage or possible loss.
  • Connect your personal profile to your center/program for richer data collection used in state-wide reporting.
  • Use Find My Career Lattice to identify and track your career lattice level. Evaluate your career development and progress and learn about opportunities to advance by building your experience and quality of your teaching. Professional development reports can also be run by Center Directors to assist their staff with development determinations. In addition, Center Directors have the ability to run reports on all of their affiliated staff.
  • Texas School Ready staff may request validation of records from TECPDS so your career lattice level and professional development reports will reflect “validated” data versus “self-reported” information. An added bonus of validation is faster document review during Texas Rising Star evaluations.
  • Download and review the Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Administrators and Practitioners document available on TECPDS. Complete the administrators or practitioners online Core Competencies training modules on CLI Engage to earn certificates of completion.

notable news

  • Texas Workforce Registry accounts became freely available to all early childhood professionals in 2018.  To take advantage of this valuable set of resources and to begin the registration process for creating an account, visit the Texas Workforce Registry page on TECPDS.
  • Teachers, Principals, and Center Directors can use the opt-in instructions on CLI Engage to create a new Texas Workforce Registry account. Following step five in the instructions will enable an opt-in prompt that allows the two accounts to be linked. This linkage integrates the data exchange of professional development earned on CLI Engage and automatically stores the earned certificates inside the Texas Workforce Registry account.
  • Through generous funding, the Texas Trainer Registry recently began offering Non-Registered Trainer Accounts at no charge. Everyone conducting trainings, including Center Directors and Program Administrators, are invited to create a free account that offers access to helpful training tools. Registered Trainers will benefit from additional services and are assessed a modest annual fee to help offset operational expenses. Visit the Texas Trainer Registry page to learn more and to apply.
  • All trainers with TECPDS accounts have access to a new feature known as the Certificate Generation Tool. All professionals in the field who are providing early childhood training can use the new tool to create standardized certificates that contain all of the information needed for Child Care Licensing and Texas Rising Star (TRS) verification. Both Non-Registered and Registered Trainers have the ability to generate certificates and share with training attendees directly through the tool. This tool simplifies certificate generation and distribution, while also producing sign-in sheets that use QR code technology for fast attendance tracking.

recommended resources

CLI Engage Website

Texas School Ready Website

Children's Learning Institute Website

Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines

Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines

Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS)


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