What is it?

The Professional Development Approval System includes the following:

  • Provides the Montana Early Care and Education Knowledge Base as a foundation.
  • Identifies Professional Development Specialists based upon specific qualifications in early childhood and adult learning.
  • Encompasses a process to review, approve and identify learning opportunities for early childhood practitioners.

Professional Development Specialist (PDS)

Professional Development Specialists develop and facilitate training throughout Montana.  To learn more, review the PDS Framework in the Resources box.  The first step is to be current on The Practitioner Registry/Career Path at a Level 4 or beyond. All ECP approved events must identify a PDS or Specialty Trainer as part of the application process. 

To view a step-by-step instructions view the PDS User Guide on the right side of this page under Resouces!.

The Professional Development Specialist Framework references Trainer Basics (15 hours/1 credit) which is a correspondence course that enrolls in the spring and fall. Adult Learning I and II (6 hours each/ 1 credit option with additional assignments) are face-to-face trainings offered in the spring and fall in Bozeman.

Professional Development Solutions is a publication designed specifically for Professional Development Specialists and offers tips and suggestions for effective, quality instruction and facilitation. Visit ECP Publications.

Training Approval

This information is for Montana sponsors of training who use our system to get training approved in Montana. As of January 12, 2014 all training will go through a new, enhanced application process. Below you will find a link to a recorded WebEx that will walk you through the new process. In addition, you will find a link to a step-by-step guide which you can print and use as a reference when, not only planning for training, but for the entering of training for approval.

WebEx recording: https://earlychildhoodproject.webex.com/earlychildhoodproject/lsr.php?RCID=359a12025e22b230a5eb83bd8db1654e

To view a step-by-step instructions view the Training Approval User Guide

This process scrutinizes training (non-college credit) in the early care and education Knowledge Base content areas and the National Child Development Associate (CDA) competency areas.  All agencies, organizations, and individuals sponsoring training for early childhood practitioners may apply for approval through the ECP.  When training is approved through this process attendance is recorded on individual Professional Development Records (PDR).

College courses taken from regionally accredited colleges and universities that are related to early care and education Knowledge Base content areas may also count towards required annual training hours. Each semester credit completed equals 15 hours of training that can be documented with a copy of your transcript. If you are not sure that your course will qualify for approval, contact the ECP. 

Distance Learning Training Approval
As of January 13, 2015 the ECP will launch this Distance Learning Training Approval application as a pilot process. The ECP will be reviewing and modifying any changes or updates to this process in June 2015.

Instructions: Early Childhood Distance Learning Approvals

Supplemental Distance Learning Course Application- Additional information for Distance Learning training applicants to supplement the online application process.

Scoring Rubric Link-Information on how your application will be scored.

Individual Request for Training Approval

Training including national/regional conferences, special events, and other learning opportunities may not have been ECP approved prior to the event.  Individuals have the option to submit to the ECP for approval of these events by completing an Individual Request for Training Approval form with documentation of attendance within 90 days of the event.    

The Individual Request for Training Approval form is available in the Resources box.


Frequently Asked Questions Document Link

Early Childhood Project-MSU
PO Box 173540
Bozeman, MT 59717

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