What is it?

The Professional Development Approval System:

  • 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 at a Level 4 or higher. 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, a correspondence course that is no longer available. Part 1:0 Foundations for Trainers and Part 2: Training Stragegies are the new courses that will be available, through Childcaretraining.org, by late spring or early summer 2019. 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.

Professional Development Specialist Recommendation Form

Professional Development Specialist Agreement

Code of Ethical Conduct

Training Approval

This information is for Montana sponsors of training who use our system to have training approved in Montana.

To view step-by-step instructions please see the Course & Event 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 is equvivalent to 15 hours of training that can be verifed with a copy of a college transcript. If you are not sure that your course will qualify for approval, contact the ECP. 

Distance Learning Training Approval

Individual Request for Training Approval

Some professional development opportunities such as national or regional conferences, special events, and other training events may not have been ECP approved prior to the event.  Individuals have the option to submit for approval of these events by completing an Individual Request for Training Approval online. Documentation of attendance must be uploaded and this process must be completed within 3 months of the event. After review and approval, the event will be added to your Professional Development Record. For more information about how to submit this form, click link below.
Individual Request for Training Approval User Guide


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

Find Montana Early Childhood Project on Facebook