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First Things First AZ Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies

First Things First and The BUILD Initiative invite you to provide comment on the DRAFT of the Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies.
This is your chance to review the proposed standards and provide your input on this critical document.

What is the Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies Framework?

The Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies Framework is the set of professional standards that identify the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for early childhood professionals across the sectors of early care and education, early intervention, mental health, physical health and social services/child welfare working with expectant parents, infants, toddlers, young children to age 8, and their families.

Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge & Competencies Framework

  Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies (DRAFT)

Where Do the Knowledge and Competencies Come From?

The Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies are drawn from what the professional community and research recognize as the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to work with young children and their families.

During 2012, a statewide group of early childhood stakeholders, convened by First Things First and functioning as a working group of The BUILD Initiative, engaged in a twelve-month collaborative planning process. The working group developed Arizona’s Early Childhood Professional Development Framework and Two-Year Strategic Plan to develop Arizona’s Early Childhood Professional Development System.
Many people from across Arizona worked to develop the knowledge and competencies, including professionals working in the field of early childhood care, education, and program development; officials from the Arizona Department of Education and other Arizona government agencies; professionals from colleges and universities; members of charitable foundations serving young children; and other relevant community members.
Numerous sources were consulted, including Arizona’s guidelines and standards, national health and safety standards, national professional recognition standards, and the professional development work of many other states.

Why Does Arizona Need a System of Early Childhood Professional Standards?

The Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies support and enhance the development of Arizona’s statewide professional development system. In order to meet the needs of early childhood professionals, from entry to advanced levels, this system must be consistent, accessible, and comprehensive.

Standards play a critical role in the early childhood professional development system. Early educators, professional development providers, faculty, and policy-makers must know what young children and their teachers are expected to know and be able to do, and what constitutes a high-quality program. When early childhood professionals have and use well-defined competencies, it means there is agreement about the roles and expectations of those working with young children. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Blueprint recommends that standards include educator competencies for all early childhood professionals regardless of role or work setting, and that policies regarding standards include language to ensure they are aligned and integrated with licensing and certification requirements across state agencies.

How Can You Help?

Review the DRAFT of the Arizona Early Learning Workforce Knowledge and Competencies and provide feedback on the REVISED career lattice by completing our survey.

Your Opinion Matters!

 There are two ways to provide your input on this critical document:

1.  Participate in the online survey between November 29-December 13, 2013

2.  Attend a focus group in your area.
If you would like to attend the Phoenix Focus Group on the 4th but can’t attend in person, you may join us virtually!  You just need to register by visiting .  Once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the meeting.  Please do NOT share or forward the link in your confirmation e-mail.  It will not work for multiple users.  Each user MUST register to receive a link for participation.


October 8th 
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Yuma Elementary School
District Board Room
450 Sixth Street
Yuma, AZ 85364

October 28th
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

United Way of Tucson and
Southern Arizona
Board Room
330 North Commerce Park Loop
Tucson, AZ 85745

 Light hors d’oeuvres will be served

December 4th
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

First Things First
Board Room
4000 North Central Avenue, Suite 800
Phoenix, AZ 85012

Parking and validation is available if you park at the lot on the corner of 1st Avenue and Indianola.  We are located Southwest of Indian School Road and Central Avenue.  Please bring your ticket with you to the meeting and present for validation.

 To join virtually register at:

Thank you for your help!