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, as a correspondence course, 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.

Training Approval

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

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
Below find instructions for submitting Distance Learning courses to us for review. You will also find the Supplemental Application which is also embedded in the actual Training Approval Application for you. You will also find our scoring rubric below so that you can see how each course will be scored

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

Some professional development opportunities such as national/regional conferences, special events, and other training events 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 online with uploaded documentation of attendance 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 find and submit the form, click link below.
Individual Request for Training Approval User Guide



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

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