February 23, 2018

Core Competencies

(Excerpts from the Core Competencies Book, 2011)

What are core competencies?


The Core Competencies for Early Childhood and Youth Development Professionals (Kansas and Missouri) is a framework that defines the standards for early childhood and youth development professionals. They set the expectations for professionals who care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children, and older youth.


8 Content Areas

The Core Competencies are organized into eight Content Areas, each providing specific standards that help professionals learn to fully include children and youth with various ethnic, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds — as well as diverse needs and abilities.


   I. Child and  Youth Growth and Development

  II. Learning Environment and Curriculum

 III. Observation and Assessment

 IV. Families and Communities

  V.  Health and Safety

 VI. Interactions with Children and Youth

VII. Program Planning and Development

VIII. Professional Development and Leadership


5 Levels

Each Content Area is divided into five levels of skills. These levels outline the knowledge essential in providing quality programming, and establishing a continuum from preliminary skills (Level 1) to an advanced level of skills (Level 5). The five levels are intended to be cumulative — with knowledge and skills in one level required before moving to the next higher level. This development generally progresses from knowing and following, to planning and implementing, to eventually analyzing and evaluating program and practices. As professionals gain knowledge and skills through work experience and formal education/training, they will advance through the five levels in each Content Area. Depending on a professional’s role, setting, or experience—he or she may have skills at varying levels in different areas.


To learn more about the Core Competencies download the entire framework here.