ECE competencies mapping toolECE Competencies

The California Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Competencies describe the knowledge, skills and dispositions that early childhood educators need in order to provide high quality care and education to young children and their families.

The California ECE Competencies are organized into twelve overlapping areas: (1) Child Development and Learning; (2) Culture, Diversity and Equity; (3) Relationships, Interactions, and Guidance; (4) Family and Community Engagement; (5) Dual-Language Development; (6) Observation, Screening, Assessment, and Documentation; (7) Special Needs and Inclusion; (8) Learning Environments and Curriculum; (9) Health, Safety, and Nutrition; (10) Leadership in Early Childhood Education; (11) Professionalism; and (12) Administration and Supervision. The term early childhood educator includes everyone responsible for the care and education of young children.

Several sections make up each of the competency areas. The sections are: Competency Area; which organizes knowledge, skills, and dispositions that collectively define an essential component of effective, high-quality early care and education practice, Introduction; which provides a brief overview of the competency area, Key Concepts; which are based on theory, research, and practice around which the content of a competency area is organized, Dispositions; which focus on the attitudes, values, approaches to learning, and motivational factors that contribute to an individual’s overall development in a competency area, Performance Areas; which organize the knowledge and skills within a competency area into a small number of sub-areas or topics, Topics; which identify specific knowledge and skills within a performance area, and Competency Contexts; four interrelated spheres of responsibility describe knowledge, skills, actions, and scope of responsibility for each topic within a performance area. The competency contexts are: Supporting Early Learning and Development; Planning and Guiding Early Learning and Development; Creating and Maintaining Program Policies and Practices; and Advancing the Early Childhood Profession.

"I think this gives our instructors a much better sense of what to expect from their students and where they're going." - Diane Harkins