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Nebraska's Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals

What Are Core Competencies/What is Core Knowledge?

Core Knowledge and Core Competencies are what all adults who work with children need to know, understand, and be able to do to support children’s development and school readiness. They provide a broad categorization of knowledge and skills that apply across all roles in the early care and education field.

Nebraska’s Core Competencies Are Voluntary

The competencies, skills, and levels described are voluntary for those working in the early care and education field. Program directors, teachers, family child care home providers and others are encouraged to use Nebraska’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals as they find helpful.

Relationship Between Early Learning Guidelines and Core Competencies

Nebraska developed voluntary Early Learning Guidelines for children ages birth to three and for children ages three to five. The Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines were developed to describe what children need to learn and be able to do and how adults can support that learning. The Early Learning Guidelines is a resource to assist adults working in early childhood in their planning of meaningful learning experiences for young children. The Core Competencies are Nebraska’s description of the knowledge and skills adults, who work with children from birth to age five, need to develop over years of experience and/or through a course of study.

Early Learning Guidelines are what children should know, understand, and be able to do.

Core Competencies are what adults who work with children should know, understand, and be able to do to support children in reaching desired outcomes.

Nine areas of knowledge and skill in Nebraska's Core Competencies

A. Child Growth and Development
B. Health, Safety and Nutrition
C. Learning Environments
D. Planning Learning Experiences and Curriculum
E. Interacting with Children and Providing Guidance to Children
F. Observation, Assessment, and Documentation
G. Partnerships with Families and Communities
H. Professionalism and Leadership
I. Administration, Program Planning and Development

Nebraska’s Core Competencies Resources

Working document of the Core Competencies
Self Assessments
Booklet of level one Core Competencies
Suggested ways for individuals to use the Core Competencies
Suggested ways for programs to use the Core Competencies
Professional Development Plan
Professional Development Record

For more information about Nebraska's Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals, contact Terry Rohren, 402-557-6894.