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Core Competencies

Nebraska’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals

Core Competencies are what all adults who work with children need to know, understand, and be able to do. Following this voluntary guide will provide practical, usable and reasonable goals to assist early childhood educators in supporting each child’s development and school readiness in any setting or capacity.

Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised) was used to guide the revision of the Nebraska Core Competencies. The four levels advance in difficulty as each builds upon the previous one. There is an expectation that a person working at any level should have the skills of the previous levels in that specific area. This framework provides a roadmap for professional learning design. It does not equate to any specific credential, license, or certification


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: Nebraska’s birth to five learning and development standards (ELGs) and Nebraska’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals

The Early Learning Guidelines provides guidelines on what children should know, understand, and be able to do while the Core Competencies focus on the skills and methods adults use to support children in reaching their fullest potentials.


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. Relationships and Social-Emotional Guidance
F. Observation, Documentation, and Assessment
G. Partnerships with Families and Communities
H. Professionalism and Leadership
I. Administration, Program Planning, and Development

Self-Assessment and Professional Development

To assist educators toward achieving their professional goals, a self-assessment tool is included. It will help to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Once areas for growth are identified then resources and professional development opportunities can be explored in order to meet those needs.

Self-Assessment Tool


Training opportunities offer a deeper understanding of how to use the competencies and will guide the user in creating their own professional development plan. The self-assessment tool will be explained in more depth.

Copies & Publications

Digital Download of Nebraska’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals (2019)
Hard Copy Order Form (Coming soon!)


For further information about Nebraska’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals, please contact the Early Childhood Training Center at, 1-800-892-4453.


Updated June 13, 2019 8:09am