Welcome to our listing of Early Childhood Education and Training 
opportunities in South Dakota
Why become an Early Childhood Educator?

 Because you can demonstrate compassion, integrity, confidence and humor and if you love making a difference in the lives of children and families.

                        Because you can facilitate relationship building!

                                                    Because no day at work is ever the same!

Because Early Childhood teachers work with children at the start of their educational journey and you can be a Role Model!


Pathways to Professional Development
South Dakota Pathways to Professional Development is a statewide project recognizing those who work in child care, preschool, Head Start, Out-of-School Time and other programs serving the needs of children and families and may include practitioners with entry-level education or advanced degrees.

The goal of the Pathways project is to support those who actively pursue ongoing educational opportunities and professional commitments to the field. Participants can choose to participate by meeting the requirements of Levels I through VII of the Career Lattice.

Level 1- Introductory Informal Education

Level 2- Advanced Informal Education

Level 3- Professional Credential

Level 4- Apprenticeship or Higher Education Coursework

Level 5- Early Childhood Associate’s Degree

Level 6- Baccalaureate Degree

Level 7- Master’s and Doctoral Degree

Professional Training Areas
The following 15 categories represent professional training that all practitioners should receive in order to provide for the unique developmental needs of the children, youth and families they serve. Within each of these broad categories, various topics can be addressed and easily tracked for those enrolled in the Pathways to Professional Development Career Lattice.

  1. Child growth and development
  2. Child abuse and neglect
  3. Guidance and behavior management
  4. Observing children
  5. Identification and prevention of communicable diseases
  6. Program health and safety
  7. Nutrition for children
  8. Program management and regulation
  9. Interpersonal communication and relationships
  10. Cultural diversity
  11. Learning environments
  12. Age-appropriate planning
  13. Professionalism
  14. Partnerships with parents
  15. Inclusion of all children