The Source for Learning: Early Childhood Education Professional Resources by State

Association for Early Learning Leaders

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is committed to excellence in the field of early childhood care and education by promoting leadership development and enhancing program quality. The Association for Early Learning Learners
is well known for their national child care center accreditation process known as the National Accreditation Commission (NAC). The organization also offers webinars and two annual conferences.

Free webinars and online training.

$100 plus:  Conferences

Bright Futures

Bright Futures is a national health promotion initiative dedicated to the principle that every child deserves to be healthy. Recommendations in the Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 4th Edition which includes the topics of healthy eating, physical activity and nutrition in the community is supported by guidelines, questionnaires, and assessments. The Bright Futures website also contains power point presentations, premedical visit checklists, and achieved webinars. There is no fee to download and print material. By navigating to the "One Step At a Time: Helping Young Children Be Active," child care providers can find lesson plan resources under "examples of structured play activities."

Free publications/resources and webinars.

CELLcasts, Center for Early Literacy Learning

The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) works to promote the use of evidence-based early literacy learning practices. The website has resources to use for children birth to five years of age, with identified disabilities, developmental delays, and those at-risk for poor outcomes. Videos, podcasts, and webinars are available to use as resources to help children develop early literacy skills. The website also has 8 x 11 inch posters that can be download and printed to use for family engagement.

Free publications/resources, videos, podcasts, and webinars.

Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation was created through a grant from the Office of Head Start. The center collects research on healthy mental development in a easy to read forum. The website offers "Creating Teaching Tools" to provide teachers with practical strategies to be successful in helping young children with problem behavior. Other materials that can be used to support young children in the classroom and other learning environments are also available including: classroom rules, stop signs, turtle techniques, visual schedules, scripted stories, and feeling faces. Materials for families engagement are also available. Teachers can also access lesson plan ideas for teaching children about friendship, emotions, and problem solving.

Free publications/resources.

Child Care Aware of America

Child Care Aware is a resource of child care information for parents and child care providers. The focus is to share information with parents on the types of child care available, paying for child care and how to look for quality care. The organization also has information for child care providers on starting an early learning program, budgeting, marketing, staffing, insurance needs, obtaining a business license, and background checks. The website also has various printable brochures on choosing care for children with special needs, choosing quality care, paying for care, and other parent information in English and Spanish.

Free publications/resources.

Child Trauma Academy

Child Trauma Academy (CTA) is a nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of high-risk children through direct service, research and education. CTA recognizes the crucial importance of childhood experience in shaping the health of the individual, and ultimately, society. By creating biologically-informed child and family respectful practice, programs and policy, CTA seeks to help maltreated and traumatized children. Publications and videos are accessible on the organization's website to provide assistance to children.

Free publications and videos.

Children's Learning Institute

The Children's Learning Institute (CLI) provides resources based on documented research and data in the fields of psychology, child development, neurodevelopment and education.

Free publications/resources.

Council for Professional Recognition

The Council for Professional Recognition administers the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program which assesses and credentials early childhood education professionals. There are four renewable CDA Credentials: Center Based Preschool, Center Based Infant-Toddler, Home-Based Family Child Care, and Home Visitor. Participants complete at least 120 hours of training with at least 10 hours in eight different subject areas, complete a portfolio, have a formal evaluation from a Professional Development Specialist, and complete a written test during the CDA process.

Free webinars.

$100 plus: CDA application fees.


Center on the Social Emotional Foundation of Early Learning (CSEFEL) is a national resource center funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau for disseminating research and evidence-based practices to early childhood programs across the country. CSEFEL is focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. Accessible publications and other resources are available on the organization's website.

Free publications/resources.

Early Childhood Investigations

Early Childhood Investigations is an ongoing series of free webinars for early childhood educators offered with the support of expert presenters and sponsorship from many organizations. The webinars are targeted to provide information to program leaders, however other early childhood educators are invited to participate. All live webinars are recorded so they can be accessed at a later time and date if the live presentation is not held at a convenient time for the participant.

Free webinars.

Early Childhood Teacher

Early Childhood Teacher is a resource for people interested in becoming early childhood educators. Resources and information are provided about careers in the field and opportunities.

Free publications/resources.

Early Educator Central

Early Educator Central is a resource developed by in partnership by the Office of Child Care and Office of Head Start. Early Educator Central offers face-to-face and online professional development opportunities that are aligned with CDA competencies as well as NAEYC accreditation. Clock hours, continuing education hours, and CEUs are all available. Training is available for teachers that are just starting out, as well as seasoned professionals that are leading early learning programs or developing curriculum. Publications and other resources are also accessible on the organization's website.

Free publications/resources, webinars, and online training.

Early Head Start National Resource Center

The Office of Head Start (OHS) administers grant funding and oversight to the agencies that provide Head Start services. OHS also provides federal policy direction and a training and technical assistance system to assist grantees in providing comprehensive services to eligible young children and their families. This website contains research information, policy statements, and recommendations for each state.

Free publications/resources.


Educare is an organization that has supported many early childhood programs throughout the United States. The Educare model is based on research from early childhood development, education, social work and other allied fields. The organization has many publications of evidenced-based studies and also offers professional development and coaching to other child development centers in the communities where there is an Educare location.

Free publications/resources and support.

Federal Child and Adult Food Program

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who are enrolled at participating in early learning programs.

Free publications/resources and videos.

For Our Babies

For Our Babies is a national movement promoting healthy development in U.S. children from conception to age 3. For Our Babies advocates for quality environments, experiences, and relationships that infants and toddlers need in order to thrive. For Our Babies advocates for the following: prenatal care, paid leave, well baby care, and quality infant and toddler care. Free resources and downloads are available on the organization's website.

Free publications/resources.


The Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) program works with early care and education programs to set preschool children on a lifelong path to healthy eating and activity. The NAP SACC team developed self-assessment, action planning, and educational tools to help early care and education programs set goals and make improvements to their nutrition and physical activity practices. Technical assistance providers trained as NAP SACC consultants used these tools to coach programs through NAP SACC’s 5-Steps to healthy change. The website also offers free self-assessment instruments in the following categories: Breastfeeding & Infant Feeding, Child Nutrition, Infant & Child Physical Activity, Outdoor Play & Learning, and Screen Time. After completing the self-assessment process, programs are encouraged to set goals to achieve better health outcomes.

Free publications/resources.


Healthy Child America

Kids Health has resources for families, educators, children, and teenagers. The website offers "Health Habits for Life" health curriculum for early childhood educators. "Healthy Habits for Life" has three parts: Get Moving!, Food and Drink to Grow On, and Every Day is a Healthy Day. Educators can also download a storybook about health to share with their class. School-aged teachers also have resources at their tips with mini clips about the function of body parts and "Human Body Series" Curriculum. Resources are available in English and Spanish. Some resources feature Sesame Street characters.

Free publications/resources and videos.


Innovative Resources for Instructional Success (IRIS) develops and provides online resources about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly for struggling learners and those with disabilities.

Free publications/resources and videos.

Keeping Babies Safe

Keeping Babies Safe is a nonprofit organization that provides education, assistance, advocacy and leadership in the development of safer children’s products and practices. Keeping Babies Safe helped foster the passage of national crib safety regulations and is working with manufacturers, retailers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban dangerous supplemental mattresses. The organization's primary goal is to educate parents and the public about protecting babies against unsafe sleep environments and preventing injuries associated with unsafe cribs. Keeping Babies Safe also partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission partnered to develop a national education campaign on sleep safety entitled “Safe Sleep (Environments) for Babies.” The website provides free materials for providers to print for staff and parents concerning safe sleep habits.

Free publications/resources.

Let’s Move! Child Care State Challenge

Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC) is part of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s 'Let’s Move!' initiative to prevent childhood obesity. LMCC encourages and supports child care and early education providers to make positive changes in their programs in order to work toward a healthier future for children. LMCC offers childhood obesity prevention resources and tools to assist early childhood educators. Best practices are outlined in five healthy goal areas: nurturing healthy eaters, providing healthy beverages, increasing physical activity, limiting screen time and supporting breastfeeding. The website offers providers the option of downloading and printing educational books to read to children about healthy habits. There are also printable resources for educators and families concerning drinking water and juice, reducing screen time, setting up breastfeeding areas for mothers, meal pattern requirements, and activity calendars to promote child exercise.

Free publications/resources.

McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership

The McCormick Center serves as a voice for the early childhood workforce by advocating for better working conditions and compensation, supporting emerging leaders from under-represented groups, and strengthening professional standards. They also host a National Leadership Conference annually and offer a National Director Credential.

$25 plus: Online courses

National Association for Family Child Care

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) sponsors the only nationally recognized accreditation system for family child care providers. The organization also sponsors an annual conference each summer. Publications and other resources are accessible on the NAFCC website.

Free publications/resources and webinars.

$45 plus: Online courses

National Association for the Education of Young Children

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. NAEYC is well known for its national early childhood program accreditation. The organization also offers face-to-face training in Washington DC, webinars, and two annual conferences. Members pay an annual membership fee to receive discounts on training and access to additional tools. Accessible publications and other resources on available on NAEYC's website.

Free publications/resources and webinars.

$100.00 plus: Conferences


National Children's Advocacy Center

National Children's Advocacy Center offers support and professional development opportunities for early childhood educators and other individuals who work with children who have experienced abuse.

Free webinars and online training.

National Early Childhood Program Accreditation

The National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1991 to encourage quality and recognize excellence through the accreditation process in early childhood programs. The organization also offers two renewable credential certificates: the NECPA National Administrator Credential and the Certified Child Care Professional Credential. The NECPA National Administrator Credential can be completed online or at a face-to-face training.

Free publications/resources.

$100 plus: Online courses

National Program for Playground Safety

The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) is a leader in research, training, and development of play areas in the United States. NPPS seeks to empower communities to create safe, inclusive, and high quality play areas for children through research-based advocacy and training. The goals of NPPS are: to raise community awareness of children's outdoor play areas, to advocate at the local, state, and national level for safe, inclusive, high quality play areas for children, and to educate professionals who are involved with children's play areas. Online training and on-site training is available for individuals looking to learn more about playground safety and earn certifications.

$30 plus: Online training

National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care

The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC) created and periodically updates "Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition (CFOC3)."  CFOC3 is a collection of 686 national standards that represent the best evidence, expertise, and experience in the country on quality health and safety practices and policies that should be followed in today's early care and education settings. NRC also works to prevent childhood obesity. After assessing child care regulations for all 50 states, the NRC published evidenced-based best practices to prevent obesity "Achieving a State of Healthy Weight."

Free publications/resources.

Parents Action for Children

Parents’ Action for Children is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded by actor/director Rob Reiner and his wife Michele. PAC’s I Am Your Child video series is available online, free of charge in English and Spanish to help parents and caregivers understand how to improve early childhood development. The videos are hosted by popular celebrities such as Gloria Estefan, Whoopi Goldberg and Jamie Lee Curtis and include parenting advice from leading child development experts such as Dr. Barry Brazelton. The website also offers booklets, also in English and Spanish, that can be downloaded and printed. Booklet titles include: Preparing for Parenthood, The First Years Last Forever, Discipline, Why Early Childhood Matters, To Be A Father, Your Healthy Baby, Quality Childcare, and Ready to Learn.

Free publications/resources and videos.

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age child care programs. QRIS award quality ratings to programs that meet a set of defined standards. Most states have a QRIS which leads each program through continuous quality improvement. The website offers many publications on quality indicators and access to all state QRIS descriptions.

Free publications/resources.

Rae Pica's Virtual Academy

Rae Pica has devoted herself to the development and education of the whole child for four decades. She is the author of over 20 books, a blogger, a keynote speaker, and an online course creator. As a consultant, she has shared her expertise with the Sesame Street Research Department, the Head Start Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, and Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues. Her website offers online training for novice as well as seasoned early childhood educators.

Rae's courses provide proactive solutions to dilemmas such as challenging behavior and disorderly transitions while supporting higher learning outcomes. We highly recommend early childhood educators visit Rae Pica's Virtual Academy and register for her featured courses.

$30-$100: Online Trainings

SECA Southern Early Childhood Association

Southern Early Childhood Education Association (SECA) brings together early childhood educators with the purpose of promoting quality care and education for young children at trainings and conferences. Accessible publications and other resources are available on SECA's website.

Free publications/resources and videos.

$70 plus: Conferences

The American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics mission is to attain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children and young adults. Publications and resource material is accessible on the organization's website.

Free publications/resources and advocacy.

The Care Courses School, Inc.

The Care Courses School Inc. offers distance-learning (book or online) courses delivered either via US mail or online format. There are many courses within the following broad topics: Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, School-aged Children, Introductory, Communications, Diversity, Health and Safety, Literacy, Mixed-Aged Groups, Special Needs, Social and Emotional Development, Directors and Administrators, STEM, and CDA. Child Care Providers work at their own pace with liberal deadlines to complete each course.

$12 plus: Distance learning courses

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

Since 2007, The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) has shared materials and webinars related to responsible fatherhood. Webinars focus on a range of programmatic topics, including working with specific populations, evaluation support, and program implementation tools. All webinars are recorded and archived for future viewing in the event a participant cannot join in for a live webinar.

Free webinars.

The Office of Child Care

The Office of Child Care (OCC) supports low-income working families by providing access to affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs. OCC administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and works with state, territory and tribal governments to provide support for children and their families to find child care programs that will fit their needs and that will prepare children to succeed in school. The OCC also provides support to child care licensing and quality improvement programs to meet higher standards and support early childhood educators to gain access to more training and education.

Free publications/resources and webinars.


WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd informs evidence-based child and family policies by meeting with politicians. Their main early childhood focus is to address needs and train early childhood educators on childhood mental health and social/emotional development. One of WestEd's many projects is the Parent Involvement Project (PIP). PIP is an innovative and multifaceted parent education program offered to school districts addressing the needs of underserved families beginning when children enter preschool. PIP enhances parent involvement through parent participation in their children’s classroom, parent education workshops, home visits, and enrichment activities. WestEd also provides professional learning and technical assistance on the following topics for childcare/pre-K classrooms: Dual-Language Solutions Institute: Promoting Bilingualism and Biliteracy for Students, Early Childhood Home Visiting Best Practices: Institutes and Customized Professional Learning, Infant/Toddler Care: On-Site and Online Professional Learning for Providers — Partners for Quality, Next Generation Assessment: Early Childhood, Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) Trainer Institutes: Train-the-Trainer Certification for Trainers of Infant/Toddler Care Teachers, and Reading to Learn: A Pre-K-12 Schoolwide Approach to Supporting Literacy Development and Academic Achievement.

Fee-based customized technical support and courses.

Zero to Three

As a part of the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning, Zero to three's focus is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. Zero to Three offers podcasts, articles, and other resources to help teachers educate children and their families so that all infants and toddlers can live up to their potential. Resources are free to download. In addition, Zero to Three politically advocates for children and the families of young children. Zero to Three offers continuing education for early childhood educators in many formats including an annual conference, webinars, customized training, and technical support services. Educators must contact Zero to Three directly for cost information.

Free publications/resources, advocacy, and online training.

Fee-based, customized face-to-face trainings.