What is a career pathway?
All professions are defined by a set of competencies and shared knowledge and ECE (early childhood education) professionals included. ECE professionals may attain these competencies through various paths with the skills that are needed to care for and promote the learning of young children should be at the core of this knowledge, regardless. A career pathway is a tool to support the ECE profession in entering the field prepared for success while growing the existing professional’s capacity to move up in the field if they so desire.
Why a move to a career pathway system?
Career pathways define entry level qualifications and steps one can take to ensure they have the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to fulfill their desired role. The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) aims to support the growth and development of the workforce already in the field, build upon the expertise of our profession and create a statewide framework to govern these efforts. Establishing shared benchmarks through the career pathway levels helps to do this with predictability and reliability across the commonwealth, while still allowing for flexibility in how one qualifies at each level.
How do I find out what my Career Pathway level is?
Once an ECE professional uploads their staff qualifications into the PD Registry and that information is verified by The Pennsylvania Key staff, they will receive a notification that they have been placed on the Career Pathway. This will allow ECE staff to see where they currently are and lay out the opportunities for growth, if interested.
How do different degrees place on the Career Pathway?
For a full list of PA’s degrees that count as ECE Degrees or Equivalencies, visit the National Association of Education for Young Children’s degree finder.
For degrees not included in this directory but thought to be an ECE equivalent, verifiers will evaluate the transcript from the program and look for 30 ECE credits, as determined in the 2014 Teacher Quality Document 2.0.
Related degrees are as determined in the 2014 Teacher Quality Document 2.0. All credentials, certifications, or endorsements must be current to qualify. If not, Plus status may be lost.
Why is a PLUS level different?
A Plus level is achieved through either making significant progress towards the next Career Pathway Level or adding an OCDEL approved certificate/endorsement or credential in a specialized knowledge area.
What will happen to the career lattice?
ELRC’s will continue to use the Career Lattice for Keystone STARS designation and Education and Retention Awards until further notice. Additionally, early childhood educators that currently meet the expectation of particular career lattice level will be honored at that level by being grandfathered into the Career Pathway level that is the equivalent if verified within the determined timeline.
- Career Lattice Document (PDF)