Professional Development for Early Years Community Developers


The updated Early Years Community Development Institute (EYCDI) Professional Development Handbook is designed to highlight the knowledge and skills that are required in one’s role as an early years community developer.

“Early years community developers work with communities to support families with young children by promoting the importance of the early years and facilitating community partnerships that make a positive difference for children.”


The guide reflects the wide scope of work done and the guiding principles behind the work. The guide offers role definitions, guiding principles, areas of knowledge, and required skills for five separate components of the work:

  • Leadership (involving both personal leadership and community leadership): “a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, and building trust among colleagues. It is a process that involves mobilizing, influencing and guiding others.”
  • Building and Strengthening Community Collaboratives: “growing and sustaining local and/or regional multi-agency, multi-discipline, cross-cultural community collaboratives who work together to improve services, supports and opportunities for very young children and their families.”
  • Community Awareness, Engagement and Education: “to actively and meaningfully learn from ad share information with different segments of the community to enhance knowledge, skills and behaviours that promote optimum child development opportunities.”
  • Research and Accountability: “the use of and participation in research to analyze situations, explore options, understand possible outcomes and is then able to justify decisions from a sound knowledge base.”
  • Understanding Political Context and Influencing Public Policy: “a critical component of early years development because it addresses the broad influences on children in society.”

The site also provides links to webinars on topics ranging from engaging specific communities to helping children and families thrive.