Professional Development Institute at Educare Arizona

Improving early childhood education quality and practice for better child outcomes


The vision and purpose of the Professional Development Institute (PDI) is to serve as the state’s leading early learning professional workforce development entity.


A centralized institute at Educare Arizona brings all of the components needed for high-quality early childhood education (ECE) professional development to one place. It also acts as a living laboratory that includes the opportunity for direct observation of high-quality teaching practices and environments, hands-on learning focused on individual teacher and/or director professional development needs, innovative technical assistance offerings for professionals, and ongoing ECE practice-embedded research studies.


Components include:


    • Highly-educated and experienced teaching and coaching staff


    • Strong relationships with the major public and private players in Arizona’s ECE system, including government entities, community colleges and universities, independent researchers, ECE providers and community-based organizations


    • A place for early childhood education teachers and leaders to observe the delivery and impact of high-quality programs and environments


    • Coaching and embedded learning in classroom activities and routines


    • Internships and practicum opportunities


    • Distance learning programs


    • Opportunities for professionals to network and build a community of practice


Areas of Focus for Early Childhood Professionals




Family Engagement


Early Communication, Language and Literacy


Equity in Early Childhood

Serving as an extensive knowledge hub of tools and resources that support the needs of the early care and education field, current programs include:


    • Family Engagement 2.0: Focus primarily at the teacher/classroom level on family engagement and teaching practices to promote children’s social emotional development and effective communication with families


    • Director Leadership Program: Prepare early care and education program leaders to enter and work successfully in a quality initiative program


    • Early Childhood Business Solutions: Training and consultation for early care and education professionals in best business practices. Training and technical assistance are linked to the use of child care management software that allows directors to track and monitor the business metrics to support long-term fiscal stability, including ensuring full enrollment, collecting tuition and fees in full and on time, and ensuring revenue cover per-child cost. Learn more at


    • Journey Through Books: Build capacity of early care and education providers to support children’s early language and literacy development


    • Quality First Academy: Build capacity in technical assistance providers and develop systemic collaborations


    • Q3 Quality Improvement: Supports quality improvement initiatives for early care and education centers that primarily serve vulnerable children in high-need communities. Coaching and technical assistance are delivered by a multidisciplinary team that works together to support each center’s unique challenges and improve the organizational, leadership and classroom learning capacity of each program.


    • Construct Coaching: Construct is an adaptive professional development coaching model that supports teachers and caregivers through data-informed, individualized interventions aimed at moving and sustaining high-quality teacher and caregiver practices with children ages birth to 5.


    • Advancing Equity: Realizing an equitable future for every child requires work at every level: individual, interpersonal, organizational, systemic, and structural. Professional development is one important part of this work. Our Advancing Equity professional development integrates research-based content in an engaging format, reflecting on self, others, systems and application to practice.


Through collaboration with key early childhood stakeholders, state agencies, and early care and education professionals, we have worked to build a consensus on how best to improve the quality of care of for all children. At the core of this collective knowledge is the understanding that disconnected, one-size-fits-all trainings or resources must be integrated into a continuum of supports in order to be beneficial to early care and education providers. This understanding coupled with our collective experience in the field have helped to shape future plans and focus areas for the PDI.

Interested in learning more or getting involved? Complete the form below to let us know!

For questions about the Professional Development Institute at Educare Arizona, please contact Angela Zilch at (602) 633-8744 or [email protected].

Helping Arizona Children & Families

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