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Formerly known as the Texas Early Care and Education Career Development System (TECECDS), the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS) is a joint project of the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office (THSSCO) and the Texas Early Learning Council (TELC). TECPDS launched in 2013 and continues to expand and enhance professional development opportunities, resources, and tools for early childhood professionals. Housed at the Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), the Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development, TECPDS is one of several statewide programs managed by CLI to support the early childhood system, including programs, professionals, and families across the state..

Find out more about this system by selecting from the options below:

The purpose of the TECPDS is to support early childhood professionals by providing them with resources and tools to help them meet their professional development needs. The TECPDS defines professional development as any opportunity that enhances the knowledge and skills of those working with young children, including training, education and employment.
  • Early 1990’s: As a result of a national study on Cost, Quality and Child Outcomes in Child Care Centers, the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office (THSSCO) Task Force created a Career Development System sub-group with the purpose of assessing the needs of early childhood professionals in Texas.
  • 1993: Based on the Task Force’s findings, the THSSCO developed a proposal and framework for Texas’s first Early Childhood Career Development System.
  • 1995: Five communities volunteer to pilot components of the career development system.
  • 2003: The TECPDS became state-wide, offering a resource website, Core Knowledge & Skills Areas for Practitioners, Administrators and Trainers; and the Texas Trainer Registry.
  • 2010: The Texas Early Learning Council (TELC) awarded funding to help enhance and improve the TECPDS, to include an updated website; Core Competency Areas (previously Core Knowledge & Skills Areas) for Practitioners, Administrators, Trainers and Coaches/Mentors; Online application process for the Texas Trainer Registry; new online professional development tracking system called the Texas Workforce Registry; and a Job Board.
  • 2013: New TECPDS website and resources was developed and are available to the early childhood community in Texas.
  • 2017: New partnerships with the Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County, and the Early Learning Alliance provided for the development of new features on TECPDS, including the Career Lattice tool and record validation for Texas Rising Star Certified Providers.
  • 2018: TECPDS started offering FREE Texas Workforce Registry accounts to all practitioners and directors, and launched new trainer tools, including accounts for Non-Registered Trainers and a Certificate Generation Tool.
  • Coming Soon...additional tools, resources, and opportunities will be available soon on TECPDS. Join our listserv and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with TECPDS!

TECPDS is supported by several staff members at the Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth and a dedicated advisory council with diverse experience in the Texas early childhood sector that provides guidance and support to TECPDS.

The TECPDS Staff consist of:
Alferma Giles, Ph.D. – Director, Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office/Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System
Tracy Anne Jones, Ed.D. - Manager, Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System

To contact the TECPDS staff, visit the Contact Us page.

The TECPDS Advisory Council consists of:
Alferma Giles, Houston, TX - Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office
Tracy Anne Jones, Houston, TX - Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System
April Crawford, Houston, TX - Children's Learning Institute
Catherine Chennisi, Houston, TX - Harris County Public Health
Debbie Simpson-Smith, Pasadena, TX - San Jacinto College
Elizabeth Beavers, Houston, TX - University of Houston at Clear Lake School of Education
Frank Eckles, College Station, TX - CYC Certification Institute
Howard Morrison, Austin, TX - Texas Education Agency
Jeannie Young, Austin, TX - Texas Department of Family & Protective Services
Judy Carnahan-Webb, Houston, TX - Creative Trainers and Consultants
Kim Kofron, Austin, TX - Texas Association for the Education of Young Children
Regan Dobbs, Austin, TX - Texas Workforce Commission
Sadie Funk, Dallas, TX - First3Years
Sharon Spillman, Houston, TX - Collaborative for Children
Sue Hancock, San Antonio, TX - Hancock P.D. Resources & Counseling
Nicole Allen, Fort Worth, TX - Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County


  • Core Competencies: Core competencies refer to demonstrated skills and abilities, which are based upon knowledge learned about specific, basic concepts of early childhood. The Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators help professionals know what skills and knowledge they should possess to be successful in their careers. This update of the Core Knowledge & Skills Areas (CKAs) include additional domains and are organized into three levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Visit the Core Competencies page to learn more!
  • Texas Trainer Registry: The Texas Trainer Registry (TTR) lists approved early childhood trainers and their trainings. In order for these trainers to be listed on the TTR, they must apply and meet certain eligibility criteria based on their education, training, and experience. Each training proposal submitted is also reviewed and approved based on the relevancy of the content, benefits to target audience, and the inclusion of adult learning practices and proper training methodologies. There are two account types in the Texas Trainer Registry: Registered Trainer and Non-Registered Trainer. Visit the Texas Trainer Registry page to learn more!
  • Certificate Generation Tool: Part of the Texas Trainer Registry, the Certificate Generation Tool provides opportunities for all trainers to create certificates that meet all state requirements for their training participants. Non-Registered and Registered Trainers now have the ability to upload certificates directly into the workforce registry accounts of training attendees. This is a wonderful tool for center directors who are currently providing training for their staff, to create standardized certificates that contain all of the information needed by Child Care Licensing and TRS assessors during their visits.
  • Texas Workforce Registry: The Texas Workforce Registry (TWR) is a web-based application for early childhood professionals to keep track of all of their education and employment history, as well as the clock hours of training they have accrued. Features of this system include the ability to create a professional development profile, view reports, list job openings on the Job Board, and evaluate trainings presented by Registered Trainers. There are two account types in the Texas Workforce Registry, both available at no cost: Center Director and Practitioner. Visit the Texas Workforce Registry page to learn more!
  • Career Lattice: The Career Lattice is a tool to guide better professional development planning through a series of progressive levels that allows professionals to evaluate their career development and progress, as well as plan additional professional development and education opportunities. Users upload records of their professional development, education, and work history to populate the tool and determine their career lattice level. The tool is available for free to all users with an account in the Texas Workforce Registry.  Based on the Texas Early Childhood Career Lattice, visit the Career Lattice tool today to learn more!
  • Record Validation: Through TECPDS, an individual’s professional development, education, and employment records can be reviewed and validated by TECPDS Staff and local workforce development board staff. These validated records allow users to view and download career lattice and professional development reports with their “validated” career lattice level, rather than “self-reported” level.
  • Automatically Accepted Training Organizations Pilot: TECPDS is currently piloting a new process that will allow training organizations to enter into a formal agreement providing that all trainings conducted by approved trainers will be accepted and validated. Once an agreement is in place, TECPDS will automatically accept and validate records for any professionals who attend trainings by these organizations. Training organizations will be required to sign a formal memorandum of agreement with TECPDS, as well as provide a completed and signed trainer attestation for each trainer at the organization. We will provide additional information soon.

For more information on this system as a whole, please take a look at the Texas Early Learning Council’s Pathways to Quality: Charting the Course for a New Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System.