Child Care

Pathways to Professional Development

South Dakota Pathways to Professional Development is a statewide project recognizing those who work in child care, preschool, Head Start, Out-of-School Time and other programs serving the needs of children and families.

The project is designed for child care providers, educators, trainers, directors, administrators and advocates of children – those with entry-level education or advanced degrees.

The goal of the Pathways project is to support those who actively pursue ongoing educational opportunities and professional commitments to the field. The project also supports the development of a network of qualified trainers. These trainers are committed to providing adult learning experiences that promote quality care for children.

The Career Lattice defines seven levels of professional achievement. Each level includes training, education and experience requirements.

The Career Lattice can be used to chart a course for career development and recognition for education and professional achievements. By developing a knowledgeable and skilled work force, the lattice can lead to an increase in the number of quality programs for children in South Dakota.

For more information on Pathways to Professional Development, see the following links. You can also contact the Department of Social Services' Division of Child Care Service by calling toll-free 1-800-227-3020 or by emailing