Child Care

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the components of the Pathways to Professional Development Program?

1)  Career Lattice
The Career Lattice is a statewide computerized registry documenting the educational and professional accomplishments of practitioners. Practitioners can use the register to accumulate an accurate record of their education and to receive recognition for their professional commitment.  The Career Lattice also provides opportunities to increase recognition and compensation for professionals who work with children. 

2)  Trainer Registry
The Trainer registry is a directory designed to support the development of a network of trainers committed to providing adult learning experiences that promote quality care for children. 

What is the purpose of the Career Lattice?

  • To recognize individuals who make a commitment to continued professional development related to their work with children and youth.
  • To increase the number of quality care and education programs by developing a knowledgeable and skilled workforce.
  • To develop awareness among parents, employers and other community members of the important roles that child care, early education and youth development practitioners play within communities across South Dakota.
  • To document a complete record of early childhood training and education in the Professional Training areas for each practitioner.

Who may participate in the Career Lattice?

The Career Lattice includes child care providers, early educators, youth development specialists, trainers, directors, administrators and advocates for young children and families. The Career Lattice provides professional recognition for those who work directly or indirectly with infants, toddlers, preschool children, school-age children and youth. It includes entry-level education and college and university degrees.

Practitioners are recognized for their work with children, youth and families in a variety of settings such as:

  • Family child care and group family child care homes
  • Child care centers
  • Preschools
  • Head Start programs
  • School-age programs
  • Public and private schools
  • Public and private universities and tribal colleges
  • Community agencies serving children and families (i.e. early intervention, family literacy, teen parent programs, etc.)
  • Private organizations and government agencies impacting child care and early education at local, state and regional levels

How is the Career Lattice helpful?

  • Serves as a vehicle for practitioners to pursue continued growth in their profession.
  • Builds public appreciation of and respect for the child care, early education, and school-age professions.
  • Encourages employers to improve working conditions and employment opportunities for professionals who work with children.
  • Encourages increased recognition and compensation for knowledgeable and experienced practitioners.
  • Encourages parents to make informed choices about child care and early education and school-age care opportunities for their children.
  • Individuals or programs may publicize the education, training, and experience of practitioners so that parents and other community members know that the children are being cared for and educated by trained personnel.
  • Employers may recruit new employees based on their achievements (level) on the Career Lattice.