Frequently Asked Questions about the Louisiana Pathways Career Development System
 
What is the Pathways Early Learning Center Career Development System?
Am I required to enroll in the Career Development System?
How do I enroll in the Career Development System?
How do you know what training I've taken?
How do I know where I fit on a Career Ladder?
How do I move to the next level?
Why should I enroll in the Career Development System?
This sounds expensive. How do I pay for it?
How do I know what training counts for the Career Development System?
I am a trainer. How do I get training approved for credit through the Career Development System?
Where do I get the training to meet the trainer requirements?
What is the Registry?
I work in an afterschool and summer program. Is the Career Development System applicable to me?
I'm a family child care provider. Does this apply to me?
What are the Core Knowledge Subject Areas?
Who decides what training I should take?
I am a center director. Where do I get the training I need on business practices?
How do I know if a session counts for the Administrator Certificate?
What is the difference between clock hours, continuing education units (CEU's) , and credit hours?
Are there time limits for counting training sessions?
What is the Pathways Trainer Directory?
Why is membership or participation in a professional organization required at some levels?
What are some professional organizations that I might join?
 
What is the Pathways Early Learning Center Career Development System?
LA Pathways Early Learning Center Career Development System is a major initiative funded by Louisiana Department of Education to improve quality of child care in Louisiana. It consists of a Training Registry, Scholarship Program, and Career Ladders for caregivers, administrators, and trainers.
[TOP]
Am I required to enroll in the Career Development System?
Enrollment in the Career Development System is strictly voluntary. Some centers make it a requirement for employment; unless your employer requires it, participation is not required. Membership and participation in LA Pathways is required to participate in the School Readiness Tax Credits for Directors and Staff.
[TOP]
How do I enroll in the Career Development System?
Complete an Enrollment Form and an Employment Verification form.  Submit them along with documentation of any training or education that you have.
[TOP]
How do you know what training I've taken?
You will submit documentation of any training or other early childhood training. Always keep a copy of any information you submit.
[TOP]
How do I know where I fit on the Career Ladder?
Make a list of all training you have taken and experience you have had. Compare it with the Career Ladder and decide where your experience and training best fits. Fill out the appropriate application. Attach documentation such as copies of training certificates and employment verification and send it to us. Always keep a copy of any information you submit.
[TOP]
How do I move to the next level?
Training and experience are keys to moving to the next level of recognition. You will receive a letter from LA Pathways when you achieve a certain level. On that letter will be information telling you what training and/or experience you need in order to advance to the next level. Submit the new documentation when completed for re-evaluation and advancement to a higher level placement.
[TOP]

Why should I enroll in the Career Development System?
Increasingly, parents are seeking quality educational programs. As an administrator, you’re interested in keeping vacancies filled and running a quality program; as a caregiver, you’ll be able to do a better job because you have the skills you need.
[TOP]
This sounds expensive. How do I pay for it?
Much of the necessary training is inexpensive. Some training is already required for licensing or registration. Scholarships are available for CDA assessment fees, Family Child Care Home Accreditation, college courses, administration training, and some other purposes. Contact the Scholarship Coordinator for information about scholarships. There is no charge to enroll in the Career Development System or to submit an application to be recognized at a higher level.
[TOP]
How do I know what training counts for the Career Development System?
Training projects funded by the Department of Education will count. Additionally, look for the Pathways logo on approved training or ask the presenter. Making sure training is approved for the Career Development System ensures the trainers have met requirements in education, experience, and knowledge of adult learning and presentation skills.
[TOP]
I am a trainer. How do I get training approved for credit through the Career Development System?
Contact the Career Development System Coordinator for information. Acceptance is based on the trainer’s credentials. Approved trainers will be automatically accepted for one year. At the end of the first year, they will need to re-apply and document their orientation to the Career Development System and continued education in presentation skills and/or adult learning principles to be approved for three years.
[TOP]
Where do I get the training to meet the trainer requirements?
Training events on presentation skills and adult learning principles will be held around the state as a part of the Career Development System. Additionally, organizations such as the American Society for Training and Development and Toastmasters may conduct events in your area. Another option is attendance at interest groups sessions focusing on training at state, regional, or national conference, or taking a college class. There are several online sessions for trainers available with plans for more to be developed.
[TOP]
What is the Registry?
The Registry is the statewide database of all persons enrolled in the Career Development System and a permanent record of the training they have submitted. Through the Registry, participants will be notified of the next step in the Career Development System and receive various rewards and recognition for their accomplishments.
[TOP]
I'm a family child care provider. Does this apply to me?
As a family child care provider, you are an important part of the Career Development System. The CDA Credential includes a specialist in family child care. Additionally, scholarships are available for any family child care provider to apply for the CDA assessment ($300 of the $325 required) or for the accreditation fee ($475 of the $495 required) for the National Association for Family Child Care.
[TOP]
I work in an afterschool and summer program. Is the Career Development System applicable to me?
Yes. You will want to select training focusing on the needs of school age children.
[TOP]
What are the Core Knowledge Subject Areas?
Core knowledge subject areas are designed to ensure your training is well-rounded to prepare you with necessary skills for working with young children in a group setting. Core knowledge areas are the same as subject areas of training required for the Child Development Associate. Having training in a variety of subject areas will help you get a good start in meeting CDA requirements for your next step in the Career Development System.
[TOP]
Who decides what training I should take?
You do. You may select workshops or special sessions of interest to you, attend CDA classes, attend a technical college, take online classes, or take college classes. To ensure you get the required number of hours in each category, be sure to note the CDA category.
[TOP]
I am a center director. Where do I get the training I need on business practices?
Training sessions conducted by various Small Business Development Centers are accepted. These centers are a part of many state universities. Scholarships are available for some sessions which have fee.
More workshops and other training sessions as well as conference sessions are being developed to meet the requirements for the Administrator Certificate. Some of the Directors' Network sessions will count.
Training provided by the Bureau of Licensing or any other child care regulatory agency, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (for centers or family child care providers on the program) will count in the appropriate categories.
[TOP]
How do I know if a session counts for the Administrator Certificate?
Look for the Pathways logo and designation that the training is approved for the Administrator Certificate categories. In most cases, a code will follow the topic similar to the CDA codes now used.
However, some sessions may be accepted that are not identified. If the training is clearly helpful in meeting the needs of center directors, it will likely count. For example, a seminar on changes in tax laws would be relevant; a session on quality control in manufacturing likely would not.
[TOP]
What is the difference between clock hours, continuing education units (CEU's) , and credit hours?
Clock hours refer to the actual time you spend in a training session. For example, if you attend a workshop that begins at 9 am and ends at noon you will get 3 clock hours of training. This is the way training is counted for center licensing and family child care registration.
A CEU is different from a clock hour but can be used to meet clock hour requirements or toward a CDA. For example, one CEU equals 10 clock hours of training. A session that lasts 6 hours would give your .6 CEU's. College courses or CEU's can be used for meeting the CDA renewal requirement.
Credit hours generally refer to college credit. One college course usually gives you 3 credits although the college course may include approximately 45 hours of classroom time. A college course may count for licensing or CDA depending on the subject matter. For example, a math course might be required for a degree but would not count toward a CDA because it is not in one of the subject areas.
[TOP]
Are there time limits for counting training sessions?
To receive the CDA, all training must be within the last 5 years. At this time, we are exploring appropriate time limits for other training credit for the Career Development System.
[TOP]
What is the Pathways Trainer Directory?
The Pathways Trainer Directory is an important component of the Pathways Early Learning Center Career Development System. It is a record of approved trainers and a resource for child care personnel to find the training that they need to advance in the Career Development System.
[TOP]
Why is membership or participation in a professional organization required at some levels?
Being a part of a professional organization is a critical component of most professions. In order to upgrade the public perception of the importance of working with young children, belonging and working with a professional organization can make you part of advocacy efforts as well as offer additional training opportunities.
[TOP]
What are some professional organizations that I might join?
Applications are available for the following organizations through the Career Development System. Other organizations will be considered upon request:
Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA), 800-305-7322, www.southernearlychildhood.org
Louisiana Early Childhood Association (LAECA) is an affiliate of SECA), (318) 343-2366, www.laeca.org
Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children (LAEYC)
Affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
1-(800) 424-2640 www.NAEYC.org
Louisiana Head Start Association (225) 219-4245
Affiliate of the National Head Start Association www.NHSA.org
Membership in the Louisiana Head Start Association or the National Head Start Association is restricted to Head Start agencies and not individuals.
Child Care Association of Louisiana (CCAL) 1-800-488-2793 www.childcarelouisiana.org
Affiliate of National Child Care Association 1-800-543-7161 www.nccanet.org
National After School Association, 800-617-8242, www.naaweb.org
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) (800) 359-3817 www.nafcc.org
[TOP]