August 5, 2021

New PA Standards & Competencies for ECE Educators

Pennsylvania is adopting a new set of professional standards and competencies for early childhood educators. These standards, known as the PA PSCECE for short, will replace the current PA CKCs.

New Standards and Competencies

The Pennsylvania Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (PA PSCECE) will list the general knowledge and skills educators need to know and demonstrate. Thes PA PSCECE will replace the Pennsylvania Core Knowledge Competencies (PA CKCs). However, they are not the specific standards and competencies needed for individual professions and occupations within the early childhood field.

The anticipated release date of the PA PSCECE (and an introductory course) is September 2021.

What will the standards guide?

The PA PSCECE will guide Pennyslvania’s early learning professional development system, including:

    • educator preparation and non-certification programs in ECE;
    • ongoing professional growth and development activities; and
    • credentials.

In addition, other components of the Early Childhood Education System will be aligned with the new Professional Standards including, but not limited to, the PD Registry and STARS standards.

What do the standards and competencies include?

The PA PSCECE will include seven areas, six of which were adopted directly from the national Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. The seventh standard is Pennsylvania-specific. These areas include:

    • Child Development and Learning in Context;
    • Family–Teacher Partnerships and Community Connections;
    • Child Observation, Documentation, and Assessment;
    • Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices;
    • Knowledge, Application, and Integration of Academic Content in the Early Childhood Curriculum;
    • Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator; and
    • Health and Safety, which includes Nutrition and Mental Health.

Why were they adopted and developed?

The PA PSCECE were designed to increase the reliability, portability, and relevance of early childhood education (ECE) professional development nationwide. The standards will help ensure that Pennsylvania’s ECE professionals are prepared to support the growth and development of each child, birth through age eight, across the Commonwealth.

What support is available?

An asynchronous course is currently in development that will help professionals understand the new PA PSCECE standards and the next steps in implementation. The anticipated launch date is September 2021. Over the next year, OCDEL will survey varying audience types to better understand professional development needs and develop tailored professional development, resources, and supports to meet these needs.

More Information

For more information, contact Maryanne Olley at For more news, visit the Trying Together News page.

Information provided by the Pennsylvania Key.