A comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD) for the early childhood workforce who serve infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families, is a necessary and integral quality indicator of an early childhood service system.

ECPC Technical Assistance Documents

The Early Childhood Personnel Center regularly uses this CSPD self-assessment and a  strategic action plan form.

What is a CSPD?

A comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD) is a cross-sector system designed at the state level to address the challenges faced in the early childhood (EC) workforce. A CSPD acts as the primary mechanism by which a state ensures that infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities and their families are provided services by a knowledgeable, skilled, competent, and highly qualified personnel, and that sufficient numbers of these personnel are available in the state to meet service needs.

A CSPD is a statutory requirement for Part C. Although no longer a mandate for Part B, we continue to use the terminology because a CSPD has a lengthy and prominent history in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). An operational CSPD, therefore, is key to promoting both effective practices and implementation of legal requirements determined by the IDEA.

CSPD Components

The ECPC collaborated with the Early Childhood Technical Assistant Center (ECTA) to create an Early Childhood Systems Framework for Part C and section B(619) Coordinators to evaluate their current systems, identify potential areas for improvement, and develop more effective and efficient systems that support implementation of evidence-based practices in each of six main areas. The ECPC’s work resides in the Personnel/Workforce (PN) component of this framework, which is addresses the necessity of understanding workforce capacity in order to provide timely and consistent services by prepared personnel in early childhood.


The CSPD framework is designed by assigning subcomponents and quality indicators to each component. Therefore, a CSPD has six subcomponents, and two quality indicators per subcomponent. These subcomponents are: (1) Leadership, Coordination, & Sustainability, (2) Personnel Standards, (3) Pre-Service Training, (4) Inservice Training, (5) Recruitment & Retention, and (6) Evaluation. Addressing each of these subcomponents, in conjunction with their quality indicators, during the development of a CSPD ensures that the system is not only comprehensive, but integrated on all levels. The subcomponents and their quality indicators are listed below:

Recruitment & Retention

Quality Indicator 1: Comprehensive recruitment and retention strategies are based on multiple data sources, and revised as necessary.

Quality Indicator 2: Comprehensive recruitment and retention strategies are being implemented across disciplines.

Personnel Standards

Quality Indicator 1: State personnel standards across disciplines are aligned to national professional organization personnel standards.

Quality Indicator 2: The criteria for state certification, licensure, credentialing and/or endorsement are aligned to state personnel standards and national professional organization personnel standards across disciplines.

Preservice Training

Quality Indicator 1: Institution of Higher Education (IHE) programs and curricula across disciplines are aligned with both national professional organization personnel standards and state personnel standards.

Quality Indicator 2: Institution of higher education programs and curricula address early childhood development and discipline specific pedagogy.

Inservice Training 

Quality Indicator 1: A statewide system for in-service personnel development and technical assistance is in place for personnel across disciplines.

Quality Indicator 2: A statewide system for in-service personnel development and technical assistance is aligned and coordinated with higher education program and curricula across disciplines.

Leadership, Coordination & Sustainability

Quality Indicator 1: A cross sector leadership team is in place that can set priorities and make policy, governance, and financial decisions related to the personnel system.

Quality Indicator 2: There is a written multi-year plan in place to address all sub-components of the CSPD.


Quality Indicator 1: The evaluation plan for the CSPD includes processes and mechanisms to collect, store, and analyze data across all subcomponents.

Quality Indicator 2: The evaluation plan is implemented, continuously monitored, and revised as necessary based on multiple data sources.

How Are CSPDs Developed?

An ongoing, coordinated, and strategically designed system of personnel development provides the supports needed by the other framework components. Through an intense strategic planning process, each state addresses the six subcomponents and quality indicators of a CSPD using a diverse, cross-disciplinary team of stakeholders from their state.

1 - 4 months
_ Develop core planning team and project liaison
_ Complete the self assessment of the CSPD framework
_ Identify stakeholders for strategic planning
_ Identify a date and location for strategic planning
5 – 6 month
_ Invite stakeholders to be part of strategic CSPD team
_ Host a 1-2 day strategic planning meeting with stakeholders and develop a strategic plan
_ Develop CSPD component workgroups and assign responsibilities
_ Develop an evaluation process of the state's CSPD component
_ Establish meeting and reporting schedule
7 – 17 month
_ Meet monthly as a core planning team
_ Implement work plans for each CSPD component
_ Develop monthly reports on each CSPD component
_ Core planning team and workgroups of CSPD review progress and make recommendations to CSPD workgroup
18 month & ongoing
_ Reassess and prioritize objectives on the work plans as needed based on results of implementation
_ Develop integrated reports of planning group process and recommendations
_ Evaluates CSPD and makes recommendations for sustainability and leadership

Thus far, 10 States have completed CSPD strategic planning and have developed individualized vision and mission statements, featured below, which frame their strategic planning objectives.


Vision Statement: To develop and sustain a cross-sector professional development system that supports a high quality workforce serving young children and their families.

Mission Statement: Provide a coordinated system of customized and applicable professional development to support the use of effective inclusive practices that enhance child outcomes and family engagement.


Vision Statement: In three to five years, there will be a cross sector sustainable personnel and professional development system for all programs serving young children birth to five to sustain a high quality work force.

Mission Statement: To advocate, create, and implement a statewide, comprehensive early childhood professional development system to improve quality and services for all children and families.


Vision Statement: Every child, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful.

Mission Statement: Our Early Childhood Comprehensive System of Personnel Development will be a well-communicated system of integrated professional development supports for early childhood professionals across disciplines that directly impact infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with and without diverse abilities and their families.


Vision Statement: The Kansas early childhood CSPD will result in positive outcomes for young children and families.

Mission Statement: In order to accomplish our vision, the Kansas ECPC Strategic Planning Team will design a cohesive personnel development system that ensures high quality early childhood programs and services leading to positive outcomes for all children and families.


Vision Statement: Each and every child gets the great start needed to succeed from their families, communities and early learning experiences.

Mission Statement: Because each and every child, prenatal to 5, and their families deserve high quality early care and education, Minnesota will integrate and align existing systems of personnel development in order to empower practitioners to implement and sustain the use of the evidence-based practices.


Vision Statement: To create a coordinated, sustainable and inclusive system of learning for those who support the development and education of all young children.

Mission Statement: To develop and sustain a statewide system of professional learning across agencies and disciplines to improve outcomes for ALL young children and their families.


Vision Statement: We believe that as early childhood practitioners we are collectively responsible for assuring that the young children we work with are ready for school and are building the emotional and developmental tools necessary to live a life of positive experiences. Oregon’s early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) Comprehensive System of Professional Development (CSPD) will ensure that all EI/ECSE practitioners receive the appropriate training and support needed to provide effective services to infants, toddlers, and preschool children with special needs and their families, which will result in positive developmental and behavioral child outcomes.

Mission Statement: We will create an integrated professional development system for all practitioners who provide services to young children with special needs age birth to five that is linked to national and state standards and integrated within existing professional development systems in our state.

 Puerto Rico

Vision Statement: Highly competent and committed team supported by an integrated and inclusive professional development system that results in positive outcomes for young children and their families.

Un equipo altamente competente y comprometido, apoyado por un sistema integrado e inclusivo para su desarrollo profesional, que alcance resultados positivos para la niñez en edad temprana y su familia.

Mission Statement: Design, develop and implement a formal based cross disciplinary, articulated and sustainable system with accessible professional development experiences and opportunities.

Diseñar, desarrollar e implantar un sistema formal, interdisciplinario, articulado y sostenible con experiencias y oportunidades de desarrollo profesional disponibles y accesibles.


Vision Statement: Vermont’s CCV-hosted system prepares and supports professionals to effectively engage with children, families and systems to realize the promise of every child.

Mission Statement: Vermont’s CCV-hosted system aligns, integrates and coordinates personnel development to equitably prepare, support and retain qualified personnel across settings and disciplines.

For more details about the process of creating and implementing your state’s CSPD, please contact us.