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Initiative Name: 

ZERO TO THREE Western Office Develops Prenatal to Three Workforce Core Competencies for Los Angeles County




Professional Development, Professional Development

Source Of Information: 

ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates



Year Started: 



A cross-sector workgroup comprised of leaders, community partners, and family representatives in Los Angeles County released "Core Competencies for the Prenatal Through Age Three Workforce" (Competencies) in January 2013. The Competencies identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed by professionals across the early care and education, early intervention, social service/child welfare, physical health, and mental health service sectors who are working with expectant parents, infants, toddlers, and their families. They are not meant to replace existing discipline-specific competencies, but emphasize the foundational and basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are essential across the five work sectors. The Competencies provide a common language and a foundation to support cross-sector collaboration and professional development.

The Competencies are organized into eight domains deemed essential for Los Angeles prenatal through age three (P-3) professionals working with young children and their families:
1. Early Childhood Development
2. Family-Centered Practice
3. Relationship-Based Practice
4. Health and Developmental Protective and Risk Factors
5. Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness
6. Leadership
7. Professional and Ethical Practices
8. Service Planning, Coordination and Collaboration

Each domain is subdivided into sections describing the core knowledge (what P-3 service providers should know), skills (what P-3 service providers should be able to do), and attitudes (how P-3 service providers should approach their work). The competency statements are written as observable behaviors and, where possible, measurable actions.

In addition to developing the Competencies, the workgroup drafted recommendations to ensure the Competencies will be incorporated into workforce development efforts in Los Angeles County. As a first step toward doing so, professional development approaches grounded in the Competencies were created and field tested.

The Competencies are the result of a five-year project funded by First 5 LA and facilitated by the ZERO TO THREE Western Office. The Workgroup Summary Report, which includes the Competencies, can be downloaded at

Updated December 2013

Web Site: 

http://www.zerotothr /docs/ztt-core-compe tencies-summary-reco mmendations.pdf


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