The Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) is a statewide system established to provide affordable professional development with academic degree credit possibilities for Tennessee’s early childhood education personnel. The TECTA system is funded through and dependent upon annual grants from the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) to Tennessee State University (TSU).
In 1992, the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance was created to provide support, education, and professional development to Early Childhood Educators in the state of Tennessee through a federal grant called the Child Care Development Block Grant. This grant was distributed to each state for funding to be prioritized based on the needs of the state’s licensed child care community. TECTA is networked with all Tennessee Child Care Services partners to provide early childcare educators opportunities to acquire the professional knowledge and skills needed to provide high-quality care to Tennessee children.
TECTA was established by the Center for Excellence for Learning Sciences at Tennessee State University. TECTA has been meeting the professional development needs of licensed child care providers through its eight sites embedded in selected Tennessee colleges and universities. Through TECTA, Early Childhood Educators have been able to obtain CDA credentials, academic degrees, advanced credentials in administration and Infant/toddler care, and continuing education credits required for employment in their childcare setting. Licensed center-based, as well as family child care professionals, benefit from TECTA support.
TECTA’s mission is to expand opportunities for early childhood professionals through career development and higher education support.
TECTA’s vision is to provide professional development that nurtures the growth of individuals in a community of learners through an articulated statewide higher education system, resulting in the highest quality early childhood experiences for all of Tennessee’s children.
Each level provides a new opportunity for self-development and mentoring. The concept of the Lattice means that all employees must move up, but also recognizes those who maintain a strong, but steady level of performance while distributing overall focus to other areas of life such as family or volunteer work, thereby moving diagonally or laterally.