There are many reasons to choose a career in child care. As an educator you get to work daily with young children during their early years, the most pivotal time of their growth and development. This is why academic preparation and ongoing professional development are needed to keep up with, not just the development of children, but the requirements for each branch of the child care field.
TECTA is a statewide system of professional development that provides Tennessee educators with training, tuition assistance, and technical assistance for every aspect of their career.
TECTA aims to meet early childhood professionals exactly where they currently are in their careers, whether they are just beginning or have been caring for children for many years.
Our system is designed as a “career lattice,” a strategy that offers a variety of opportunities for each person’s career path. Movements may be vertical, but also horizontal or diagonal depending on what fits within each individual’s ideal work/life balance.
High school students completing ECEC I and II with a grade of ‘B’ or above can apply to use these classes as an equivalency to the 30-hour TECTA Orientation, receive a Certificate of Completion, and become eligible for college tuition support from TECTA.
This means that you are eligible for tuition support from TECTA for college coursework in the field of Early Childhood Education beginning your first semester at any of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) community colleges and four-year universities.
To apply, send a completed TECTA Center-Based Orientation/ECE Careers I & II Application with a copy of your high school transcript to:
Attn: Ms. Lisa Walsh
Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd, Box 9500
Nashville, TN 37209
If you are returning to higher education, TECTA can help with tuition assistance and professional development planning.
We provide technical and financial assistance to help you get started, which can be found at TECTA Professional Development Plan. This includes tuition support to help you and/or your staff earn a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ and complete degree programs in Early Childhood at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Graduate degree levels. TECTA also provides tuition assistance and we connect you with peers and support groups in your area.
Professional development, also known as continuing education, should be an essential component of your career growth and planning. As with your other life goals, it is recommended that you develop a personalized action plan to help you chart a pathway to success.
When thinking about your career goals, ask yourself these questions:
• How can I improve or strengthen my work performance?
• What are the key areas I want or need to develop to remain skilled in my profession?
• What are the skills and knowledge I will need in the future?
If you need help choosing a path, download the TECTA Professional Development Plan.
After you determine which path you want to follow, call or visit your local TECTA office for more information about how to get started.
If you work in a family child care center, we know that your needs and challenges are a little different. That’s why we have created the TECTA Family Child Care Network to offer education and support through the TECTA Family Child Care Orientation, the TOPSTAR Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program, the Tennessee Early Childhood Program Administrator Credential, and NAFCC accreditation support.
Contact Zora Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Ms. Mary McGoughy was the owner of Mary’s Little Hearts until a major car accident in 2015 forced her to close her business and put her education on hold. She began attending DSCC in 2009 and obtained her CDA in 2013. After many medical procedures and rehabilitation, Ms. McGoughy was able to return to school and complete her degree in Early Childhood Education in May 2019
TECTA has done so much to provide so many resources to be a better child care provider! TECTA has provided me with the training that I needed with times and places that would accommodate my schedule. TECTA was an encourager to me that gave me the confidence I needed to fulfill my lifelong goal of going back to college! I have obtained my CDA and my Technical Certificate and am currently working on my Associate in Early Childhood Development. All the staff at TECTA in Cookeville are always eager to help and have a true passion for helping any and all child care providers to obtain the knowledge they need to provide the best care for all children in their care. TECTA is the best!
These three TECTA supported students are taking classes at Walters State Community College and met one evening this week to work on their CDA (Child Development Associate Credential) portfolio. The students spent time articulating their strategies for establishing and maintaining safe, healthy learning environments for young children.
My name is Anliet Calzadilla. I’m from Cuba. I came to the United States in 2006, and I never felt more at home in this country until I decided to go back to school. I started with TECTA Infant/Toddler Orientation in 2016, and then I finished my CDA in June of 2016. Now I’m working on my Associates in Early Childhood Education. For me it is a hard process because my English is not perfect, but thank you Emily and Crystal for always encouraging me to continue doing it. Thank you TECTA for helping me in everything I need and giving me the opportunity to grow in the Early Childhood Education. That is my passion, and without your help I could not do it