Area 6: Professionalism and Leadership


Professionalism in the early care and education field requires a commitment to providing the highest quality possible services to children and their families, to life-long personal and professional growth and learning, and to ethical conduct. These are the basis for making educated decisions and being able to reflect on and adjust planning and practice.

Professionalism involves collaboration and accepting responsibility. It involves the curiosity and drive to continue searching for information and understandings about issues pertaining to children and society in general, as well as education in particular. It also involves the ability to advocate for children and for high-quality early care and education, pointing back to collaboration in a broader sense.

Leadership denotes not only formal positions of authority but also the informal qualities of vision, skill, and initiative that provide inspiration and a sense of security to others, regardless of the capacity in which a professional functions in the field. Professionals who exhibit such qualities and skills and utilize them to facilitate the growth and development of others are leaders and carry the ensuing responsibilities of actively helping to shape the profession.

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Core Competencies:

Select a competency below to view the competency profile, including the associated behaviors and skills.

The professional working with young children:

  • 6.1

    Uses and follows all relevant ethical standards and professional guidelines

  • 6.2

    Develops the dispositions to effectively support young children and their families

  • 6.3

    Displays professionalism in practice

  • 6.4

    Exhibits commitment to ongoing growth and learning

  • 6.5

    Exhibits classroom and program leadership skills

  • 6.6

    Advocates for appropriate practices within the early childhood field


New York Works for Children