Minnesota’s Knowledge and Competency Framework (KCF) outlines what early childhood educators need to know about research and theory and what they need to do to deliver high quality care that meets the needs of children of different developmental stages.
The Knowledge and Competency Frameworks were released by the Minnesota Department of Education in 2015 after extensive community involvement. There are eight content areas:
- Child Development and Learning
- Developmentally Appropriate Learning Experiences
- Relationships with Families
- Assessment, Evaluation and Individualization
- Historical and Contemporary Development of Early Childhood Education
- Health, Safety and Nutrition
- Application through Clinical Experiences
The framework aligns with the Minnesota Board of Teaching Standards. There are separate frameworks for working with infants and toddlers, working with family child care and working with preschool children. The Framework is used to help promote early childhood as a profession, identify professional development needs for educators and trainers and create job descriptions. The Frameworks are comprehensive and lengthy and detail the depth of knowledge and skills that early childhood educators need to have. Many faculty at Minnesota’s Institutes of Higher Education are working to embed the Knowledge and Competencies into coursework and create interdisciplinary courses to help students gain the information and skills they need but they need more support and resources to be able to have this uniform and consistent across the state.
The state offers training by KCF content area and Child Care Aware of Minnesota offers a course “Getting to Know Minnesota’s Knowledge and Competency Framework for Early Childhood Educators” through Any Time Learning (ATL) modules through Eager to Learn.
More information, including materials in Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese and Hmong are available at the Minnesota Department of Education’s Knowledge and Competency web page.