click here to skip navigation and move directly to contenthome Para eLink: Where Minnesota's Paraprofessionals Learn Online  
   competencies | tutorial | glossary | help | site index 
about online training

online resources


technical notes

core areas

specialized areas



Specialized Competency

competencies       explore section       review       area evaluation

Area Introduction

This specialized Area of the Para eLink is focused on early childhood education. Early childhood education is characterized by a wide variety of child needs. Children may need to be fed, changed, taught numbers and appropriate play, among many other things. In addition, there can be large differences in the rate of development between one child and another, resulting in large skill and behavior differences between same age children. This variety makes early childhood education a unique and challenging environment for many paraprofessionals.

This area includes five units:

  1. Early Childhood Development
  2. Early Education Services and Service Plans
  3. Developmentally Appropriate Practice for Working with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
  4. Monitoring Children’s Performance and Progress
  5. Collaborating with Families and Service Professionals

Each unit is an important part of working in an early childhood education setting. It is a complex subject and for this reason it is best to start with the first unit in the list (Early Childhood Development) and work through each unit in consecutive order. You will find that what you have learned in one will inform your understanding in the next unit. It is our hope that when you complete the eLink training you will have a perspective and set of skills that will enable you to work more effectively with children and be able to more effectively collaborate with your supervisor and other staff.

(Clicking the hyperlinked competency code, e.g., EC-K1, will take you to the associated training unit.)

Early Childhood (Knowledge-Based)
EC-K1 Awareness of the basic developmental stages within domains of motor, cognitive, communication, and social-emotional development for infants and young children ages birth to 5.
EC-K2 Understanding of the paraprofessional’s role as a member of the educational (IFSP, IIIP, IEP) team responsible for developing and implementing service plans and education objectives for children and their families.
EC-K3 Awareness of health care providers, social services and other resources available in the community to assist families.
EC-K4 Understanding of the paraprofessional's role in enhancing interactions between parent(s) and child by using and demonstrating effective techniques and materials to stimulate cognitive, physical, social and speech/language development under the direction of a licensed professional.
Early Childhood (Skill-Based)
EC-S1 Ability to deliver developmentally appropriate instructional interventions under the direction of a licensed professional for infants and young children ages 0-5 in these domains: cognitive, motor, self-help, sensory, social/play, and speech/language development.
EC-S2 Ability to gather, document, and share information about the performance of individual children in all developmental domains under the direction of a licensed professional.
EC-S3 Ability to prepare, adapt, and use developmentally appropriate materials under the direction of a licensed professional.
EC-S4 Ability to communicate and work effectively with parents, primary caregivers, and education team (IFSP, IIIP, and IEP) members to meet the needs of the child and family.


pdf iconpdf     text iconrtf

Your facilitator may ask you to turn in a written copy of the area review, in which case you can use either the pdf or rtf file. If your facilitator wants you to submit an electronic file, download the rtf file and open it in a Word Processor.

Area Evaluation


top of page