Early Childhood Organizations

Resources for continued professional improvement

The field of early childhood education includes an abundance of organizations that support the professional development of early childhood teachers and that promote improvements in services to young children. Teachers become members of one or more of these associations to help them grow professionally, stay current on early childhood issues, and participate in group efforts to promote change. Listed below are some professional associations that are particularly relevant to CDA® candidates and Child Development Associates®. In addition to membership benefits, these organizations also offer a wide variety of resource materials.

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ACF Office of Child Care

The Office of Child Care supports low-income working families through child care financial assistance and promotes children’s learning by improving the quality of early care and education and afterschool programs. The Office of Child Care

Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)

ACEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience, and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation, and advocate for children. The Association promotes and supports the optimal education and

Child Care Aware of America

Child Care Aware is the national network of more than 700 child care resource and referral centers located in every state and most communities across the U.S. These centers help families, child care providers, and

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division for Early Childhood (DEC)

CEC is an international organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or those who are gifted. DEC is the Division of CEC that focuses on young children (birth through

HighScope Educational Research Foundation

HighScope is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, established in 1970 with headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan. HighScope works to create and deliver high-quality educational resources, including professional learning workshops, assessment instruments, curriculum materials, and evaluation services

Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, world-wide organization. A model of positive leadership and advocacy, the MCEC’s work is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

NAFCC is dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. NAFCC provides technical assistance to family child care associations by promoting leadership development and by promoting quality and professionalism

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. The Association administers a voluntary,

National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)

NBCDI provides and supports programs, workshops, and resources for African American children, their parents and communities in early health and education, health, elementary and secondary education, child welfare, and parenting. Affiliate chapters in many regions

National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC)

NCCIC is a national clearinghouse and technical assistance center linking parents, providers, policy-makers, researchers, and the public to early care and education information.

National Head Start Association (NHSA)

NHSA is dedicated to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. The Association provides support for the Head Start community by advocating for policies to strengthen Head Start services; providing training and

Office of Head Start

This website provides comprehensive information about Head Start programs, services, statistics, and events.

Pre-K Now

Pre-K Now’s mission is to collaborate with advocates and policymakers to lead a movement for high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all three- and four-year olds.

Reggio Emilia

The Reggio Emilia (Italy) approach to early childhood education is an inspiration to early childhood educators worldwide. Ideas about this approach can be accessed through publications, a newsletter, traveling exhibits, and seminars.

World Organization for Early Childhood Education-United States National Committee (OMEP-USNC)

OMEP is the only worldwide non-governmental organization that focuses on education and welfare of young children, aged from birth to 8. OMEP assists any undertaking to improve early childhood education, and supports scientific research that


ZERO TO THREE’s mission is to support the healthy development and well-being of infants, toddlers and their families. This multidisciplinary organization advances its mission by informing, educating, and supporting adults who influence the lives of