Professional Development Specialist

The Professional Development Specialist (PDS) designation is for individuals providing non-credit bearing, in-person group professional development on general early childhood and/or school-age content.

All PDS trainers have had their experience and education verified to be specific to early childhood education and/or school-age care.  The levels are based largely on education level and coursework related to early childhood education. PDS trainers hold a minimum of an associate’s degree, experience working in early childhood education and experience delivering professional development.  PDS trainers often also possess additional endorsements to deliver specific curricula and/or use specific assessment tools.

Current T-TAP PDS Qualification Chart



Currently there are revisions and improvements being made to the competencies and portfolio process of the Professional Development Specialist designation.  NYAEYC anticipates piloting the revised competencies and new portfolio process in late 2018.  If you are interested in being a part of this pilot, please send an email to

Draft of Revised Competencies

Please note the current process continues to run as these changes are being made.

Getting Started

  1. Join Aspire

An active Individual Professional Profile on Aspire, New York’s Registry for Early Childhood Professionals is needed.  The process includes setting up an individual account as well as submitting documentation for verification.

NYAEYC uses some of your verified information from you Professional Profile to help determine your eligibility.

2. Intent to Apply Form and References

Once you have an active Professional Profile and are registered as a trainer with Aspire, submit the online Intent to Apply form and have 30 days to have three Professional References submitted on your behalf.

3. Trainer Portfolio

After reviewing your qualifications and references, NYAEYC will notify you of your eligibility to earn the Professional Development Specialist designation through the New York State Training and Technical Assistance Professional Credential.  At that time, NYAEYC will let you know that you have 90 days to submit the portfolios that demonstrate you competence as a professional development provider.




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