Professional Development Program

Research shows that early learning educators who have access to ongoing professional development and resources are better equipped to provide children with the academic and socio-emotional skills they need to succeed in school.

For more than 25 years, First 5 Contra Costa has operated the Professional Development Program (PDP) to support local child care providers to advance their education and training in early childhood education.

The program offers eligible early learning educators significant stipends, at the end of the year, for completing college coursework or for attending select trainings available to providers at no cost to them. Those who complete their Associate degree or higher during the program year are eligible to receive an additional stipend.

Why offer stipends?

Historically, early learning educators have faced barriers accessing professional development opportunities and college coursework related to their profession. The Professional Development Program offers stipends to help child care providers pay for coursework, materials, transportation, other costs, and their time associated with enhancing their educational attainment. 

Educators who participate in the program to complete required hours of training, can select training topics that are most relevant to their career trajectory, the needs of the current children in their care, or early childhood topics they are most interested in. Training topics vary from successful classroom environments to social emotional learning to dual language learner supports.  

Who benefits from the program?

Early learning educators who work at least 20 hours a week in Contra Costa County licensed or licensed-exempt programs, that work with children from birth through age 5, and that meet other criteria can participate. Over the last 20 years, this program has benefited nearly 5,000 local early learning educators from a variety of racial/ethnicity groups, regions of the county, and size and type of early learning programs.   

How can I learn more?

Early learning educators working in Contra Costa County can learn more about program eligibility and requirements, timelines, and how to apply by visiting this webpage for providers. For general questions about the program, contact Elida Treanor at If you have questions about Child Development Permits, contact Terrissa Hein at  If you have questions related to community college courses, click here for contact information.