Young children who have disabilities, grow up in poverty, or are dual language learners often start kindergarten less prepared than their peers. But the research is clear—high-quality early education opportunities can make a lifetime of difference for these children and their families.

In Rhode Island, the Center for Early Learning Professionals, which is operated by EDC, gives early childhood programs and providers the tools, support, and resources they need to provide high-quality care and education to the state’s youngest children. The Center works with administrators and educators from a diverse range of early childhood programs that serve children from birth to age 5, including community-based centers, family child-care homes, and public preschool and Pre-K programs.

Key Activities

Under the operation of EDC, the Center’s activities include the following:

  • Offering high-quality professional development and technical assistance services in both English and Spanish to all early learning professionals in Rhode Island
  • Providing early childhood program leaders and educators with user-friendly information about strategies to improve the quality of care for young children
  • Helping programs navigate and move up the state’s quality continuum for early care and education and meet the Department of Education’s Comprehensive Early Childhood Education Program Standards for Approval.


  • The Center’s services have reached more than 800 early childhood programs, representing 70 percent of Rhode Island’s licensed providers.
  • More than 2,100 early childhood educators, including family child-care providers, have enrolled in the Center’s professional development offerings.
  • The Center has provided technical assistance to over 400 early childhood programs in Rhode Island.

Learn More

Center for Early Learning Professionals
Sue Washburn
Rhode Island Department of Human Services and Rhode Island Department of Education