StrongStart Professional Development Centers

StrongStart Professional Development Centers (PDCs) support early education and out-of-school time programs and educators with regionally-based training and technical assistance such as advising, consultation, and coaching that aligns with EEC licensing requirements and MA QRIS quality improvement standards. Training is provided through traditional face to face format or online for continuing education units (CEUs) or EEC professional development hours.

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About the StrongStart Professional Development Centers

EEC’s StrongStart Professional Development Centers (PDCs) support early education and out-of-school time programs and educators across EEC’s mixed delivery system with regionally based professional development opportunities. See contact information for each of the five regional PDCs below.  

Professional development opportunities, training and technical assistance, are aligned to EEC’s requirements for licensing and Quality Rating and Improvement (QRIS) standards. Training and technical assistance provided through the PDCs are designed to support educator’s knowledge and skills and program quality.

Professional Development Opportunities

PDCs offer access to an array of training topics aligned to licensing compliance, MA QRIS, and EEC-identified priority areas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, PDCs are providing professional development services including courses, professional learning communities, advising, one-on-one consultation, coaching, and regional coffee chats remotely.   

PDCs may bundle professional development services to best support educators in obtaining knowledge and skills and implementing strategies learned in early education or out-of-school time program. Training and technical assistance provided through the PDCs is available to all educators working in an EEC-licensed or license-exempt programs; services are currently available in Chinese, English, Portuguese, and Spanish

To register for an upcoming professional development opportunity please visit the PDC Training Schedule.

Types of technical assistance offered

Technical Assistance supports available through the PDCs includes:   

  • Advising: Educators and program leaders can contact their regional PDC for individual support. PDCs can provide information, guidance, and advice to individual educators and program leaders related to their own professional growth, career options, and pathways to obtain or meet required qualifications. PDCs can also provide support to individual program leaders related to program quality improvement. PDCs will assist educators in identifying resources and the appropriate next step based on their individual needs.  
  • Consultation: EEC-licensed and license exempt programs may contact their regional PDC for one-on-one consultation support at the program-level. Consultation services are designed to be time-limited and aimed at addressing a particular issue focused on the program’s individual needs. Consultation provides an opportunity to work collaborative, strategize, and problem-solve with an early childhood content expert.
  • Program-level coaching: Programs participating in QRIS in all setting types are eligible to apply for program-level coaching. Coaching is a relationship-based process rooted in a cycle of program assessment, goal setting, observation, implementation, feedback, and reflection. PDC program-level coaching is designed for QRIS programs who are ready to work with a coach to support the program quality improvements in alignment with the program’s Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (CQIP).

Professional Development Centers by Region

There are five regional PDCs. Together these entities will work to provide professional development opportunities at the local, regional, and statewide level. For information on available services please visit the PDC Training Schedule or contact your local PDC.

Western Mass Professional Development Center

Kimm Quinlan
StrongStart Western Mass PDC Coordinator


Central Mass Professional Development Center

Mary Watson Avery
StrongStart Central Mass PDC Coordinator


Northeast Professional Development Center

Barbara Gallagher
StrongStart Northeast PDC Coordinator


Southeast Professional Development Center

Nicole Miles
StrongStart Southeast PDC Coordinator


Metro Boston Professional Development Center

Debra Johnston-Malden, M.S.
Metro-Boston PDC Coordinator

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