Ayca Alayli, Alessandra Schneider, Zorica Trikic
Published in:
International Step by Step Association
The Netherlands
Zorica Trikic,

Elements and Pathways to Establish Professional Learning Communities for Early Childhood Professionals

In the dynamic landscape of early childhood professional development, the traditional, one-size-fits-all approaches have proven insufficient, often disconnected from the real-world context in which professionals operate. Recognizing the limitations of top-down decision-making and isolated learning methods, the concept of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) emerges as a transformative approach. The overarching goal of PLCs is to foster a collaborative, adaptive environment where professionals can collectively pursue common goals and purposes, ultimately enhancing the quality and impact of their work in early childhood settings.

This resource is developed by ISSA staff, under the Health Systems for Early Child Development Initiative, and tailored specifically for professionals working with young children and families across sectors, emphasizing the power of PLCs in fostering sustainable, high-quality practices through collaborative and ongoing peer support.

This guide depicts the essential elements of PLCs, offering a roadmap for setting up and efficiently managing these communities. While the concept of PLCs has deep roots in the educational realm, its applicability has expanded into the health and social sectors, addressing the unique needs of those working with young children and families. This guide also illustrates the application of PLCs in early childhood education and health settings, using relevant examples. These examples serve as models for the creation and sustainability of a PLC, underscoring the flexibility of the content to align with the diverse professional priorities and needs of PLC members across various sectors.