Date of Completion


Embargo Period



JoAnn Robinson, Beth Russell

Field of Study

Human Development and Family Studies


Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


This qualitative research study aimed to understand the preferred and optimal professional development options for early childhood providers across the state of Connecticut. A total of thirteen focus groups were conducted among 147 teacher’s assistants, lead teachers, directors, and consultants. Focus groups were semi-structured interviews with questions ranging from teaching goals to impressions of new legislation that requires increasing education for professionals in the early childhood field. For the purpose of this study, analysis focused on preparation that worked well, topics needed for professional development, and professional development format, and logistics. Results indicated that early childhood professionals prefer professional development sessions that are interactive, can be easily applied in their role, and provide opportunity for practice, coaching, and feedback. Implications for training and professional development are discussed along with specific recommendations.

Major Advisor

Anne Farrell