Human Resources

Tips on How to Develop a Professional Development Partnership

Collaborating with other early childhood organizations that have similar training needs is an effective way to build efficient partnerships. This tip sheet helps staff learn how to develop a network of relationships to find common ground in training needs and practices.

Identify Partners

  • Invite other early childhood organizations to provide training in the community.
  • List all the academic institutions, nonprofits, and other community-based organizations that are sources of training. Also note licensing requirements, accreditation, and funding requirements.
  • Identify the funders of the training.
  • Connect with workforce development programs in the community.
  • Identify registered apprenticeship programs.

Develop Relationships

  • Join credible boards, networks, roundtables, community workgroups, and task force committees in the community to build relationships. Connecting with new organizations, people, and supporters can later develop into partnerships or collaborations.
  • Expand your organization's board or committee to include a wider range of members from the early childhood community.
  • Hold a collaborative training conference, which can lead to more formal and continuing training initiatives. It is relatively easy to plan and promote. There is often a variety of collaborators willing to contribute resources, affording an excellent opportunity to build partnerships that can continue to flourish.

Find Common Ground and Build Trust

  • Invite all partners to come together to share information about their programs and get to know each other.
  • Be sure the organizer is trusted and viewed as legitimate in the community, not seen as a competitor trying to seize control.
  • After the "getting to know you" stage, begin to explore training needs and work together to find mutually beneficial solutions.

Achieve Results

  • Work together on practical goals that can achieve concrete, visible outcomes. A focus on achieving "small wins" during all phases of collaboration often leads to more small wins. With a solution in place, the next solvable problem often becomes more visible, new allies bring innovative solutions with them, old opponents change their habits, and additional resources become mobilized.