Professional Development

The Professional Development Committee’s purpose is to create a well-constructed and accessible early childhood system for education professionals in Tarrant County, which will strengthen the quality of early learning for all children.

The Alliance has identified the following strategies to elevate early childhood professional development quality.

Strategy A: Professional Development Registry Campaign

Recruit, educate, and empower early education providers through the Tarrant County Registry Campaign

Strategy B: Career Pathway

Develop stackable trainings and credit bearing professional development opportunities for early education professionals to progress on a career pathway

Strategy C: Instructional Quality Initiative

Roll out a public private partnership with local school districts, charter schools, nonprofits, and researchers to improve the quality of classroom instruction, mentoring and coaching, using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System assessment tool

Professional Development Committee Representatives


  • Nicole Allen, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County
  • Sadie Funk, First3Years


  • Colleen Allen, Children’s Learning Institute, UT Health Science Center, Houston
  • Natalie Baerwaldt, First3Years
  • Mildred Batista, Child Care Management Services of Tarrant County
  • Nikkia Brandon, Educational First Steps
  • Michelle Buckley, ELA Coordinator
  • Pablo Calderon, Community Volunteer, SPARC Board Member
  • Denise Collins, Ph.D., UT Arlington
  • Travis Davis, Tarrant County College
  • Renee Hernandez, Child Care Management Services of Tarrant County
  • Lyn Lucas, Camp Fire First Texas
  • Connie Presley, Child Care Licensing, Texas DFPS
  • Audrey Rowland, Green Space
  • Kym Shaw Day, Educational First Steps
  • Brandy Smart, Child Care Management Services of Tarrant County
  • Nicole Devlin Stroud, Ph.D., Community Volunteer
  • Linda Todd, Child Care Associates
  • Kara Waddell, Child Care Associates
  • Racquel Washington, Knowledge Universe
  • Stephania Whitehurst, Child Care Management Services of Tarrant County
  • Lisa Witkowski, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County