Professional Development Track Overview

The Virtual Lab School (VLS) professional development system empowers child and youth professionals to build their knowledge and skills around research-based educational practices. Our training content and resources addresses six professional audiences including center- and home-based care providers, as well as coaching and management staff by providing a 'track' of courses tailored to each role.

Foundational Courses are available in the following professional tracks: Infant Toddler, Preschool, School-Age, Family Child Care, Training & Curriculum Specialists (coaching), and Management. The courses within each Track are aligned with the Child Development Associate (CDA) competencies and NAEYC, NAFCC, and CYD-AYD standards. In addition, specialized training materials and resources are available in our ‘Focused Topics’ courses, which are track-independent, and available to all professional audiences.

Registered users may earn certification in each of the six professional tracks by logging on to the VLS and using the progress tracking, assessment, and oversight features. For information on obtaining access to the certification features of the VLS, please click here.

The Virtual Lab School site offers an extensive repository of videos, a comprehensive review of best practices, and in-depth exploration of topics relevant to child development, care and education. VLS integrates research on supporting support children, youth and their families, as well as adult learners in care and educational settings. It offers a systemic approach to building and sustaining quality care and education programs.

The Virtual Lab School was designed and developed by a faculty and staff team at The Ohio State University in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.