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Professional Development Track Overview

VLS Professional Development

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.

VLS tracks deliver 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 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.

VLS Track Offerings:

Foundational Tracks

The Foundational Tracks are intended for childcare caregivers, their coaches, and management who's mission is to promote every facet of child development.  Each track is tailored to a specific professional's purview and is comprised of the 15 Foundational Courses that are aligned with the Child Development Associate (CDA) competencies and NAEYC, NAFCC, and CYD-AYD standards.  These tracks include:

Registered users may earn certification in each of these six Foundational 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.

Focused Topics

The Focused-Topics Track is a collection of additional courses that will aid a variety of professionals that work within childcare. Certification in Focused Topics courses is earned upon course completion and demonstration of course mastery on the End of Course Assessment.