For early childhood educators, high-quality professional development can have an enormous positive impact on teaching practices--and boost young children's outcomes and school readiness. But since early childhood teachers come from diverse backgrounds and educational levels, it can be a challenge to create effective, customized professional development programs for them. This is the book administrators and program directors need to meet that challenge and take the first critical steps toward improving their training practices. Bringing together lessons learned from the eight top-performing programs to receive professional development grants from the Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program in the U.S. Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, this book gives readers a valuable inside look at what's really working today. Program directors and administrators will fully explore the who, what, when, where, and how of high-quality, practice-based professional development: Who benefits from it? Examine characteristics of the early educator workforce and how to address their obstacles to professional development participation, such as financial resources, education levels, and burnout rates. What practices are promising? Explore proven models for choosing the right content, scaffolding skills through coaching and mentoring, and promoting effective professional development across whole communities. Where should professional development happen? Learn from successful approaches in community colleges, training programs, and culturally diverse centers. When and for how long should it take place? Make sound decisions about the duration and timing of professional development. How do you know it's working? Discover the best ways to assess early childhood educators' practices and monitor fidelity of implementation. Throughout the book, cutting-edge research blends with vignettes and case studies from the eight successful programs-ideal models that readers can use as a starting point to improve their own practices. A breakthrough resource that will change the way early childhood educators are trained, this book will help programs lay the important groundwork for better professional development, better teachers, and better outcomes for all young children. This book is part of the NCRECE series.