About the Professional Development System (PDS)

The IdahoSTARS Professional Development System (PDS) is a voluntary, statewide professional development system for child care professionals and early childhood educators.  IdahoSTARS offers scholarships, an array of specialized trainings, and advanced professional opportunities that help improve professional knowledge, competence, skill, and effectiveness.

Find out more in RISE

Incentive Eligibility:

To be eligible for PDS incentives and recognition* PDS participants must:

  • Be on the staff list of a child care facility in RISE and listed as working 15 hours per week or more.
  • Have a valid, current, and approved Pediatric CPR and Pediatric First Aid in RISE.
  • Have a valid, current and approved Child Care Worker License (if required in the city of work) in RISE.

*Head Start employees are eligible for academic degree scholarships, single course academic scholarship, and CDA assessment/renewal scholarships.

PDS Incentives and Recognition Include:

Training Scholarships

  • Training scholarships and training reimbursements cover the cost of IdahoSTARS-approved training, workshops, or conferences taken in person or through distance learning.
  • Eligible users receive 200 Training Scholarship units per year.
  • If you have questions about training scholarships, email trainingscholarships@idahostars.org

CDA Scholarships

CDA Scholarships cover the costs of CDA assessment ($425) or renewal ($125) for Child Development Associates granted by the Council for Professional Recognition.

GED Reimbursement Scholarships

GED Reimbursement Scholarships reimburse the costs of GED testing.

Academic Scholarships

If you have questions about Academic Scholarships, email academicscholarships@idahoaeyc.org.

Early Childhood Care & Education Badges

IdahoSTARS badges provide recognition for the completion of targeted professional development activities. Each badge represents a different domain of child development or specialized area of accomplishment.

PDS Anniversary Recognition

PDS Anniversary Recognition is awarded to eligible participants after completing at least 20 hours of professional development during their annual PDS Anniversary cycle, using any combination of IdahoSTARS-approved training, Targeted TA, or college credits related to ECE.

Contact pds@idahoaeyc.org with any questions.

PDS Anniversary Recognition by Level

Level Level of Education Requirements
1 PDS entry - High School/GED PDS Entry - High School/GED
2 CDA Current CDA credential,
or 12 ECE-related college credits,
or Montessori Certificate.
3 Technical Certificate in ECE Technical Certificate in ECE,
or NIC Academic Certficate in ECE.
4 Associate Degree in ECE Associate degree in ECE-related field,
or 30 ECE-related college credits.
5 Bachelor's Degree in ECE Bachelor's degree in ECE-related field,
or bachelor's degree with 36 ECE-related college credits.
6 Master's degree or higher in ECE Master's degree or higher in ECE
*ECE-related degrees include: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, Family & Consumer Science, Child/Family/Consumer Science, Child Development, Preschool Education, Childcare & Development, Human Development, Nursery Education, Family Relations/Childhood Development.