About P-5 Cross-Sector Core Competencies Training

Introduction and Overview

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The ZERO TO THREE Western Office partnered with First 5 LA to develop the Prenatal to Age 5 Workforce Development (P-5WFD) Project in response to the need for cross-sector coordination of services for the P- 5 population. The P-5 WFD Project developed the P-5 Cross-Sector Core Competencies that identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for the professionals working with the P-5 population. The cross-sector core competencies hone in on eight core competency domains essential for all professionals in the P-5 field.

These domains include:

  1. Early Childhood Development
  2. Family-Centered Practice
  3. Relationship-Based Practice
  4. Health and Development Risk and Protective Factors
  5. Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness
  6. Leadership to Meet Family Needs and Improve Services and Systems
  7. Professional and Ethical Practices
  8. Service Planning, Coordination, and Collaboration

The P-5 Cross-Sector Core Competencies Training is designed to bring these competencies directly to professionals serving the P-5 population, in order enhance capacity for coordinated, collaborative service delivery.

The P-5 Core Competencies Training include:

  • eight advanced-level online lessons
  • interaction, reflection, and peer feedback through the Discussion Forum
  • Community of Practice sessions to help support the implementation of new knowledge, skills, and strategies, and
  • the opportunity to extend learning through optional fieldwork suggested within each lesson.


Christina Nigrelli, MA, EdS, with Nancy L. Seibel, MEd — Christina Nigrelli is the Senior Director of Programs at the ZERO TO THREE Western Office. Nancy is founder and principal at Keys to Change, LLC.

Special thanks to:

JP Leong, Instructional Design Consultant
Eric Vaughn ZERO TO THREE, Digital Marketing Manager, Development & Communications
Nikki Darling-Kuria ZERO TO THREE, Senior Writer-Training Specialist, Center for Training Services
Jenifer Chacon MSW Candidate USC School of Social Work and Program Associate, ZERO TO THREE, Western Office
Elizabeth Salazar Program Assistant, ZERO TO THREE Western Office
Dan Silk Web Development Consultant
5:00 Films and Media


1 Understanding Family-Centered Practice

This lesson describes family-centered practice, discusses a cross-sector approach to service delivery, and identifies how professionals’ culture can influence their work with families.

2 Supporting Early Childhood Development

This lesson describes indicators of healthy social-emotional development in infants and young children. It identifies strategies for supporting children’s healthy development and discusses protective and risk factors that can support or threaten healthy development.

3 The Importance of Relationship-Based Practice

This lesson focuses on the importance and characteristics of relationship-based practice, defines the parallel process in relationships, and identifies skills for building trusting relationships.

4 Recognizing Health and Developmental Protective and Risk Factors

This lesson describes protective and risk factors and identifies strategies to build on family strengths to promote resilience in young children and their families.

5 Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

This lesson discusses the evidence base on culture and its impact on early development and identifies key understandings and strategies for implementing culturally and linguistically responsive practice.

6 Promoting Coordination and Collaboration Across Service Sectors

This lesson addresses the importance of early childhood professionals working together to support a common vision that all young children are healthy, ready to learn, and can reach their full potential.

7 Leadership

This lesson explores leadership practices and the role of P-5 professionals in exercising leadership in a responsive early childhood service system to strengthen families and support positive developmental outcomes for young children.

8 Professional and Ethical Practices

This lesson explains the purpose of ethical codes, identifies common ethical dilemmas in P-5 service delivery, and describes a process for ethical decision making.