Policy Resource

North Dakota Growing Futures

Feb 9, 2016

Growing Futures is a central clearinghouse of information and resources for anyone who works with or on behalf of North Dakota's children.

For more than ten years, a dedicated group of early childhood collaborators representing various aspects of the early childhood community in North Dakota have worked to design and develop the Growing Futures system. The following vision, goals, and outcomes have been identified to guide early childhood professional development in North Dakota.


A coordinated system that grows the knowledge and competencies of individuals who provide care and education to children ages birth to 8-years, promotes the development of successful careers in early care and education, and strengthens early childhood programs to support healthy development and learning outcomes for children.


  • Facilitate coordination of training and education opportunities for early childhood practitioners
  • Ensure that training and education approved for professional development aligns with Core Competencies and equips practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to support children’s development and learning
  • Provide continual access to all systems components to practitioners, trainers, and others regardless of location, income, or background
  • Establish training and educational opportunities for early childhood practitioners that are progressive and cumulative, and linked to Growing Futures Career Pathways and the Quality Rating and Improvement System


  • Increased number of individuals who have a valid professional credential or degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development
  • Increased number of programs participating in Bright & Early
  • Increased number of accredited programs
  • Enhanced training infrastructure to support progressive and professional development and career growth for the early childhood workforce
  • Increased membership to the registry
  • Increase retention of individuals in the early childhood field
  • Improved competence, professionalism and recognition of individuals in the early childhood field

An online training registry was launched in 2011 to include the Trainer and Training Approval System. Beginning July 1, 2011 all trainers and training must be approved by the Growing Futures Registry, which is administered by North Dakota Child Care Resource and Referral.

In 2016 the Registry outgrew its original database and purchased a new software system, joining the Registry Consortium used by several other states including Minnesota and Montana. The official transition to the new data system occurred July 1, 2016. At that time, Registry membership had grown to nearly 4,000 individuals. Hundreds of hours of training have been approved, tracked, and reported since the Registry opened in 2012. In just four years of operation, the Registry has become established as an integrated component of the state system and the central clearinghouse for information on the state early childhood workforce.

Growing Futures is also working with the North Dakota Department of Human Services to integrate data for licensing purposes as well as for the state’s efforts around an integrated data system. Growing Futures is the source for workforce data relative to that effort. The administration of the Growing Futures Registry is funded through a contract from the North Dakota Department of Human Services to Child Care Aware® of North Dakota.

Updated June 2018.

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