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    Professional Development Institute

    Attention Directors, Administrators
    & School Owners
    Network, Share & Talk
    at our Director's Cafe!
    Check out our 2017-2018 Dates!


    Click here for a list of
    all of our Professional Development Trainings

    PDI Overview

    Established in 2016, the Professional Development Institute (PDIis an extension of ELC’s Professional Development department, set to improve the quality of services, support and education for young children.  Programs are designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and professional advancement of early childhood professionals through various classes, courses, and conferences offered in face-to-face or web-based formats.


    To maximize child outcomes through an innovative professional development system designed to empower early childhood professionals and advocates.

    Core Values

    • We believe high quality early learning experiences provide a foundation for success in life.
    • We believe that well-educated and trained early childhood professionals positively impact child outcomes.
    • We believe working together creates a stronger community.
    • We respect all cultures, backgrounds and belief systems.





    Emotional Intelligence



    Meet our Team

    jaime-holevasJaime Holevas, Professional Development Program Supervisor
    Jaime has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood/Special Education along with an Infant Toddler Credential and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. For 20 plus years she has been in the early childhood field and was inspired by the endless opportunities teachers have to make a difference. She is committed to inspire, motivate, and support others.


    Amanda Houston, Professional Development Coordinator
    Amanda has a degree in early childhood development and over 15 years of experience in various roles within the early childhood field.  She believes that children deserve a solid foundation for learning and that it is the responsibility of those in the early childhood field to create an environment that supports intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth for all children.


    Elizabeth Dixon, Training & Development Specialist

    Liz is from Clearwater, FL and has been in the Human Service field for over 25 years. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Services from Springfield College, and is skilled at assisting families with special needs and providing services for preschoolers, school age children, teens and adults. Liz is a mother of three daughters and has four young grandsons. In the community she enjoys giving back by working with the youth and building relationships at the local recreation center; she is also the president of the mass choir, a church greeter, and orchestrates BINGO and senior activities at her church.  Liz loves being in this field to inspire success while providing quality services to our providers and families. She believes in making a difference in our future by enhancing the developmental skills in children and building relationships with families.


    Brett Engisch, Training & Development Specialist
    Brett has taught children and teachers from Pre-Kindergarten to College over the past forty-five years. She has a Master’s in Education and had certifications for Kindergarten, Specific Learning Disabilities and Administration.  Children inspire her to see the best in everyone. She commits to find the best ideas for them and their teachers to be successful learners in life.


    Mallory Akers, Infant/Toddler Specialist
    Mallory is a Florida native and has been in the Pinellas area since 2011. She has been working in the early childcare field for nearly 10 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Preschool Studies. Mallory is a certified PreK CLASS Observer and is working toward her certification for Infant and Toddler.  She is also in the process of becoming an Early Learning Florida Lastinger Coach as well as a trainer for Making the Most of Classroom Interactions (MMCI).  While she has worked with every age group, the majority of her experience is with infants and toddlers, which is her passion. Mallory’s goal is to share her knowledge with teachers in order to help create a more positive and loving environment for the children they care for each day.


    Angela Loring, Trainer
    Angela holds a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction from USF, and has worked in the early childhood industry for almost 25 years.  The birth of her son inspired her to enter the early childhood field.  Angela strives to increase child outcomes by providing dynamic training opportunities for early childhood professionals.


    Catrenia Wilson-Paul, Administrative Specialist II
    Catrenia is originally from NE Pennsylvania, where she attended school at ESU. She is currently attending SPC studying Mass Communications.  Catrenia has worked in the non-profit sector for over 15 years and is currently a member of SAC and PSTA at Northeast High School, where her son attends school. She is committed to providing support and excellent service to providers to ensure their success through PDI.

    Trainings & Conferences


    Upcoming Trainings


    For a full list of our trainings, please visit our Trainings Page



    Community Trainings

    Alternative Trainings


    Infant/ToddlerTraining on the GoInfant-Toddler
    PreschoolBook StudyEarly Care and Education
    Emotional IntelligenceInclusion
    DirectorDirector, date TBD


    Career Path (Professional Development Incentive Program -PDIP)

    Performance Funding

    The Performance Funding Project (PFP) rewards School Readiness providers with additional funds for meeting increased quality standards.  Click here to learn more and watch WEDU’s piece on the project below.



    Resource Room

    The resource room is equipped with a laminator, book binder, Ellison Machine, and resource books. Providers can use their own materials or purchase them for a nominal fee. School Readiness providers receive three (3) free yards of laminating per month. Please contact Catrenia Wilson-Paul at to schedule a time to use the resource room.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    How do I find more information on obtaining and renewing my credentials?

    The Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County, Inc. assists providers who are seeking to obtain their staff credential, VPK Director Endorsement, or their Director credential. We will also help with renewal of credentials.

    For more information as outlined by the Department of Children and Families, click on one of the links below:

    Still have questions? Contact Angela LoringDirector of Professional Development at 727-400-4435


    Continuing Education Units (CEU’s)

    How do I Request a Transcript?

    The Coalition began outsourcing CEU’s to FLAEYC  in March 2016. If you’ve purchased CEU’s since then, and need a copy of your certificate, please contact Joe Andre at (813) 878-9973.

    To request a transcript from courses attended prior to March 2016, click here and complete the attached request.

    How do I get CEU’s?

    CEU’s are issued through accredited organizations for a fee. The fee is based on the number of CEU’s issued. After attending a professional development training offering CEU’s, you may be asked to complete the required paperwork and possibly an assessment.  Once accepted, CEU’s will be awarded.

    Why would I need CEU’s?

    CEU’s can be used for the renewal of the Florida Child Care Professional Certificate (formerly the CDAE), the Florida Director’s Credential, or the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA). 4.5 CEUs are required for each credential renewal. Further information on renewal can be found on the Department of Children and Families website located at or the Council for Professional Recognition website at CEUs cannot be used to obtain a FCCOC, a Director’s Credential, or a CDA/CDAE.

    What is a CEU?

    “CEU” stands for Continuing Education Unit.  It is used in continuing Education programs as a measure of the time spent in the classroom during professional development and training activities.  The Early Learning Coalition transitioned from IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training) to FLAEYC (Florida Association for the Education of Young Children) CEUs in March of 2016.

    Sponsored by Florida’s Office of Early Learning