Child Care

Pathways to Professional Development

Career Lattice Requirements

Level 1 Introductory Informal Education

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Current CPR certification and first aid training
  • Six additional hours of training (within the last year) in two or more of the 15 Professional Training Areas
  • Work directly with children in a child care, preschool, Head Start, or school-age program

Level 2 Advanced Informal Education

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Current CPR certification and first aid training
  • 20 additional hours of training (within the last year) in four or more of the 15 Professional Training Areas
  • Work directly with children in a state-registered or licensed child care, preschool, Head Start, or school-age program
  • Membership in a recognized professional organization or attend six hours of professional development conference training

Level 3 Professional Credential

  • Current CPR certification and first aid training (if working with children)
  • CDA or other similar credential which includes a minimum of 120 hours of training or a vocational certificate with early childhood emphasis
  • Work directly with children in a state-registered or licensed child care, preschool, Head Start, or school-age program
    or provide leadership or instruction that promotes the development of other practitioners
  • Membership in a recognized professional organization
  • Attend six hours of professional development conference training

Level 4 Apprenticeship or Higher Education Coursework

  • Current CPR certification and first aid training (if working with children)
  • Completion of apprenticeship training and certification or 12 college credits in early childhood
  • Two years experience working in a program with children in the past six years or two years experience providing leadership or instruction that promotes the development of
    other practitioners
  • Membership in a recognized professional organization
  • Attend six hours of professional development conference training

Level 5 Early Childhood Associate’s Degree

  • Current CPR certification and first aid training (if working with children)
  • Associate’s degree with a minimum of 18 early childhood credits or unrelated bachelor’s degree with work experience and training in early childhood or school-age
  • Two years experience working in a program with children in the past four years or supervised practicum/field experience as required by associate’s degree program or minimum of two years of experience providing leadership/instruction promoting the development of other practitioners
  • Membership in a recognized professional organization
  • Attend six hours of professional development conference training

Level 6 Baccalaureate Degree

  • Current CPR certification and first aid training (if working with children)
  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 24 credits in early childhood education or bachelor’s degree in a related field of study combined with work experience and professional
    training
  • Four years experience in a state-registered or licensed early childhood or school-age program or supervised field experience as required by a bachelor’s degree program
    or two years experience providing leadership or instruction that promotes the development of other practitioners
  • Membership in a recognized professional organization
  • Attend six hours of professional development conference training

Level 7 Master’s and Doctoral Degree

  • Current CPR certification and first aid training (if working with children)
  • Master’s or doctoral degree in early childhood or a closely-related field
  • Four years of experience providing leadership or instruction that promotes the development of other practitioners
  • Serve as a mentor and educator to others in the field
  • Membership in a recognized professional organization
  • Attend six hours of professional development conference training
  • Demonstration of professional leadership