Child Care Providers

As an child care provider, you must meet the general staff qualification requirements for your role.  

Timeline

Providers hired before August 1, 2019: House Bill 2556 extended the timeline for existing early learning providers until Aug. 1, 2026.

Providers hired after August 1, 2019: Early learning providers have five years from their date of hire or promotion to meet the full education staff qualifications requirements.

Meeting Staff Qualifications

Review the drop downs to learn about role-specific qualifications, or print the General Staff Qualifications chart.

Child Care Centers

Center Director, Assistant Director, Program Supervisor

  • Background Check
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Test
  • Licensing Orientation (if applicable)
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Hiring Education Requirement:
    • 10 ECE credits (12 or less children)
    • 25 ECE credits (13-24 children)
    • 45 ECE credits (25+ children)
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Electronic Attendance training (if applicable)
  • Subsidy Billing (if applicable)
  • 10-Hour Annual In-Service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
  • Leadership Practices

Only one person in one of these roles must meet the requirement upon hire.

  • Full Education: WA ECE State Certificate (47 credits) or equivalent
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: 5 years or by Aug. 1, 2026

Center Lead Teacher

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • 10-Hour Annual In-Service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
  • Full Education:
    • ECE Initial Certificate (12 credits)
    • Short Certificate (20 credits)
    • Or equivalent
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion
    • Initial Certificate - 5 years or by Aug. 1, 2026
    • Short Certificate - 2 years from completing Initial Certificate

Center Assistant Teacher

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • 10-Hour Annual In-Service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
  • Full Education: WA State Initial Certificate (12 credits) or equivalent
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: 5 years or by Aug. 1, 2026

Center Aide

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma or Enrolled
  • Child Care Basics
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • 10-Hour Annual In-Service Training
  • No requirement

Center Volunteer (Ongoing)

For information about ongoing vs occasional volunteer, see the Volunteering in an Early Learning Facility guide.

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Hiring Education Requirement: N/A
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Federal Health and Safety Trainings
    • Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Serving Children Experiencing Homelessness
    • Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome (if applicable)
  • No requirement
  • Full Education: No requirement

Center Other Staff

“Other staff” includes roles that do not provide direct care to children or count in ratio.

  • Background Check (if applicable)
  • Food Handler’s (if applicable)
  • N/A

Family Homes

Family Home Licensee

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Licensing Orientation
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Subsidy Billing Training (if applicable)
  • Electronics Attendance Training (if applicable)
  • 10-Hour Annual In-Service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
  • Leadership Practices
  • Full Education:
    • WA State Initial Certificate (12 credits)
    • Short Certificate (20 credits)
    • Or equivalent
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: WA State Initial Certificate – 5 years or by Aug. 1, 2026 | Short Certificate – 2 years from completing Initial Certificate

Family Home Lead Teacher

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • 10-Hour Annual In-Service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
  • Full Education: WA State Initial Certificate (12 credits) or equivalent
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion - 5 years or by Aug. 1, 2026

Family Home Assistant Teacher

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • 10-Hour Annual In-Service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
  • Full Education: WA State Initial Certificate (12 credits) or equivalent
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: 5 years or by Aug. 1, 2026

Family Home Aide

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma or Enrolled
  • Child Care Basics
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • No requirement
  • No requirement

Family Home Volunteer

  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Hiring Education Requirement: N/A
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Federal Health and Safety Trainings
    • Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Serving Children Experiencing Homelessness
    • Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome (if applicable)
  • No requirement
  • No requirement

Family Home Other Staff or Household Members 14 and older

  • Background Check
  • TB test (if applicable)
  • Food Handlers (if applicable)
  • No requirement

Looking to become a lcensed child care & early learning provider? Visit the licensing webpages.

General Staff Qualifications

These are requirements that must be met before a provider receives a license or works with children (WAC 110-300-0105). Pre-service requirements include:

  • Licensing Orientation*
  • Background Check
  • TB Test

* If applicable for the role.  

These are requirements that a person must have upon hire (WAC 110-300-0100). They include:

  • The minimum age to work with children in an early learning setting.
  • The education level needed before being hired. This depends on the role.

Education Requirement in WAC

Depending on your role, early learning providers must meet a certain education level in order to qualify for that role (WAC 110-300-0100).

There are several options for meeting the full education requirements.

Licensing standards in early learning require training to be completed before a provider can care for children (or within a specific timeframe) and throughout their career.