Education and Equivalents

Education Requirement in WAC

School-age care providers must meet certain education for their role (WAC 110-301-0100). Providers are able to complete any college coursework from a nationally accredited college or university. You can reach out to the school of your choice to create an education plan.

ECE Stackable Certificates

If your role lists required education, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Stackable Certificates might be an option for you. Print out the Stackable Certificates guide.  

  • Stackable Certificates build on one another.
  • They lead into an associate degree in ECE and beyond.
  • They’re offered throughout the state and are available in-person and online. 


Equivalents are alternative ways to meet the education requirement in WAC. Currently, school-age providers only have the experience-based competency demonstration option.

An experience option is available and providers will be able to select it in MERIT in the future. Providers with two years of experience before June 1, 2021, and who have maintained their training history as needed for their role may choose this option to meet licensing staff qualification.

This experience option is available to site directors and lead teachers with the stated education requirement in WAC 110-301-0100.

  1. Seven years in a licensed facility (or will have by June 1, 2026) as listed in MERIT.
  2. Completed all training requirements each year:
    1. School-Age Basics and 10 in-service (STARS) hours each year:
      1. This includes years of prior experience through current date in-service requirements as outlined in WAC 0105, 0106, and 0107.
    2. Maintained compliance with all renewable health and safety training in all years:
      1. Includes: CPR, Bloodborne Pathogens, First Aid, and Food Handlers.

View the criteria and eligibility publication