I'm an Early Learning Provider

Staff Qualifications

To meet licensing standards, providers must meet certain requirements:

  • Pre-service: Requirements completed before hire or before being left alone with children. These requirements depend on the job role.   
  • Training: Early learning child-care providers are responsible for completing training before they provide care and throughout their career.
  • Education: College coursework is required related to early childhood education. All providers have at least five years to meet their full education requirements.

These dropdowns show the minimum hiring and the education requirement for each role, including roles serving ECEAP:

Licensed centers or school districts

Center Director, Assistant Director, Program Supervisor

(only one person in one of these roles must meet the requirement)

  • Hiring Education Requirement: 10 ECE credits (12 or less children) | 25 ECE credits (13-24 children) | 45 ECE credits (25+ children)
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: State Cert (47 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: 5 years
Center Lead Teacher
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: Initial Certificate (12 credits) | Short Certificate (20 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: Initial Certificate – 5 years | Short Certificate – 2 years from completing Initial Certificate
Center Lead Teacher Serving ECEAP
  • Hiring Education Requirement: AA in ECE
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: AA in ECE
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: Upon hire, or may have a PD Plan
Center Assistant Teacher
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: Initial Certificate (12 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: 5 years
Center Assistant Teacher Serving ECEAP
  • Hiring Education Requirement: ECE Initial Certificate
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: Initial Certificate (12 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: Upon hire, or may have a PD Plan
Center Aide
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma or Enrolled
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Full Education Requirement: High School Diploma or Enrolled
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: N/A
Center Volunteer
  • Hiring Education Requirement: None required
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Full Education Requirement: None
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: N/A
Center Other Staff
  • Hiring Education Requirement: None required
  • Minimum Age: N/A
  • Full Education Requirement: None
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: N/A
Family Home Owner
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: Initial Certificate (12 credits) | Short Certificate (20 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: Initial Certificate – 5 years | Short Certificate – 2 years from completing Initial Certificate
Family Home Lead Teacher
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: Initial Certificate (12 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: 5 years
Family Home Lead Teacher Serving ECEAP
  • Hiring Education Requirement: AA in ECE
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: AA in ECE
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: Upon hire, or may have a PD plan
Family Home Assistant Teacher
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: Initial Certificate (12 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: 5 years
Family Home Assistant Teacher Serving ECEAP
  • Hiring Education Requirement: ECE Initial Certificate
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Full Education Requirement: Initial Certificate (12 credits)
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: Upon hire, or may have a PD plan
Family Home Aide
  • Hiring Education Requirement: High School Diploma or Enrolled
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Full Education Requirement: High School Diploma or Enrolled
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: N/A
Family Home Volunteer
  • Hiring Education Requirement: None required
  • Minimum Age: 14
  • Full Education Requirement: None
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: N/A
Family Home Other Staff
  • Hiring Education Requirement: None required
  • Minimum Age: N/A
  • Full Education Requirement: None
  • Time Allowed from Date of Hire or Promotion: N/A

How to Meet Staff Qualifications?

You can meet staff qualifications with the following:

  • Education
  • Pre-Service Training
  • In-Service Training

Education

Complete the Stackable Certificates

The Early Care and Education Stackable Certificates build on one another and serve as the starting point in Washington to begin a career in early learning. The Stackable Certificates are offered at community colleges throughout the state and can lead to an associate degree in early childhood education and beyond.

What are Equivalents?

Providers have options, known as equivalents, for meeting the licensing standards for staff qualifications. Equivalent options include both experience and alternative credentials. A complete list includes:

This option will be available summer 2020 and is for providers with two years of experience prior to August 1, 2019.

This experience option is available to all roles with an ECE Initial Certificate or ECE Short Certificate as the stated education requirement in WAC 110-300-0100.

Learn more

These can be degrees, certificates and other credentials that meet the “equivalent” of the named state certificate.

DCYF is working to establish a community based option to meet the new educational qualifications for licensing. This option is dependent on funding.

Learn more about these options

Training

Licensing standards in early learning require training to be complete before a provider can care for children (or within a specific timeframe) and throughout their career. There are three types of training listed in WAC:

  • Licensing Orientation*
  • Background Check
  • TB Test
  • Child Care Basics**
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  •  Food Handlers Permit *
  • Safe Sleep*
  • 10 hours of in-service training each year
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning

* If applicable for the role, see training based on role below for more information

** The 30-hour Child Care Basics includes Washington State and federally required content for early learning roles as specified in WAC. This includes, but is not limited to, the following topic areas as required by WAC 110-300-0106: Recognizing and Reporting Abuse (0106 section 4), Emergency Preparedness (0106 section 5), Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome (0106 section 6), Serving Children Experiencing Homelessness (0106 section 7), Medication Management (0106 section 10).

Child Care Basics (CCB)

CCB is the initial training to meet the health and safety requirements for educators working in licensed facilities. There are multiple ways to complete CCB. View your options in Completing Child Care Basics.

Training Based on Role
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Licensing Orientation (if applicable)
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers Permit (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Child Restraint (if applicable)
  • 10-hour Annual In-service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Licensing Orientation (if applicable)
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers Permit (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Child Restraint (if applicable)
  • 10-hour Annual In-service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Licensing Orientation (if applicable)
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers Permit (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Child Restraint (if applicable)
  • 10-hour Annual In-service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Licensing Orientation (if applicable)
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers Permit (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Child Restraint (if applicable)
  • 10-hour Annual In-service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers Permit (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Child Restraint (if applicable)
  • 10-hour Annual In-service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Child Care Basics
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers Permit (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • 10-hour Annual In-service Training
  • Enhancing Quality of Early Learning
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Child Care Basics
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Food Handlers Permit (if applicable)
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • 10-hour Annual In-service Training
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Safe Sleep (if applicable)
  • Health and Safety Trainings – Recognizing and Reporting Abuse, Emergency Preparedness, Serving Children Experiencing Homelessness, Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome (if applicable)
  • N/A
Pre-Service & Training Requirements In-Service Requirements
  • N/A
  • N/A
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