Career Guide

DC Early Childhood Educators
Minimum Education Requirements and Professional Development

Child Development Facility Settings Pre-Kindergarten Enhancement and Expansion Funding program (PKEEP) School-based Settings (DC Public Schools and public charter schools)
Minimum Education Requirements:

Educators employed at child development facilities in DC must meet the requirements below.

Annual Professional Development:
The minimum professional development hours to be completed annually for child development facility staff are detailed below in the section, "Annual Training and Professional Development."
Minimum Education Requirements:

Educators employed at child development facilities in DC must meet the following requirements for teaching in a pre-K classroom as part of PKEEP.

Teacher: A teacher that holds a bachelor’s degree in early child development, early childhood education, or child and family studies or who has a bachelor’s degree and has completed eighteen (18) credits in child development, early childhood education, or child and family studies

Assistant Teacher: An assistant teacher that holds an associate’s degree in early childhood education or who has completed nine (9) credits in child development, early childhood education, or child and family studies

Annual Professional Development:
Varies by site and should be confirmed with the site administrator, but should still include the required annual health and safety trainings.

Minimum Education Requirements:
Educators and staff employed at DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC public charter schools may have different employment and licensure requirements than educators at early childhood development facilities.

For more information on educator credentialing for school-based teachers, visit OSSE's Educator Credentialing and Certification page.

Annual Professional Development:
Additionally, school-based instructional support staff have different professional development requirements and are recommended to contact the administration at their employing school for more information.

For more information on how school-based teachers can use professional development hours to renew their license, visit OSSE's Educator Credential Renewal page.

Summary of Minimum Education Requirements for Child Development Facility Staff with Accompanying Timeline

Childhood Development Facility Position Minimum Education Credential Required Original Date New Date
Center Director Bachelor’s degree (BA) in early childhood education (including early childhood development, early childhood education, elementary education, or early special education) or a bachelor’s degree in any subject area with at least 15 semester credit hours in early childhood education Dec. 2022 Not applicable
Teacher
(Child Development Center)
Associate degree (AA) in early childhood education (or early childhood development, child and family studies, or a closely related field) or an associate degree (or higher) in any subject area with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood. Dec. 2020 Dec. 2, 2023
Assistant Teacher
(Child Development Center)
Child Development Associate (CDA) Dec. 2018 Dec. 2, 2019
Expanded Home Caregiver Associate degree in early childhood education (or early childhood development, child and family studies or a closely related field) or an associate degree (or higher) in any subject area with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood. Dec. 2019 Dec. 2, 2023
Home Caregiver and Associate Home Caregiver Child Development Associate (CDA) Dec. 2018 Dec. 2, 2019

Childcare staff shall participate in professional development (PD) annually. This number of PD hours includes maintenance of trainings in health and safety. The number of PD required is dependent upon the position and facility type of an individual, as detailed below.

Annual Training and Professional Development

Staff Required Hours of PD
Child development center staff At least 21 hours of PD annually
Center Directors 12 hours of training in program management, business operations, and evaluation annually
Child development home caregivers and staff At least 12 hours of PD annually
Expanded home caregivers and staff At least 15 hours of PD annually