The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) issues certificates to qualified practitioners who work in center-based early education and care programs. Each year EEC’s Professional Registry reviews over 5,000 applications to certify practitioners as teachers, lead teachers or directors under EEC's group child care regulations. This free service provides practitioners with an easy way to document their qualifications and simplifies hiring for programs. Now you can apply for an EEC certificate on-line or by mail.
To apply for an EEC certificate on-line:
- Obtain your official course transcript. Copies are not accepted.
- Copy of your high school diploma or college degree if it is not on your transcript.
- Gather information about your prior experience such as the programs, dates, positions, and age groups.
- Create your User Account in EEC's
Professional Registry and fill out the Professional
Qualifications Online Application.
- Print the Checklist with your
Registrant ID number on it.
- Print your Verification of Work
Experience form(s) to be signed by your supervising Lead
Teacher or Director.
- Attach your transcript, degree (if
needed), and work experience form(s) to the Checklist and
mail it to EEC.
Once your documents are received, EEC will review your on-line application. The "Pending" status boxes next to the information you entered will be changed to "Approved" if requirements have been met or "Incomplete" if they have not. EEC will either issue you a certificate or send you a letter explaining what else is needed. If you choose to, you can download these documents directly from the Registry. You can check on the status of your application at any time simply by using your username and password to access your account.
To apply online click on Qualification Registry and to apply by mail, download the Professional Qualifications Packet
Note: For instructions on new Single Sign In, please review the following documents
You can still apply for an EEC certificate by mail by printing the Application packet and following the instructions.
For more information on how to become certified:
Public School Preschools
If you wish to work in public school preschools contact the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
ESE issues licenses to qualified professionals in early education and care, who work in preschools that are run
by the public schools. For more information about the Early Childhood Teachers of Students With and Without
Disabilities Pre K -2 license, visit the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education web site
Child Development Associate (CDA)
A CDA is a nationally recognized credential for practitioners of early education and care. CDAs are issued by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition, a national association that supports professional development in early education and care. To earn a CDA, applicants must demonstrate their competency in supporting the healthy growth and development of children in center-based care, family child care, or home visiting programs.
EEC accepts a CDA as equivalent to 12 credits which, with 27 months of work experience, qualifies an applicant as a Lead Teacher. EEC awards scholarships to income eligible practitioners for either the CDA Assessment Fee ($325) or the cost of renewal ($50).
About the CDA Credential, contact the Council for Early Childhood Professional
Recognition at (800) 424-4310 or