One of the most important factors contributing to a child’s development is the care setting they are exposed to. The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program requires states to develop a system for continuing professional development for teachers. Additionally, each state sets its own requirements around teacher qualifications. Teacher qualifications play a role in early childhood education quality and can help bring about the conditions for the positive interactions and experiences that are associated with positive child outcomes.
This indicator documents the states’ teacher qualifications for infants and toddlers, as reported in their CCDF plans for fiscal years 2019-2021. We classified qualifications into five categories: no credential beyond a high school diploma; CDA or state equivalent credential; specific infant/toddler credential or CDA with an infant/toddler credential; associate degree; bachelor’s degree. Most states did not differentiate requirements by age within infants and toddlers. When requirements did vary by age, we selected the lowest qualifications. If the state made a distinction between types of teachers, qualifications for the lead teacher were used.
Yoshikawa, H., Weiland, C., Brooks-Gunn, J., Burchinal, M. R., Espinosa, L. M., Gormley, W. T., … & Zaslow, M. J. (2013). Investing in our future: The evidence base on preschool education. Society for Research in Child Development. https://www.fcd-us.org/assets/2013/10/Evidence20Base20on20Preschool20Education20FINAL.pdf
Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care (2018). Approved CCDF Plans (FY 2019-2021). US Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/state-plans