There is increasing awareness around the importance of early childhood education, which has led to a greater demand for early childhood educators. More parents are seeking high quality educational options for their little ones, and with good reason. Between birth and age 8, children are in their most critical period for learning and development. As the Center for Disease Control (CDC) explains, “The first 8 years can build a foundation for future learning, health and life success.”
Early childhood educators, administrators, and childcare workers are often essential figures in a child’s life. The work they do now can contribute to the success of children down the road. If you are interested in this rewarding path, you may already know about the many career options you can pursue. But do you know about the different credentials available?
Early childhood credentials are available to aspiring ECE professionals who wish to stand out amongst the competition and qualify for career advancement. Of course, these credentials will vary by state. Below are three of the common early childhood credentials you can pursue in Connecticut.
The Connecticut Early Childhood Director Credential
Are you interested in leading a school to success?
The Connecticut Director’s Credential (CDC) is a state-specific certification that is available to aspiring professionals seeking an administrative role in early childhood education. Specifically, it is designed for those who wish to become Early Childhood Administrators in Connecticut. Although this credential is not required to achieve a Director role, it can demonstrate great proficiency and help you stand out amongst the competition when applying for jobs.
To earn the Connecticut Director’s Credential, you must complete the competency, course, and experiential requirements outlined by Charter Oak State College. This includes 12 to 15 credits in topics such as Supervision and Administration, Leadership, Community Relations, Fiscal Management, and Human Resources Management in an early childhood education setting.
Most of these requirements can be completed in one year or less at Goodwin University. These courses may be completed in part with one of our early childhood education programs, or by non-matriculated students.
As noted above, the CDC credential is voluntary, designed to show that you’ve gone the extra mile to highlight your knowledge and experience in the field. If you do not decide to pursue this early childhood director credential, note that there are other requirements to become a Childcare Director in Connecticut. Specifically, to become a licensed Early Childhood Program Director, the Office of Early Childhood Licensing requires you to complete the course: Supervision and Administration in Early Childhood Programs. This is also offered by Goodwin University.
The Connecticut Early Childhood Teacher Credential
Are you interested in caring for and teaching young children, at the preschool or infant age?
In Connecticut, it is required that all early childhood educators in state-funded programs earn the Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC). The ECTC is a free, competency-based credential issued by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, for aspiring childcare providers and educators.
There are two ways to earn the Connecticut Early Childhood Teacher Credential. The primary way is through a college education. To qualify for the credential this way, you must graduate from an approved college or university, such as Goodwin, with a degree related to early childhood education. This degree must include a hands-on teaching component. In addition, you must become a member of the Connecticut Early Childhood Professional Registry.
The second method of earning the ECTC is through an individualized, experiential route. You must be working in early childhood education or have at least one year of experience in the field. In addition, you must possess a degree from a regionally accredited college in Connecticut (although, this degree can be in a major unrelated to early childhood ed). Finally, you must complete 12 credits in early childhood development or education. This can also be done at Goodwin University, as a non-matriculated student.
The Early Childhood Teacher Credential can qualify you for an array of career options, and will help you meet the requirements for state-funded programs such as:
- State Head Start Programs
- School Readiness Programs (see more information here)
- Child Day Care Contract Programs
The Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credential
Are you interested in leveling up your current, state-level certifications as an early childhood professional?
The Council for Professional Recognition offers a voluntary, nationally-recognized credential for early educators working with children from birth to age 5. This Child Development Associate (CDA) credential allows teachers to demonstrate their competencies and become recognized as top-quality teachers in their field. It is a professional development opportunity for those who wish to stand out above the rest.
To qualify for the CDA credential, you must demonstrate knowledge in child development and learning, and have completed 480 hours of hands-on experience in the field. You must also have completed 120 hours of formal early childhood education training, with no fewer than 10 training hours in each of the eight CDA Subject Areas listed here.
In Connecticut, having the CDA credential in preschool teaching or an infant-toddler setting can qualify you to work as a head teacher in a daycare or childcare setting.
Get Started in Early Childhood Education
The above early childhood credentials can be incredible steppingstones for your career, or for advancing within your role. However, in order to achieve these various credentials, you must start with a foundation: an early childhood education degree. At Goodwin University, you can pursue an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, or a Bachelor’s degree in Child Study.
The Bachelor’s in Child Study will prepare you for successful careers as a:
- Child Advocate
- Child Specialist with the Department of Children and Families
- Curriculum Coordinator
- Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Teacher
- Early Childhood Director
- Entry Level in Social Service Agency
- Licensing Specialist with the Department of Public Health
- School Readiness Teacher
The Associate in Early Childhood Education will prepare you for careers as a:
- Family Resource Worker
- Private Sector Infant, Toddler, or Preschool Teacher
- School Readiness Assistant Teacher
The choice is yours, and your future in early childhood education is now in your hands. To learn more about the programs offered at Goodwin University, or to launch your career today, do not hesitate to contact us. Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.