What Training Is Required to Become a Child Care Professional?

Training for a child care professional varies from state to state. Read on to review the various education, licensure and certification requirements for child care work, and get info on advancement opportunities as well. Schools offering Child Care Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Training Overview

Training required to become a child care professional varies widely from state to state. Some states only require a high school diploma, while other states require certification and some form of formal education, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). A national child development associate (CDA) credential helps those interested in pursuing a career as a child care professional find higher paying jobs.


Some states may require college courses or a college degree in child development or early childhood education for employment as a child care professional. These requirements are most often sought by private firms in publicly funded programs. Many employers prefer workers who have secondary or postsecondary courses in childhood development and early childhood education. Experience in the child care setting is preferred.

Licensing and Certification

Many states require child care professionals to be licensed if they care for more than a few children. A background check is often required. Childcare professionals should be trained in first aid and CPR, and they are usually required to pass a health check and receive immunizations. Some employers prefer to hire a childcare professional who has earned a nationally recognized credential, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) or Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) credential. This credential is awarded by either the Council for Professional Recognition or the National Child Care Association. Child care experience and coursework, such as postsecondary college courses or employer-provided seminars, would meet the requirements of these associations.

Supervisory and Administrative Positions

In order for child care professionals to advance to supervisory or administrative positions, they need additional training leading to a bachelor's or master's degree in child care studies. A child care professional may advance to work in referral agencies and advocacy groups.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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