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Education Standards

What are "Education Standards"? 

Studies have shown that the more education and experience a child care center administrator has, the greater the impact on the center because of improved management, lower staff turnover, and better classroom practices. Child care providers with more early childhood education and experience interact better with children and create more enriching classroom experiences. Studies have shown that children whose caregivers had higher qualifications did better both academically and behaviorally at least into early elementary school.

The law requires that, at a minimum, a lead teacher be 18 years old, have high school diploma or its equivalent and NC Early Childhood Credential or its equivalent. Once hired, the lead teacher must enroll in the community college coursework within the first six months of employment and complete it within 18 months of enrollment to receive a North Carolina Early Childhood Credential. (There are additional options that are equal to the Credential). To earn higher points in the education component of the rated license child care staff must complete more coursework and/or formal education and have experience working with preschool children. The number of points a center can earn for staff education is based on:

  • The education and experience levels of the administrator
  • The number of lead teachers with NC Early Childhood Credentials
  • The number of lead teachers with additional early childhood or child development education and/or experience
  • The number of teachers with NC Early Childhood Credentials
  • The number of teachers with formal additional early childhood or child development education and/or experience

The rated license education standards for family child care home providers and school-age staff are slightly different. However, it is still based on the level of education and experience working with young children.

How did your child's facility score in the area of education standards?

  • If your child's center or family child care home has a star rated license, look to see how many points were earned for education standards
  • A child care facility is eligible for a rated license of two through five stars, so be sure to recognize your provider's achievements. Earning more points in education standards means that your provider has chosen to do more in order to offer higher quality child care



2201 Mail Service Center | Raleigh, NC 27699-2200
919-814-6300 | 1-800-859-0829 (In State Only)

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