Professionals must meet initial training requirements that are outlined on the Child Care Licensing Rules page on the Department of Early Learning web page. Additional health and safety requirements for facility employees are required, including current CPR/First Aid certification, HIV/AIDS Training, TB test, etc. See below for training options that include 2-year and 4-year college degrees, local Child Care Aware of Washington trainings, or online training.
Child Care Professional Training Options
The Professional Development Academy: The Professional Development Academy has been providing training for over 23 years and during that time has become the most trusted, valued, and connected training source in Washington State.
Child Care Aware Training: A variety of training and classes may be offered in your local Child Care Aware office. In addition, they can provide resources for CPR/First Aid and HIV AIDS training. Contact your to obtain a class schedule for the classes they offer.
College and Community College Classes: You may take classes on campus or on-line at many of Washington's 2-year and 4-year colleges. Visit our Washington Scholarships for Child Care Professionals page to find out about scholarship opportunities.
Our Child Care Aware Training online classes for Early Achievers participants (in English and Spanish):
- Early Learning Guidelines
- Core Competencies
- Introduction to ERS/CLASS
For additional information about online Child Care Aware Academy classes, check with your local Child Care Aware office.
MERIT helps professionals find training offered by state-approved trainers and track their individual career progress as well as basic and continuing education training completion. Log onto MERIT and obtain a STARS ID and create a professional development account to track your completed STARS classes.
The Department of Early Learning is the regulatory authority for the Licensing Requirements and the administrator of MERIT and the STARS Registry.
The Washington State Professional Development System helps those caring for and teaching young children:
- Understand what they need to know and be able to do when caring for children.
- Manage their training and education record.
- Find training and education opportunities to help them move forward in their career.
- Find resources and financial support for individual professional development.
The following tools are available to help you manage your professional development with information on the following
- The Career Lattice: DEL, with input from more than 40 other early learning organizations, developed the Washington state career lattice for early care and education professionals and school-age professionals.
- Training requirements for child care providers: State training requirements for child care providers, called STARS, have been in place since 1999.
- Training library for early learning professionals: The professional development training library connects early learning professionals to resources, best practices, research and online training opportunities.
- Planning your early learning career: DEL partnered with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to create a clear path for current and potential early learning professionals.
- Financial support for early learning professionals: There are resources to help early learning professionals further their training and education.
- Trainer and training approval: DEL has an approval process for state-approved trainers who work in Washington.
- Core competencies for early learning and school-age professionals: Core competencies help define what professionals need to know and be able to do to provide quality education and care to young children.
- Educational Training Partners- Educational Training Partners provides education, support, and guidance to organizations and individuals responsible for childcare, such as teachers, directors, trainers, parents, nannies.
Child Care Aware of Washington’s Professional Development Academy offers classes in each of the seven Child Care Aware of Washington’s regional offices. Check with your local Child Care Aware office to obtain a list of classes offered for STARS credit.