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Eligibility and Enrollment

In accordance with NCAC Chapter 9 – Child Care Rules and the NC Pre-K Program Requirements and Guidance, NC Pre-K and Developmental Day Preschool Lead Teachers are required to enroll with the EES Unit to receive licensure and professional development (mentoring and/or evaluation) support. 


Please read the information provided below for eligibility requirements for unlicensed and licensed Lead Teachers as well as the process to enroll with the EES Unit.

Eligibility for Unlicensed Educators

Unlicensed Lead Teachers must be deemed eligible to hold an NC Residency Birth-Kindergarten (BK) License. A Residency License is a one-year license that may be renewed twice within a three-year time frame.

To determine eligibility to hold a Residency BK License, you must enroll in an Educator Preparation Program (EPP). An EPP is an NC College or University with an approved BK Teacher Licensure Education Program and uses the following criteria to admit prospective unlicensed educators into their program. 

  • BA/BS Degree
  • 2.7 Cumulative GPA
  • 24 Semester Hours of coursework in the content licensure area as determined by the EPP
  • Must be employed as an NC Pre-K or Developmental Day Preschool Lead Teacher in a non-public school program.

In the event an educator is deemed ineligible for a Residency BK License by an EPP, only then will the EES Unit begin the process of determining eligibility for an Emergency BK License. Eligibility for an Emergency BK License is based upon the educator having already successfully (grade C or better) completed 18 semester hours of Birth-Kindergarten/Early Childhood coursework as verified by the EES Unit.

NOTE: The Emergency License is non-renewable and good for only one school year.  The Lead Teacher must maintain enrollment with an EPP and fulfill all requirements set forth by the college/university to convert the Emergency License to a Residency License prior to the start of the following school year.  Failure to follow these requirements will deem the Lead Teacher ineligible to return to the classroom for the upcoming school year.

Eligibility for Licensed Educators

Licensed Lead Teachers may be eligible for licensure support and professional development services if they hold one of the following licenses (active or expired):

  • NC Continuing License
  • NC Continuing BK or Pre-K/K Add-on License
  • NC Continuing Provisional BK or Pre-K/K Add-on*
  • NC Initial License
  • NC Initial BK or Pre-K/K Add-on License
  • NC Initial Provisional BK or Pre-K/K Add-on License*
  • NC Lateral Entry BK License
  • NC Residency BK License*
  • NC Emergency License*
  • Out-of-State License
  • International License

*Educators with a Plan of Study must complete coursework at a rate of six semester hours per year with a grade of  "C" or higher on each course.   

Educators are required to submit a legible copy of their license with the EES Enrollment Application to determine eligibility.


To enroll, Lead Teachers must complete the EES Enrollment Application.

NOTE: Unlicensed Lead Teachers must select their intended EPP upon completion of the EES Enrollment Application.

The EES Enrollment Application is now fully electronic through Docusign. Effective July 1, 2022, prior versions of the EES Enrollment Applications that are submitted via fax or mail will not be accepted or processed.   

Unlicensed teachers are required to submit official transcripts to the EES Unit. These can be submitted electronically following the DCDEE Electronic Transcript Process or via postal mail to the address below:

Attn: EES Unit, Intake Coordinator

2201 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-2200

Upon submission of the enrollment application, the EES Unit will contact you via email for the next steps.

For more information, please see our  Additional Resources.   




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


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