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. Caregivers 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 and have either experience or receive in-service training. Once hired, the lead teacher must take community college coursework during the next two years 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 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 child care credentials
- The number of lead teachers with more early childhood education and experience
- The number of teachers with formal 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 same notion of the importance of both formal 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
- Remember, applying for a two to five star rated license is voluntary, 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
If you would like, read the handbook chapter, "Star-Rated License" for an explanation of the requirements.