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What's New




  • Information about the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been moved to a new, separate area. Information provided by DCDEE related to COVID-19 and child care providers, settings and health precautions can now be found on the Coronavirus Information for Child Care page.



North Carolina Early Childhood and Administration Credentials

The education of child care providers directly impacts children's ability to grow and develop to their

fullest potential. To improve the quality of child care in North Carolina, the Division of Child

Development created two credentials:

For Lead Teachers- North Carolina Early Childhood Credential (NCECC) 

  • Available at all 58 local community colleges
  • Composed of one (1) early childhood curriculum credit course - EDU 119, "Intro to Early Childhood Education", four (4) semester credit hours
  • Course content:
    • Becoming an Early Childhood Professional
    • Understanding the Young Child - Growth and Development
    • Understanding the Young Child - Individuality, Family and Culture
    • Developmentally Appropriate Practices
    • Positive Guidance
    • Health and Safety
  • Financial aid for teachers is available through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship ProjectSmart Start and the federal Child Care and Development Fund

For Administrators - North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential (NCECAC) 

  • Available at all 58 local community colleges
  • Three required components must be successfully completed to receive this credential: 1) child care administration coursework, 2) additional early childhood/child development coursework, and 3) a portfolio
  • Level I is the minimum level required by law for all child care administrators. Levels II and III are voluntary
  • Child Care Administration course content:
    • Child Care Administration I (EDU 261, 3 semester credit hours) – a survey course focusing on basic knowledge and skills needed to administer a child care program:
      • Program Framework
      • Rules and Regulations
      • Personnel
      • Financial Management
    • Child Care Administration II (EDU 262, 3 semester credit hours) – a comprehensive course of advanced content on administration of a child care program:
      • Resources for Centers and Families
      • Early Childhood Curriculum
      • Program Assessment
      • Advocacy and Leadership
  • Required** coursework and demonstrated competency (portfolio*)
    • Level I EDU 261 & 262, Child Care Administration I and II + seven (7) semester credit hours of early childhood education coursework + level I portfolio*
    • Level II EDU 261 & 262, Child Care Administration I and II + AAS degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development + level II portfolio*
    • Level III EDU 261 & 262, Child Care Administration I and II + BS degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development + level III portfolio*
  • *Note about portfolios: The NC community colleges will phase in new versions of 
    EDU 261 and 262 beginning Fall semester 2009 through Fall 2010.  As this occurs, some colleges that offer these courses will begin assessing and grading students based on competencies instead of using portfolio assignments and portfolio assessment forms.  Instructors at those colleges will have information for their students to explain how this satisfies the portfolio requirement, how it will be reported, and how they should mark the Portfolio section on the application for child care administrators.


    ** Equivalency Options:  Each required component of the administration credential has one or more equivalency options. These are outlined on the education and equivalencyform that child care administrators of licensed facilities must submit to the NC Division of Child Development.


    Meeting any or all of the three components through the equivalency options will result in an administration equivalency instead of the credential. 


    The North Carolina Child Care Administration Credential and the Equivalency qualification (Levels I, II and III) have equal weight in North Carolina’s tiered Star Rated License System.


  • Financial aid for administrators is available through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship ProjectSmart Start and the federal Child Care and Development Fund



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