EEC Professional Certification Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about EEC's optional professional certification from answers to these frequently asked questions (FAQs). This includes optional teacher, lead teacher and director certification. This information may be updated frequently. Please check back regularly for updates.

Table of Contents


1. Who is eligible to apply for certification? 

Anyone that meets the qualifications for the certification type they are seeking (teacher, lead teacher, or director) can apply for certification. Check out the specific requirements for each certification type.  

2. Can I apply for more than one certification? 

Yes. Educators can send in their applications and the Teacher Qualifications unit will certify them for the appropriate level. The application can be found on the certification website. 

3. What if I apply for Director certification, but only qualify for Lead Teacher or Teacher? 

Applications submitted with incomplete documentation or with documentation that does not indicate that the applicant has met director certification criteria will be denied for that position, but certified for the position that they meet (if they meet the requirements for Lead Teacher or Teacher). In such cases, applicants will receive an email with an attached letter from the EEC Professional Qualifications unit explaining reasons for the decision and what they need to do if they wish to pursue Director certification.  

4. How do I know if I meet the Director certification requirements if I haven’t been EEC certified for Lead Teacher? 

Specific requirements for Director certification can be found on the certification website. 

5: Can I apply if I only meet the Minimum Hiring Requirements for Director, Lead Teacher, or Teacher? 

No. Only those that meet the certification requirements for the certification type (beyond the minimum hiring requirements) should apply.

However, the coursework taken to meet the Minimum Hiring Requirements may meet some of the requirements for certification. Specific requirements for certifications can be found online

6: Am I required to apply for certification? 

No. Certification is currently optional. 

7: I am applying to a program that only hires people with an EEC Certificate. What can I do if I’m not certified but meet the Minimum Hiring Requirements? 

Although EEC sets the minimum hiring requirements for programs, individual programs (employers) may have their own additional hiring requirements.   

8. Does optional certification affect the Minimum Hiring Requirements? 

No. The Minimum Hiring Requirements are still in place.  

9. Who is eligible for optional director certification? 

To meet the Optional Director Certification application requirements, applicants must first meet all Lead Teacher certification regulations.

If hired under the minimum hiring requirements without an EEC Lead Teacher certification on file, please complete the following steps to obtain Lead Teacher certification before applying for Optional Director Certification:

  • Supervised work experience verification
  • Four courses representing four categories of study, including:
    • Child Growth & Development (3-credit course within category 1)
    • Additional 9-credits (3, 3-credit courses) that must include at least one course within category of study 2 or 3 or 4 or 7.

Please note, the child care administration course is not counted as one of the four required courses for Lead Teacher. 

If you have previously obtained any of the following certifications or completed Lead Teacher certification requirements (as outlined above) within the first 6 months of hire under the minimum hiring requirements, you may proceed to Optional Director Certification application:

If you have met Lead Teacher Certification requirements as outlined above and wish to apply for Optional Director Certification (DI), an additional Child Care Administration course as well as two additional credits in categories 1 to 11.

Course and Work Requirements

1. What courses and experience do I need to have to qualify for certification? 

Requirements differ depending on the position. Specific requirements can be found online

2. If I don’t meet the requirements for certification, can I work in that position in a program? 

Yes, if you meet the requirements in the Minimum Hiring Requirements for that role. Note that those hired under the Minimum Hiring Requirements must ensure they are also meeting the additional “within six months” requirements in the Minimum Hiring Requirements grid for that position.   

In addition, providers should ensure they understand and their staff are working towards meeting the regulatory requirements for that position in the future. Information can be found on the certification website. 

3. If I meet the Minimum Hiring Requirements, do I meet the requirements for certification automatically? 

No. The Minimum Hiring Requirements are not the same as the requirements for certification. However, the coursework taken to meet the Minimum Hiring Requirements may meet some of the requirements for certification. Specific requirements for certification can be found online

4. What Administration CEU courses does EEC accept? 

EEC accepts college courses that cover the material needed. In addition, EEC accepts the following CEU courses: 

5. Will my Child Growth and Development course taken through “Cares Course” count towards director certification? 

No, that course meets the Minimum Hiring Requirements, but does not meet the regulatory requirements for director certification. Specific requirements for Director certification can be found online

6. If I do not work somewhere currently, can I get certified before I get the job? 

Although it is not a requirement to be employed in a program to be certified, you must meet the experiential requirements as well as the educational requirements to become certified. Specific requirements for certification can be found on the certification website. 

7. If I worked at another job how do I get those hours over to my new job for certification? 

Applicants are required to submit the “Verification of Supervised Work Experience” form, included in the Teacher Qualifications Application Packet, which would include hours worked. 

Application Process

1. How do I apply for certification? 

You can submit your application online through the certification website. Please have your transcripts and work verification form (available on the certification website) ready for upload during the online application process. 

3. Can I mail my application? 

Yes. Note: EEC is prioritizing emailed applications. Any applications received by mail may result in a delay to processing. 

4. How do I know that EEC received my application? 

You will receive an email from EEC automatically upon submission of your application if applying online. Please check your email regularly. If you haven’t received that email upon submission, please check your JUNK/SPAM folder. 

If your application is incomplete or documentation is missing when reviewed, you will receive an email from EEC requesting additional information. 

5: How long will my certification take? 

Certifications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and made available by licensing region. The Teacher Qualifications Team will be working as swiftly as possible to process applications. 

Guidance and Technical Assistance

1. If I have a question or need guidance, where can I get help? 

There are multiple resources for educators. These include: 

  • Via drop in sessions on Zoom.

    • The Teacher Qualifications unit provides help via Zoom on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Educators do not need to register in advance and may attend anytime they need assistance. Find an upcoming session.

    • First Tuesday of the month: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (Live translation available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin) 

    • Third Tuesday of the month: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM  

  • Via email at

Last updated: December 5, 2023

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.