New York has a variety of credentials and certifications available to early childhood professionals. The links below will take you to the Career Development Services section of our website or to the New York Association for the Education of Young Children where you can not only learn more about these credentials, but also find assistance in pursuing them.
The process of teacher certification can often be a daunting challenge. Depending on where you are academically and professionally, there are several pathways to becoming a New York State certified early childhood education teacher.
Our Career Development Services team has published a booklet for download or for ordering in print that is designed to make navigating that process a little simpler.
The Children's Program Administrator Credential (CPAC) is a state-recognized credential that addresses the components essential for running early childhood and school-age programs. The CPAC requires a minimum of an associate’s degree (or 60 credits toward a bachelor’s degree), 18 credits in child development, and 18 credits in children’s program administration. The CPAC is issued by NYAEYC and is designed to recognize the management and leadership competencies that early childhood directors need to create high quality environments for the children and families they serve.
CUNY's School of Professional Studies offers graduate-level coursework to fulfill the program administration requirements. Learn more about the CPAC
The Child Development Associate Credential is often the first step for those professionals looking to enter the field of early childhood. The CDA requires a high school diploma or equivalency, the completion of training or coursework that responds to the CDA competency standards, and 480 hours of field work. The CDA is issued by the Council for Professional Recognition. The CDA can be specialized for different settings, including preschool, infant/toddler, family child care, and home visiting.
CUNY’s School of Professional Studies offers a college credit-bearing certificate program that leads to the CDA. The credits attained can be transferred to three community colleges in the CUNY system toward an associate’s degree.
Formerly the Early Learning Trainer Credential
The Early Learning T-TAP Credential formally recognizes the value and specialized knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for those who provide community-based professional development to early care and education programs and providers. The T-TAP has several designations, detailed below. The T-Tap is issued by NYAEYC.
The PDS designation is for individuals providing non-credit bearing in-person group professional development on general early childhood and/or school age content.
Learn more about the Professional Development Specialist designation
The Coach designation is for individuals who provide coaching which is defined as a relationship based process led by an expert with specialized and adult learning knowledge and skills, who often serves in a different professional role than the recipient(s).
Learn more about the Coach designation
The Content Specialist designation is for individuals who provide non-credit bearing, in-person professional development in their area of expertise that is other than early childhood/school-age content but relevant to quality program.
The New York State Family Child Care Credential is designed to focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the care and education of New York’s youngest children outside the home. The credential formally recognizes those practitioners who demonstrate their competence, knowledge and professional practice in the areas of professional family child care, child development, healthy home learning environments, and business practices. This credential is issued by NYAEYC.
Learn more on the NYAEYC website
The New York State Infant Toddler Care & Education Credential (ITCEC) is designed to formally recognize those teachers and caregivers who show:
This credential focuses only on infants and toddlers, not as an add-on to a preschool credential. This credential incorporates the NYS Core Body of Knowledge, NYS childcare regulations, and the Code of Ethics of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This credential is issued by NYAEYC.
Learn more on the NYAEYC website