The new Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) qualifications for child care providers can be confusing.  Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.  You can also refer to our blog post for more information.  Please contact us if you have any other questions.


Q: When do these new requirements become effective?

A: The new WACs and qualification requirements will be effective August 2019.  However, providers will have until August 2024 (5 years) to meet the new requirements.


Q: What staff positions are required to meet the new qualifications?

A: This will affect all Family Home Owners, Lead Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Aides as well as Center Directors, Assistant Directors, Program Supervisors, Lead Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Aides.


Q: Are the new requirements the same for all staff?

A: No, each positions has unique qualifications and training requirements.  See the links below for more information.


Q: What are the new requirements?

A: Click on this link for a chart that shows the new staff qualifications (WAC 110-300-0100).


Q: Does this mean I have to have a college degree to work in child care?

A: No, there are a variety of ways to meet the requirements for each certificate.  Click on this link for a list of the options for each certificate.


Q: Do the "credits" required for each of the certificates have to be from a college?

A: No, there are a number of related credentials, such as the CDA, that can be used as "credits" as well.


Q: Can a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential be used to meet any of the requirements?

A: Yes, a CDA can be used for 12 of the required credits on any of the certificate levels (initial, short or state).


Q: Who issues the certificate?

A: Regardless of what path you take to meet the requirements, you'll submit all your materials to DCYF to receive your certificate.


Q: Do the credits from each certificate count toward the requirements for the next certificate?

A: Yes, the certificates are "stackable," meaning once you earn one, those credits can be used for the next level of certificate as well.


Q: Do providers still have to take the 10 hours of annual training?

A: Yes, there is initial and on-going training required in addition to the initial qualifications requirements.  Click on this link to see a list of all the required training by position.  By taking the CDA training, you could use those classes toward your 10 hours of STARS training as well.


Q: What are some options for meeting these new requirements?

A: SG Classes Online has discounted CDA training classes available to help Washington child care providers meet these new requirements.  The CDA is a very convenient and cost-effective way to earn 12 of the required credits toward any level of certificate.


Q: Can I get reimbursed for credits earned for these certificates?

A: Yes, since all our classes are approved for STARS credit, you can get reimbursed up to $250 perfiscal year (July 1 - June 30) for classes you take to earn your CDA.


Q: Where can I get more information on the new WACs?

A: The DCYF has a FAQ page with more information on the new WACs for Professional Development, Training and Rquirements.


Q: What is the Early Start Act?

A: The Early Start Act mandates that the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (formerly DEL) undertake alignment of standards across Licensing, Early Achievers and ECEAP.  For more information, click on the Foundational Quality Standards Awareness Guide links on the right of the page (available in English, Spanish, Somali and Russian).