I'm an Early Learning Provider


Early learning professionals provide care and education to our state's littlest learners. There are various roles within early learning in Washington:

Family Home Child Care Owner/Licensee is a person who obtains a license from the Department of Children, Youth and Families to offer ongoing care for one or more children in their own home. Other Family Home Child Care staff include lead teachers, assistants, aides, and volunteers.

A Child Care Center Director/Owner is responsible for the overall management of the center's facility and operation and ensures that the center follows licensing requirements. Other Child Care Center staff include lead teachers, assistants, aides, and volunteers.


New licensing regulations and changes to the law have brought forth new education requirements for early learning professionals. To learn more about these education requirement’s please review our Education Staff Qualifications update.

Washington uses the Early Care and Education and School Age Core Competencies to define what professionals need to know and be able to do when providing high quality care for children. These competencies are used in the creation of job postings, professional development plans, knowledge assessments and more. 

For a list of staff qualifications to meet WAC requirements, view General Staff Qualifications.

For a list of related credentials to meet staff qualifications, check out the Chart of Related Credentials.

For more information about roles and their qualifications in early childhood education, including Head Start and ECEAP, visit the Early Childhood Education Career Planning Portal


Early learning child care providers are responsible for completing trainings both before they provide care and during their career. 

Training Requirements:
Find Training
  • Search DCYF’s list of online training
  • Find in-person training by logging into MERIT and clicking the “Find Training” tab.
  • If you are a Licensed-Exempt (FFN Providers) or Family Home Provider serving children receiving subsidy, contact the Imagine Institute to learn about meeting your training requirements and register for training.

To find resources to accompany trainings, visit the professional development online training library