A Guide to Running a Home Daycare in Delaware - English | Spanish

Careers in Licensed Early Care and Education in Centers, Large Family Child Care Homes and Family Child Care Homes

Careers in Delaware
Steps Toward A Career
Professional Development

Employment in Delaware j0409048

Effective January 1, 2011 all persons were required to meet qualification requirements to work in licensed Early Care and Education programs in Delaware.  Staff vacancies frequently occur at Licensed Centers.  When a vacancy occurs Centers are looking for persons who are already qualified for positions. 

Persons seeking to work in Early Care and Education in Delaware are advised to review the qualifications for various positions in licensed care at at

TECE I and TECE II are the basic training classes required to be an Early Childhood Assistant Teacher and Early Childhood Teacher in Early Care and Education and School Age Centers in Delaware.  For information and to register contact:

DE Technical & Community College Owens Campus
Rt. 18, Georgetown, DE


DE Technical & Community College Terry Campus
100 Campus Drive, Dover DE


DE Technical & Community College Wilmington & Stanton Campus
333 Shipley St., Wilmington, DE


Delaware Skills Center
1300 Clifford Brown Walkway, Wilmington, DE


Marshallton Education Center
1703 School Lane, Wilmington, DE


POLYTECH Adult Education
823 Walnut Shade Road, Woodside, DE


Sussex Tech
17099 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE



There are now on-line courses available that are recognized by the Delaware Office of Child Care.  There are three course packages available. Each course is designed to meet a specific need.  Approved coursework, when successfully completed, would fulfill:

  • CDA Credential Training recognized as an equivalent to TECE 1 & 2 education/training requirements that can be used to fulfill education and training requirements to qualify as an Assistant Early Childhood Teacher and Early Childhood Teacher.
  • CDA Credential Renewal Training.
  • CDA Credential training for Family Child Care Providers ( This course is not required to become licensed as a Family Child Care Provider by the Office of Child Care Licensing.   The course, however, does provide training in all competency areas and is an excellent preparation for being a Family Child Care Home Provider.  Anyone interested in conducting a Family Child Care Home business would find this course very helpful.  By applying the knowledge gained a child care program could be implemented that it aligns with developmentally appropriate practice)

To assess these courses visit and click on the “online opportunities” link at the lower right corner of the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood homepage.

Working in the field of Early Care and Education and School Age Care can be exciting and rewarding, and presents an opportunity to have a significant impact on the lives of children and their families. Research has demonstrated the significance of a child’s early years in setting the foundation for future success in school and in life.  It has also confirmed the importance of having highly educated, skilled adults working with children who can form strong positive relationships with the young children in their care.

If you are thinking about starting a career in the early care and education field, or moving into a different position, you will need to meet some specific qualifications. The information in this resource guide is designed to help you identify the education, training, and experience you need to qualify for a teaching or administrative role in a child care center or to operate a large family child care home or family child care program in your home. Information is also included to help you locate training and professional development opportunities, and identify other resources that may be useful to your professional development.

Please note that the information in this guide is specific to the minimum qualifications and training needed to work directly with children or as an administrator in licensed child care in Delaware. Individual child care programs may set their own hiring standards that are above those required by the Office of Child Care Licensing. Programs participating in Delaware Stars for Early Success Quality Rating system will have some staff requirements beyond the baseline qualifications for licensure. 

Caring for children has come a very long way from “babysitting” to the specialty field of Early Care and Education.  This has been evolving over the past twenty years but has gained substantial momentum in this decade.  The focus on early care and education has been founded in extensive research with such notable findings as:

  • The early years are crucial.  Brain research points out birth to five as thekey developmental and growth years. Access to learning opportunities in the early years facilitates later success in school and in life.
  • Early education prepares for success in school.  Young children who attend high quality early learning programs tend to learn more and are better prepared for success in school and life. Access to early learning opportunities improves reading, number skills, language abilities and overall school readiness. This is particularly important in addressing the achievement gap related to socio-economic status.
  • The achievement gap exists before children enter school.  According to a recent Economic Policy Institute report, at kindergarten entrance, the average cognitive score for children at the top socioeconomic level is 60% higher than the average score among children at the lowest socioeconomic level.

Because of such findings educators and economists are touting the importance of highly qualified persons working in Early Care and Education in order to ensure high quality programs with positive outcomes for children.  There is a sense of urgency to create awareness of the needs for a highly qualified Early Care and Education workforce so that we are prepared to have sufficient personnel to meet both the current and anticipated demand for qualified staff in this field.  In 2006, Preschool and kindergarten Teachers held 607,000 jobs nationwide. Job opportunities are expected to grow by 23 percent through 2016 for these positions.

Delaware does not require an Associate or Bachelor’s degree for every direct care position.  However, all one needs to do is to look at the changes in the Federal requirements for Head Start personnel and potential Federal legislation that, if passed, would become required of all States to increase the educational levels of those individuals working with our very young children. Anyone planning a career in early childhood would be well advised to seek a specific college degree in Early Education.  A degree in this major is focused on children birth-five years or birth-eight years depending on the institute of higher learning.  A degree would give someone a competitive edge in seeking employment.

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Careers in Delaware

Job titles for working in Early Care and Education and School-Age, Large Family and Family Licensed Care have been established in DELACARE Rules under the authority of the Office of Child Care Licensing.  The qualifications for working in these early care and education were revised between 2007 and 2009 after over fifteen (15) years of remaining unchanged.  In the time period between revisions a great deal more has become known about infant brain development, what constitutes a quality program and the positive outcomes a quality program can have for children even through adulthood.  The revised DELACARE Rules took a big step toward “catching up” with where the workforce needs to be but there is a long way yet to go.

Those interested in working in the field of Early Care and Education and School-Age Care should be aware that there may be ever higher educational requirements in this field in the future.  Licensing standards are also now being revised on a five (5) year cycle.  The direction of best practices and research is solidly focused on increasing the educational level of the child care workforce to at least an Associate degree level.  Actions at the Federal level may move this along more quickly. 

It would be prudent for anyone interested in pursuing a career in early care and education to enroll in and complete an Associate or Baccalaureate degree program in this specialty.  Such a degree would increase the options for employment.

For working with children there is an established body of knowledge at different developmental stages.  It is important that persons working with children and youth have specific knowledge, education and training relevant to the age of children they will serve.  The Department of Education has developed competencies for the field. Competencies are the knowledge and skills that professionals in the field should be able to demonstrate in work with children and families. The following two documents list and discuss the competencies expected of Early Care and Education professionals in Delaware.

Delaware Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals
Delaware Competencies for School-Age Professionals

The qualifications for working in Licensed programs in Delaware can be found at  There are separate qualifications based on the type of care one in which someone seeks employment.  

Delaware Stars for Early Success has now been established in Law as the Quality Tiered Rating System of Delaware.  Staff qualifications with an accent on specific college work or degrees in Early Education are a major factor in moving to a star rating above a single star given to all licensed Programs.  The goal is to increase the availability of high quality child care options so that all of Delaware’s children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.  A Quality Tiered Rating System has been demonstrated to increase the number of quality settings in other States.  As the Delaware Star system expands, more Providers will be seeking staff with qualifications beyond the minimum required by the Office of Child Care Licensing. 

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Steps Toward A Career

Where does someone start when thinking about a career in Early Care and Education?  A first step is career planning.  Career planning is a lifelong process which includes many components such as choosing an occupation, acquiring the necessary skills and education needed to perform your chosen job and growing in your profession.  Becoming familiar with changes in the qualifications to work in Early Care and Education Field in Delaware is a good place to start.

Careers in Licensed Early Care and Education and School Age Centers

Early Care and Education and School Age Centers are now looking to hire qualified persons.  Generally the first thing an employer will ask an applicant is to see a certificate verifying that the person is qualified under DELACARE Rules.  The Delaware First Professional Development System, a unit of the Department of Education, processes applications for workforce qualifications for the Office of Child Care Licensing and verifies that each individual has the appropriate training, education and experience to qualify for one of the early care and education and school-age positions listed here.

Early Care & Education Positions

School-Age Positions

Early Childhood Administrator
Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator
Early Childhood Teacher 
Early Childhood Assistant Teacher 
Early Childhood Intern

School-Age Administrator
School-Age Site Coordinator
School-Age Site Assistant
School-Age Intern 

The specific options by which someone may meet the requirements for one of these positions are found in Delacare Rules for Early Care and Education and School Age Centers on this website at

Once an individual believes that he or she is fully qualified for one of these specific positions, a person seeking to be qualified should take the following steps: (For more detailed information on the process and forms check the OCCL website “Provider Page

  • Complete the Application selecting the position for which you are seeking to be qualified.
  • Collect copies of transcripts, diplomas and training certificates to document training and education to meet the specific qualifications.
  • Make a copy of driver’s license or picture ID as proof of age.
  • Collect signed copies of verification of employment to document required experience.
  • Carefully review all documents and mail the form and all documents to:

Department of Education
Office of Early Development and Learning Resources
Delaware First

Townsend Building, Suite 2
401 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901
Telephone: (302) 735-4236

(Faxes will not be accepted, incomplete applications will not be reviewed)

The Applicant is solely responsible for providing the documentation of education, training and experience as verification that they meet the qualifications for the position they seek.

Qualification Appeal Process

If you feel that a decision on your application for qualifications has been made in error you may file an Appeal with the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL).  To initiate the Appeal it is required that you complete the Qualification Appeal Application. To download the Application click here: [ PDF | Word ]   Instructions for filing the Appeal and the Appeal process are explained there. 

Applicants who do not have internet access may request an appeal application from OCCL.  The contact information is:

New Castle County:


Mailing Address:

1825 Faulkland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19805







Kent & Sussex Counties:


Mailing Address:

821 Silver Lake Blvd., Ste 103, Dover, DE 19904


302-739-5487 or 1-800-822-2236



Careers in Family & Large Family Child Care Homes

The Office of Child Care Licensing shall handle approval of qualifications for specific positions listed below as part of the licensing process.  Specific details of requirements can be found in the Delacare Rules for Family Child Care Homes and Delacare Rules for Large Family Child Care Homes at

Level I Family Child Care Provider
Level II Family Child Care Provider

Large Family Child Care Provider
Large Family Child Care Assistant

Owner **
Large Family Caregiver ** Large Family Associate Caregiver **

**To be approved for one of these positions a person must have been hired by the LFCCH prior to January 1, 2009 and have remained continuously employed by the same Organization.

Career Requirements Other Than Education, Training and Experience

Beyond meeting the educational and training requirements there are additional requirements for working in Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers and Family and Large Family Homes, the most important is the requirement under Delaware Code for all persons seeking to work in Early Care and Education programs to be fingerprinted by the Delaware State Police and undergo a background check.  The Criminal History Unit of the Office of Child Care Licensing will determine the suitability of applicants using established criteria after conducting a review of SBI, FBI, Child Protective Registry and Adult Abuse Registry reports.   Information on other requirements is available on this website at:

Once an individual has been determined to qualify for one of these positions, they will receive a Certificate. Each individual will be responsible for keeping and maintaining their Certificate.

Help is available to answer your questions about qualifications from the Office of Child Care Licensing, the Delaware First Professional Development System or from the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood.

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Professional Development

Professional Development is the continuing pursuit of knowledge and development of competencies related to your career choice.  As long as you continue in a career there is no date, time or event at which it is no longer appropriate to continue your professional development.  It is a life-long learning process.  Through this process you can grow in your chosen career, rekindle the excitement of learning, be encouraged to go beyond what boundaries you may think you have, find rewards in the achievements of the children with who you are working when implementing thinks you have learned. 
Ongoing professional development particularly in the form of higher education is associated with quality child care.  There is a specific body of knowledge associated with the various age groups of children enrolled in the range of child care services from early care through school-age care.  It is important that those involved in the practice utilize developmentally appropriate practice.  Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) is based on the knowledge about how children develop and learn across all domains; support children’s well-being; knowledge of the social and cultural context of each child; and the implications of how to teach, what to teach, when to teach, how to assess what children have learned and the ability to adapt curriculum to reflect their strengths, needs and interests.

The Department of Education has developed a Framework for Professional Development that will outline the expectations and intensity of training options and help providers make informed choices for professional development experiences. The Framework outlines the levels of state recommended training that the new Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood will develop or coordinate in collaboration with other education organizations. The state recommended training will provide quality assurance to the consumer by closely monitoring the delivery and in making sure that the content of training is research based and aligned with state standards for the field. The provider taking state recommended training will have three levels of intensity from which to choose.

Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood

''The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) has been established to coordinate, develop and monitor the training and educational opportunities for the Early Care and Education workforce.  The focus is on ensuring that there are quality professional development offerings to support the growth of a quality workforce, quality child care and positive outcomes for children.

The DIEEC offers an Early Childhood Professional Registry.  This is a data collection and verification system designed to support the early childhood professional through their professional development. The Registry provides information and guidance to training organizations and higher education institutions in their planning and implementation of professional development opportunities. Policy makers utilize data from the Registry to inform decisions related to funding, regulations and strategies in support if the early childhood workforce.

For information about the Institute and to see who qualifies for their services visit the Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood website to enroll. You will create a log-in and password to allow you to update your information and access your transcript. If you do not have access to the internet, contact us at: (302) 831-3239.

Annual Training Requirements for the Early Care and Education and School Age Workforce

Annual training hours are required under DELACARE Rules for those working in licensed child care facilities. These hours have been required to advance skills and competencies of the workforce. To ensure that the early childhood workforce acquires and maintains essential knowledge and skills, the Licensees of Family Child Care (FCC) Homes and staff members of Large Family Child Care (LFCC) Homes and Early Care and Education (ECE) and School-Age (SA) Centers are required to successfully complete annual training hours each licensure year.

Specific annual training requirements are specified in DELACARE Rules as follows:

FCC Licensees – Fifteen (15) Clock Hours during the first year of licensure and Twelve (12) Clock Hours (DELACARE: Rules for Family Child Care Homes – Rules #134-135) every licensure year thereafter.

LFCC Staff Members– Fifteen (15) Clock Hours (DELACARE: Rules for Large Family Child Care Homes – Rules #165-166

ECE and SA Center Staff Members – Eighteen (18)* Clock Hours (DELACARE: Rules for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers – Rules #177-1 78)

ECE/SA Center Staff Members working less than twenty-five (25) hours per week are required to take at least nine (9) hours of training each licensure year.

Training Opportunities

Provider Pursuits is a publication that lists quality assured Levels 2, 3, and 4 professional development opportunities statewide. Published four times a year, Provider Pursuits also contains valuable articles about issues in the field. Providers register for professional development opportunities on the web, at the DIEEC website

A Director’s Certificate is available through Delaware Technical and Community College.  To print the flyer for the Director's Certificate at theTerry campus, Dover.  Click here (PDF 9K).

Training for Early Care & Education I and Training for Early Care & Education II are two 60-hour packages of training that encompass the 13 functional topic areas and competency goals for CDA. Participants are required to meet attendance requirements, complete homework assignments, and pass quizzes to successfully complete the course.

Check the Provider Page of this website for announcements of special training opportunities for those working in licensed sites.

Finding Answers to Your Questions



Contact Information

Delacare Rules & Licensing Procedures

Department of Services for Children,
Youth and Their Families
- Office of Child Care Licensing

Intake or Assigned Licensing Specialist
Wilmington: (302)892-5800
Dover: (302) 739-5487

Professional Development

Department of Education –
Office of Early Development &
Learning Resources

Kathy Wilson
(302) 735-4236

Finding Training

University of Delaware –
Delaware Institute for
Excellence In Early Childhood

Evelyn Keating
(302) 831-3239

Becoming a Trainer

University of Delaware –
Delaware Institute for
Excellence In Early Childhood

Evelyn Keating
(302) 831-3239

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