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Management and Leadership in Early Childhood Programs:
Graduate Courses Leading to the Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC)

The Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC) is a state recognized credential that addresses the components essential to running programs that deliver excellence to children and families. The 18 credit graduate program in Early Childhood Education Administration is designed to reflect the management and leadership competencies the state has identified as being required to meet the criteria to earn the CPAC.

More about CPAC:

Directors are the gatekeepers of early childhood quality. They build programs; hire, mentor, and support teachers; manage facilities; interact with and counsel parents; create and monitor budgets; and lead change efforts. They insure that programs are in compliance and are dedicated to quality improvements and accreditation. But the work is extremely difficult and, all too often, they are alone in their daily decision-making.

The Children’s Program Administration Credential (CPAC) is a statewide credential that supports this critical work. CUNY’s School of Professional Studies is now offering 18 one-credit courses to educate, train, and inspire directors to create excellent environments for the children and families they serve. Designed by the NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI), in partnership with Quality New York, the CPAC is an NAEYC-accepted program of study in the new accreditation system for program administrators.

  • Would you like to be a more effective leader and take your program to new heights?
  • Are you or do you know a director who needs to meet the NAEYC accreditation standards?
  • Are you a new director who would like to develop skills in program administration?
  • Will you help develop the next generation of leaders by supporting teachers to make more proactive career choices?

List of All Courses

For more information about the CPAC, please contact us at Leave us your name, mailing address and phone number.

You can also get information about the courses, schedules and download an application form by visiting the CUNY School of Professional Studies CPAC page

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the courses be offered?

Participants will be able to take the 18 one-credit courses in succession, or in any order and time frame that works for them. Additionally, a participant can elect to take one, some, or all courses. To earn the CPAC, however, an individual must take all 18 courses.

When will courses meet?

Courses will be offered both in the morning and early evening, with plans to eventually include weekend intensives and summer options, depending on interest and need. Each course will meet for four approximately 3 ½-hour sessions.

Where will the courses be taught?

Courses will be offered in locations convenient to public transportation. As the popularity increases, additional sites will be added.

Is there a particular format for the courses?

Sessions will be interactive and consist of a highly engaging mix of shared reflections, hands-on projects, peer feedback, and formative instructor feedback. Many opportunities to network and share resources with colleagues will be woven into course content.

Does the credential require anything besides the successful completion of the course work?

Participants will be supported in the creation of a portfolio that will largely be developed in course assignments. The portfolio must be submitted to the NYSAEYC CPAC committee as part of the consideration of candidates for the credential.

Who will the faculty be?

A highly skilled group of instructors passionately committed to this effort has worked to develop the courses. Many have been or still are directors. All have had considerable experience teaching at the college and university level, and working with directors. They are dedicated to providing you with a coordinated unified vision of early childhood leadership.

What about tuition and related costs?

Students who qualify, are encouraged to apply for grants at the Educational Incentive Program (EIP).

Will CPAC courses be accepted to meet NAEYC accreditation standards?

The CPAC is an NAEYC-accepted program of study in the new accreditation system for program administrators.

Will credits earned in CPAC courses articulate to other degree programs?

Several CUNY colleges have indicated interest in accepting CPAC course credits as transfer credits. See your advisor for further information.

Where can I call with questions or for more information?

Please call our hotline at (718) 254-7353, or email us at