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Certificates and Credentials

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.

New York State Teacher Certification

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.

Learn more about Teacher Certification

NYS Children's Program Administrator Credential (CPAC)

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

Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate and Credential

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.

Learn more about the CDA

Training and Technical Assistance Professional Credential (T-TAP)

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.

T-TAP Professional Development Specialist (PDS)

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

T-TAP Coach 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

T-TAP Content Specialist (CS)

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.

Learn more about the Specialist Designation

Family Child Care Credential

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

Infant-Toddler Care & Education Credentials

The New York State Infant Toddler Care & Education Credential (ITCEC) is designed to formally recognize those teachers and caregivers who show:

  • A dedicated knowledge of infant and toddler development
  • The partnership of caregivers with the families of the children in their care
  • Professional practice based on respect for the individual, the system, and themselves

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


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About Goals

Your goals describe specific areas that you are working on (or plan to work on) to improve or maintain the quality of your program. Goals connect your quality improvement work to the QUALITY standards and your rating and allow you to schedule and prioritize chunks of work in your progranm. Goals group together and organize related action items (tasks) and provide a narrative framework to keep you, your program, your QIM and Central Office on the same page.

Goal Scope and Scale

You have a lot of flexibility in developing QI Goals, but some rules of thumb help keep Goals useful, readable, and manageable:

  • Time: A Goal should be achievable roughly within a rating cycle, If you are struggling to put even an estimated end date on a Goal, it may be too broad. Ideally, several Goals will fit (with some overlap) within a rating cycle.
  • Standards: A Goal should roughly fit within a standard subcategory. This is flexible, of course, but if your Goal is spanning multiple standard categories, it may be too broad.
  • A Goal may be too small if it can be accomplished in one or two small steps.
  • A Goal may be too broad if you can't define concisely how you will know when it is complete.
Goal Label

The goal label is simply a brief title that allows you to distinguish this goal from others in a list or report. The more robust description of the Goal comes in the Goal statement below.

Think of it like naming a file on your computer so that later you can recognize it. This label will appear on your goal as a "title" along with your Goal statement, as well as being the identifier in drop-down or selection lists for viewing/using Goals.

Goal Statement

What is your goal?

Goal Rationale / Inspiration

Where did this goal come from? What in your rating and/or conversations about the program led to the development of this Goal? Why is this particular area of quality improvement a priority?

Quality Impact

How will the quality of the program improve? What will be different about the way the program works, looks and feels? How will children, families, the director and staff experience the program differently?

Goal Activity Summary

Summarize / brainstorm the actions you think you'll need to take to accomplish this goal. You'll be defining specific action items as you go, but record the big picture here. What practices will need to change? Who will need to be involved? What will need to be purchased? What training/coaching will be needed?

Goal Existing Resources

What existing strengths and resources will help this goal be successful?

Goal Barriers

What factors, events or concerns might prevent you from accomplishing this goal? If you've attempted to make these changes in the past, what barriers arose and prevented you from following through? What resources or information could help you overcome these barriers and accomplish this goal?

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