Start Your Early Childhood Career

No job is more important than caring for and educating children. If you’re considering a career in the early childhood workforce, you may have questions about your next steps. Explore the resources below to learn more.

What type of education will I need?

The educational requirements may depend on both the type of child care program and the type of funding they receive. Here are some things to keep in mind.

How can I get started?

  • Explore the career ladder on the CT Early Childhood Professional Registry to see the steps child care providers can take to begin and advance their education.
  • Getting the Early Childhood Teacher’s Credential (ECTC) is one way to know you’ll meet requirements for early childhood education teachers, including positions in state funded programs. Learn more about the ECTC.

What other types of requirements will I need to meet?

If you want to work in a child care program — or you’re studying early childhood education in school and plan to do student teaching — you may need to get a background check. Find out more about the background check process.

Other requirements will depend upon the type of program where you work or study. Make sure to check with your employer or school if you have questions about which requirements apply. 

How can I build my career?

There are many options in the field of early childhood education. These links will help you consider your options and connect to resources.

  • Explore the Early Childhood Professional Registry. This free resource has essential information and tools for aspiring providers in Connecticut. Use it to check qualifications, apply for credentials, take online trainings, and more. Read more about the Registry or visit the Registry to create an account. 
  • If you are thinking about starting your own child care program, check out our Open a New Child Care Program page.
  • If you are interested in working with children with developmental disabilities, you may want to look into the University of Connecticut’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), which engages in research and provides training and technical assistance. Explore the UCEDD website.
Last updated July 19, 2023