Faculty Guidance for the Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC) Path

This guidance provides faculty with the most current ECTC information and outlines faculty responsibilities. This information will be helpful when advising students and to remain updated on ECTC policies and practices. Most information faculty will need is found on the ECTC page of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Website. In the sections to follow, you will notice links to specific information. Please visit the OEC website often to be sure you have the most current information.

About the ECTC

The ECTC is a credential issued through the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, which validates that an individual meets teacher competencies outlined in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) professional preparation standards areas. The ECTC is not a teaching license for use in public school settings where a license is required.

The credential is awarded at two levels:

Associate’s Degree level with an endorsement(s)

  • Infant/toddler OR
  • Preschool OR
  • Both

Bachelor Degree level with an endorsement(s)

  • Infant/toddler OR
  • Preschool OR
  • Both

The ECTC is an employment advantage

Connecticut legislation addresses staff qualifications for teachers working in state-funded programs (School Readiness, Child Day Care Contracted sites, and sites receiving State Head Start supplemental funds).  Generally, any student who wishes to teach in early childhood programs would benefit from attaining the ECTC as state-funding expands and shifts across towns. The ECTC is one way the individual can meet the educational requirements for teaching positions in state-funded programs. Click here for the policy on Educator Requirements for State Funded Programs outlining various ways individuals can meet the requirements.

Why the ECTC?

The credential is accessible and free to all individuals working in the early childhood field. The higher education ECTC pathway:

  • Engages the student in a process that improves teaching and learning in early childhood classrooms by aligning college coursework to national early childhood professional preparation standards
  • Provides individuals with documentation that they meet the legislative teacher requirements for publicly-funded programs (School Readiness, Child Day Care Contract and State Head Start)
  • Supports competency-based professional learning
  • Provides the student with a portable credential recognized across state-funded programs.

Pathways to the ECTC

There are two paths for students and the current workforce to attain the ECTC:

  1. Graduate from an approved (by the Board of Regents or the Office of Higher Education and the Office of Early Childhood) institution offering an early childhood type of degree as described in the legislation in the time-frame associated with the institution’s approval. Click here for approved institution listing.
  2. Complete the Individual Review Process designed for those with degrees unrelated to early childhood and/or graduated from an approved ECTC institution before the approval date.

Scholarships

Within available state appropriations, scholarships may be available to students seeking to complete their degree.  Students can contact the OEC Early Childhood Professional Registry at www.ccacregistry.org/ for information about application timelines and speak to a career counselor.

Faculty responsibilities

Advising students

Not all students who approach you to obtain information about entering into the early childhood program are a match for certain roles in the field nor do they understand the multiple roles associated with the field. As faculty advisors, it is critical to explain the many opportunities the early childhood field has to offer in settings such as:

  • State funded programs
  • Federal Head Start programs
  • Licensed and licensed-exempt settings
  • Family or group settings

The ECTC program provides a good base of knowledge and skill for many roles in the early childhood field, such as:

  • Center-based teacher or assistant teacher
  • Public school para-professional
  • Family home provider
  • Director and/or administrator
  • Home visitors
  • Interventionists such as Birth to Three providers
  • Mental health consultants
  • Social service roles

Be candid about the competencies in your planned program of study.  Does your course content and learning opportunities align with the Connecticut Core Knowledge and Competency Framework (CKCs) which is based on the NAEYC professional preparation standards? The CKCs are a resource to use when examining coursework from a multi-role, inter-disciplinary lens.

The most common misunderstanding we find when candidates call OEC or the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is that they think the ECTC allows them to teach in the public schools under an early childhood endorsement. Please see CSDE Certification Webpage and the OEC ECTC Webpage  for detailed information that can guide your conversation in describing the differences between the ECTC, CSDE certification, roles, and settings. Keep in mind that: 

  • The planned program of study for the ECTC is not the same path for CSDE’s licensure program.
  • If your institution offers both pathways, the student must commit to one pathway or the other early in their planned program.

Verifying student completion of ECTC path

A coordinated effort on the part of colleges, the Office of Early Childhood as well as the individual applicant, is required to validate and successfully route students through the ECTC application process. These simple steps will help the faculty coordinator navigate the process and should fit nicely into an advising routine. See the full description of each step using the Verification Process document.

  • First, walk through Registry enrollment during one of your courses.
  • Second, collect their Registry number and/or make the number part of an assignment. You will need this number for later use on the verification form.
  • Third, at the end of the final semester, submit your verification form.
  • Fourth, instruct students to apply for the ECTC through their Registry account after graduation. Students will need to upload their final transcripts into the Registry.

Institution approval and renewal

Program approval

Connecticut higher education institutions wishing to seek approval of an early childhood planned program of study can apply for a review using the Institution ECTC Application. The application has policy and practice information that is useful to guide implementation of the ECTC path. It is encouraged that you refer to the application for general information about the following:

  • ECTC standards
  • Transfer policies and practices
  • Fieldwork and practicum requirements
  • Key assessments

Instructions for submission are found within the application. Reviews occur as programs express their interest and readiness to apply. Generally, a review cycle begins in early winter for potential approval over the summer.  If institutions need time to revise application materials, a second review could occur in the fall for potential approval for spring semester.  

Program renewal

Associate degree ECTC approved programs will follow a calendar for ECTC program renewal every 7 years to coincide with the NAEYC approval cycle.

  • A copy of the reports for the national and state approval systems by which they are approved (NAEYC) will be sent to the OEC for review along with ECTC key assessment data describing pass rates and trends used for reflection on course content alignment to standards and shifts in assessment revisions.
  • Proposed revisions to the program should also be submitted at this time or as they occur. 
  • A site visit and/or a phone interview is conducted regarding program changes, staffing, goals, enrollment, and general compliance with the ECTC standards and approval process.

Bachelor degree ECTC approved programs approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and/or the CSDE will follow a calendar for ECTC program renewal every 7 years to coincide with their CAEP and/or approval process.

  • A copy of the CAEP and/or CSDE reports specific to the early childhood program are sent to the OEC for review along with ECTC key assessment data describing pass rates and trends used for reflection on course content alignment to standards and shifts in assessment revisions. 
  • Proposed revisions to the program should also be submitted at this time or as they occur.
  • A site visit and/or a phone interview is conducted regarding program changes, staffing, goals, enrollment, and general compliance with the CAEP and/or CSDE standards and approval process.

Contact Deb Adams at Deborah.Adams@ct.gov regarding questions related to the ECTC.

Last updated September 25, 2020