Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC)


The Connecticut legislature passed new language this session regarding qualified staff member requirements for programs funded with School Readiness, Child Day Care contracts, and State Head Start funding.  The new language now includes degrees with 12-credit options that make the Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC) Individual Review Route no longer needed for people that have a degree and 12 early childhood credits.  

More guidance about all the qualification options will be released this summer.  The ECTC Individual Review Route process will end December 31, 2024.  No new applications will be accepted at this time and individuals currently in processes may complete their work by the end of this year. 

The Following is for Informational Purposes Only: No new ECTC applications will be accepted at this time.

The ECTC is a competency-based credential issued by OEC for child care providers. If you work at a program that receives state funding for school readiness or child day care, the ECTC is one way you could meet the Qualified Staff Member (QSM) requirements to be a teacher.

If you already meet the QSM requirements a different way, you don’t need to get the ECTC to be a teacher.

Do I qualify to get the ECTC?

You may be eligible for the ECTC if:

  • You’re already working at an early care and education program, and
  • Your QSM expiration date is 2025 or 2029

If your QSM expiration date is 2099, you’ve already met the QSM requirement, and you don’t need the ECTC.

Not sure when your QSM expires?

Check your Registry Education and Training Report or your Registry membership card to find your QSM expiration date. 

If there’s no expiration date listed, OEC may not have all your records. Be sure to update your Registry profile and upload all your college transcripts so that the OEC Registry team can assess your QSM status.

How can I get the ECTC?

There are 2 ways to get the ECTC:

  • Individual review route — Apply for the ECTC Individual Review Route to see if you’re eligible for the credential based on a combination of your non-early childhood education degree and your life experience 
  • Approved college route — Graduate from one of CT’s ECTC approved colleges with a degree in an ECTC path that includes student teaching

Individual review route (IRR)

Want to qualify to get the ECTC through the individual review process? First, you must become a member in the Connecticut Early Childhood Registry and submit all of your documentation. You need to have the following verified in the Registry:

  • Currently be working in the early childhood education field or have at least one year of experience
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college in a concentration not related to early childhood, child development, or child studies Have completed 12 credits in early childhood or child development
Only send transcripts through the Registry

After your documentation is verified through the Registry, contact Colleen Brower at the CT Association for the Education of Young Children at cbrower@ctaeyc.org for information about applying for the ECTC through an individual review.

Approved college route

To get the ECTC this way, you must:

The ECTC can be awarded through the approved college route at the associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree level. Find an ECTC-approved college

Should I get an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree?

An ECTC at the associate’s level will qualify you to be a teacher at a state-funded child care center until 2029. After that, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. 

To find out how to transfer the credits from your associate’s degree towards a bachelor’s, visit the Board of Regents’ website

To apply for an OEC scholarship to pay for your degree, visit the OEC Registry website

What are the areas of competency for the ECTC?

The ECTC confirms that you have met teacher competencies in these 6 areas outlined in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. The individual review route includes development of a portfolio documenting how you meet the ECTC standards.

  • Child Development and Learning in Context
  • Family-Teacher Partnerships and Community Connections
  • Child Observation, Documentation, and Assessment
  • Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices
  • Knowledge, Application, and Integration of Academic Content in the Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator

Last updated June 3, 2024