Qualified Staff Member (QSM) Requirements for State-Funded Programs

Connecticut has legislation designed to ensure that young children attending state-funded programs are taught by teachers with college degree work in early childhood education. 

The law has gradual benchmarks leading to the goal of one Teacher with a qualifying bachelor’s degree per room or group by July 1, 2029

For full details — including the specific dates and benchmarks — refer to General Policy A-01, Legislative Requirements for Staff Qualifications in State-Funded Programs.

What programs need to meet the QSM  requirements?

These requirements are for classrooms that serve any combination of infants through preschoolers in programs that receive any combination of the following funds:

  • School Readiness
  • Child Day Care Contract 
  • State Head Start Supplement
  • Smart Start

This legislation doesn’t apply to programs receiving only Care4Kids.

What if only part of a program receives state funds?

Even if only part of a program receives state funds, all of the classrooms serving infants through preschoolers must meet this requirement. 

What is a designated QSM (DQSM)?

The designated QSM (DQSM) is the staff person assigned in the OEC Registry as the QSM for a specific classroom. Every state-funded program must identify the DQSM for each classroom serving infants through preschoolers. 
The DQSM must be someone who is:

  • In the role of Teacher (not assistant teacher or another role)
  • Meeting QSM qualifications
  • Working each day in the specific classroom the majority of hours the classroom is in operation

The OEC Registry automatically calculates who is QSM eligible and provides the expiration date of the person’s qualifications according to the benchmarks in the law.

How do I make sure my program is compliant?

Data from the OEC Registry is used to assess program compliance. There are instructions for programs to “build out” certain parts of the program, such as the:

  • Names of classrooms
  • Ages served in each classroom
  • Staff assigned including designating the QSM for each classroom

Program reports then show how your program meets QSM requirements at each benchmark. 

Last updated October 20, 2023