NAEYC-defined Degree Equivalencies

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These degree equivalencies are intended for early childhood programs preparing documentation of staff qualifications while pursuing or maintaining NAEYC Accreditation of Programs for Young Children.

Expected Credential/Degree
NAEYC-defined Equivalency
Child Development Associate credential
awarded by the Council for Professional
Recognition
 
A minimum of 12 college credits (semester hours) in
early childhood education, child development,
elementary education, or early childhood special
education that encompass the following: child
development and learning of children birth through
kindergarten; family and community relationships;
observing, documenting, and assessing young
children; teaching and learning; and professional
practices and development
Associate’s degree in child development–
early childhood education
 
60 college credits, with 30 college credits (semester
hours) in child development– early childhood
education, child development, elementary education,
or early childhood special education that encompass
the following: child development and learning of
children birth through kindergarten; family and
community relationships; observing, documenting,
and assessing young children; teaching and learning;
and professional practices and development,
including relevant field-based experience
Baccalaureate degree in early childhood
education, child development, elementary
education, or early childhood special
education that encompasses the following:
child development and learning of children
birth through kindergarten; family and
community relationships; observing,
documenting, and assessing young children;
teaching and learning; and professional
practices and development
 
A baccalaureate degree in any discipline, with a
minimum of 36 college credits (semester hours) in
early childhood education, child development,
elementary education, or early childhood special
education that encompass the following: child
development and learning of children birth through
kindergarten; family and community relationships;
observing, documenting, and assessing young
children; teaching and learning; and professional
practices and development, including relevant fieldbased
experience