Staff Credential and Ratio Requirement

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Child Care Standards

65C-22.003(7), Florida Administrative Code

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Continuing Education Units (CEUs) earned to renew a Staff or Director Credential must be earned from education institutions accredited and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or nationally affiliated state professional organizations. This requirement is listed in Rule as 65C-22.003(1)(d), Florida Administrative Code.

If you have questions, please call the Child Care Training Information Center at 1-888-352-2842.

What is the staff credential?

A Staff Credential is an official designation that means an individual's professional education meets or exceeds the professional criteria set by the Department of Children and Families. There are several ways to obtain professional education in the field of child care. Individuals can attend community college or university programs, can seek a National Early Childhood Credential, or can attend a state-approved Florida Child Care Professional Credential program in order to achieve higher education in child development. A Staff Credential is obtained by submitting copies of transcripts or a program certificate to the credential unit of the Department of Children and Families. If an individuals' professional education meets the criteria, a Staff Credential Verification (Form CF-FSP 5206) is issued.

Who qualifies for a Staff Credential?

A staff member with one of the qualifications listed below will be issued a CF-FSP 5206, April 06, Staff Credential Verification form. A copy of this form must be kept in the employee's personnel file.

  1. National Early Childhood Certificate - Active National Child Development Associate (CDA) or other early childhood credential that meets or exceeds the requirements of the National CDA and is recognized by regulatory agencies in at least five (5) states. Recognition is determined by the Department.
  2. Formal Educational Qualifications 
    a) B.A., B.S. or advanced degree in ONE of the following areas: Early Childhood Education/Child Development, Pre-Kindergarten or Primary Education, Preschool Education, Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics/Child Development), Exceptional Student Education, Special Education, Mental Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, Physically Impaired, Varying Exceptionalities, Emotional Disabilities, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Speech-Language Pathology or Elementary Education with certification to teach any age birth through 6th grade (certification may be inactive provided the certificate is not suspended/revoked). 
    b) A.S., A.A. degree or higher in Early Childhood Education/Child Development 
    c) Associate's degree or higher WITH at least six (6) college credit hours in early childhood education/child development AND at least 480 hours experience in a child care setting serving children ages birth through eight (8). 
  3. Active Birth through Five Child Care Credential (Formerly the Florida Child Development Associate Equivalency Credential (CDAE)):
  4. Active School-Age Child Care Credential

How do I apply for or renew a Staff Credential?

Download and complete the Staff Credential Application, CF-FSP 5211, March 2009 and mail to the address listed within the application.

For licensing purposes, what is the Staff Credential requirement?

Every licensed child care facility must have one member of its child care personnel present with a verified staff credential for every 20 children.

Number of Credentialed Personnel Required

# of Children in Child Care Facility Minimum # of Credentialed Staff Needed
19 or less 0
20-39 1
40-59 2
Each Additional 20 +1
  1. Child care facilities that operate less than 8 hours per week are not required to have a credentialed staff member.
  2. Volunteers who meet the credentialing requirement will be included in the calculation of necessary credentialed staff.
  3. Children who are 5 years old and above, when they are enrolled in and attending a kindergarten program or grades one and above, are excluded from the calculation for purposes of determining the number of personnel necessary to meet the credentialing ratio.
  4. Licensing authority will calculate the number of credentialed personnel required based on daily attendance.

For more information, please contact
The Background Screening and Child Care Training Information Center opened on September 3rd as an expanded version of the original call center.  Call toll-free 888-352-2842.