Career Pathway

EEC is in process of drafting an early care and education career ladder.  The goal is to develop a single generic career ladder that is applicable across care settings.  The ladder will focus on educators working directly with children and those who are responsible for their professional development and the development of curriculum.  It will not include staff whose jobs are primarily administrative or fiscal.  The pilot implementation will likely begin sometime in 2011.

Child Development Associate (CDA)

A Child Development Associate (CDA) is a personal credential earned by an individual who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process. CDA’s are able to meet the specific needs of children in group and family child care environments and work with parents and other adults to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework.  The CDA holder is a recognized early childhood professional.  Massachusetts accepts a CDA for the education requirements for lead teacher.  For complete information on the Child Development Associate Credential, go to

Continuing Education Unit (CEU)

A Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a comprehensive training that is designed to actively involve the adult learner.  Trainings must be a minimum of 5 hours (worth .5 CEU) and are offered in various formats.  CEU training requires prior approval from a recognized organization.  See Page 8, Appendix: Useful Definitions click here

EEC will accept CEU’s as a substitute for some college credits for educators wishing to meet qualifications for group child care staff.

One (1) CEU in Infant and Toddler Development may be substituted for three (3) months of required supervised work experience for the infant/toddler teacher

  • Up to four (4) CEU’s in the same category of study can be substituted for one (1) three credit college course for those seeking lead teacher certification
  • Up to three (3) CEU’s may be substituted for two college credits for Director I and II certification.  Visit for current information on Professional Qualifications. 

CEU’s can also be used to meet certain requirements for the Child Development Associate (CDA) candidate and renewal credential.  For additional information on the Child Development Associate Credential, go to 

College Course Work

Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) is a consortium of the 125 community colleges and 9 state universities of Massachusetts.  The institutions have joined to share their convenient and flexible online courses and programs.  Click here  to view their website.

Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program

Massachusetts offers financial assistance for currently employed early childhood and out of school time educators and providers who enroll in an associate or bachelor degree program in Early Childhood Education or related programs.  Click here  for more information on the Scholarship Program: