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Minimum Education Requirements

Child care licensing regulations require members of the DC early childhood workforce to meet minimum education requirements based on their position. Effective Dec. 20, 2023, a teacher can meet the education requirement by meeting any one of the following:

  • Associate degree (or higher) in early childhood education or a closely related field; OR
  • Completion of at least 60 credit hours or an associate degree (or higher) in any subject area with at least 12 credit hours in early childhood education; OR
  • Enrollment in a degree program provided that the teacher holds a Child Development Associate (CDA) and earns an associate degree (or higher) within four years of their initial date of hire as a teacher at a child development center licensed by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

More information on the regulations that outline the education requirement for teachers can be found here.


The following is a list of associate degree programs, including on-campus, online and/or hybrid degree programs and resources available in the Washington, DC area. This list is neither exhaustive nor an indication of endorsement by OSSE.


Information on AA in EC

Program Point of Contact

University of the District of Columbia-Community College Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Professor Scott King
Director, Division of Education
(202) 274-6981
[email protected]

Trinity Washington University Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
Monee Bentley
Enrollment Recruiter
(202) 884-9411
[email protected]
Howard Community College Early Childhood Development - A.A.S. Degree
(443) 518-1620
Montgomery College Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) in Early Childhood Education
Dr. Sonia Pruneda-Hernandez
Collegewide Senior Director/Chair, Early Childhood Education Programs
(240) 467-4168
Prince George’s Community College Early Childhood Education A.A.S.

Dr. Ashanti Bryant Foster, NBCT
Department Chair – Education
(301) 546-PGCC (7422) – Ext. 60445
[email protected]

NOVA Community College-Alexandria Campus Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Development
Christine Pegorraro Schull, Ph.D.
Professor & Assistant Dean
(703) 845-6224
[email protected]
Rasmussen University

Associate degree in Early Childhood Education (online)

Mackenzie McFadden
Sr. National Account Manager, Workforce Solutions
(320) 761-4625
[email protected]

University of the Potomac

Associate degree in Early Childhood Education (online)

Marcia Holmes
Office of Admissions
(202) 274-2335 Ext. 6135
[email protected]

Resources Available



Program Point of Contact

Higher Education Incentive Fund

Students that have applied to UDC or Trinity Washington University can receive a full scholarship toward their degree by contacting the university directly.

Professor Scott King
Director, Division of Education
(202) 274-6981
[email protected]

DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) DCTAG is a student-level grant program that provides grants of up to $10,000 toward the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public colleges and universities to eligible DC residents.

Kenneth McGhee
DC TAG Director
(202) 481-3946
[email protected]

DC Futures Program The DC Futures Program helps DC college students complete their first associate or bachelor’s degree by providing a last-dollar scholarship (tuition, fees and cost of attendance) at three local universities in addition to college coaching and support services that will address personal and financial barriers to completion for all participants.

(202) 727-2824
[email protected]

Mayor’s Scholars Undergraduate Program The Mayor’s Scholars Undergraduate Program provides need-based funding for eligible DC residents earning their first associate or bachelor’s degree at select area colleges and universities.

Melanie Fleming
Program Analyst
(202) 741-6406
[email protected]

DC Leading Educators toward Advanced Degrees (DC LEAD) Program The DC LEAD program provides scholarships and incentives to child care educators in the District of Columbia to complete coursework toward an associate and/or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Emmett Irby
Program Manager, DC LEAD
(202) 561-5500
[email protected]

Advancing Early Education Collaborative The Advancing Early Education Collaborative (AEEC) is an initiative between the American University School of Education, Trinity Washington University, LIFT-DC and Martha’s Table. The partnership provides Black and Latinx women who live or work in wards 7 or 8 with an academic pathway across institutions and wrap-around supports that help students navigate, graduate and enter careers in early learning.

Gabrielle Harris
Assistant Director, CDA Program of Studies
American University
(202) 885-8830
[email protected]

Michael Rowe
Director, Early Childhood Education
Trinity Washington University
(202) 884-9643
[email protected]