Early Childhood Career Ladder

Michael

The Early Childhood Career Ladder is an essential tool for planning and tracking your professional growth that organizes coursework, credentials, degrees, and licensure. Each level of the Career Ladder combines education and experience.

There are many different pathways to reaching a new Level on the Early Childhood Career Ladder – and you may start at any Level and complete it at your own pace. Your Level Certificate will recognize your accumulated skills and knowledge through courses, trainings, and experience. Completing a Level means achieving a milestone in your career pathway with benefits that may include:

  • a professional recognition bonus from the Child Development Division (CDD)*;
  • a higher score in the Vermont Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) qualifications;
  • meeting a job requirement in the child care program regulations.

*The funding for the professional recognition bonuses is provided by the Child Development Division, but individual bonuses are reviewed and approved by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VtAEYC).

Find Your Path and Stay on Track

Use the resources on this page to get familiar with your career pathway:

  • The Career Advising Guide shows how different jobs in various settings fit into Levels in the Early Childhood Career Ladder.
  • The Career Ladder Fact Sheet further explains the Career Ladder, its various requirements and related information in greater detail.
  • The Core Knowledge & Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals describes the skills and knowledge for those who work with children birth to grade three in group settings.
  • Career Level Fact Sheets (I – VI) explain requirements and application process for each Level in detail.

If you need support navigating your career requirements, please contact us for further assistance.

Upcoming Trainings

Take your skills to the next level by enrolling in a Northern Lights Training.

Early Childhood Career Ladder

Description:

Fundamentals for Early Childhood Professionals course (45 hours)

OR

3 college credits in child development AND Basic Specialized Care + Introduction to Licensing trainings AND one approved observation of the practitioner

OR

Northern Lights-approved Level I portfolio and one approved observation of the practitioner

Please Note: If you wish to meet this level by completing a portfolio, you must contact Northern Lights for permission before beginning this process.

Experience: One year
Professional Recognition Bonus if Eligible: $100
See if you are eligible for a bonus.
Fact Sheet (pdf): Career Ladder Fact Sheet
Description:

Current Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

OR

12 related college credits in at least 2 Core Knowledge Areas AND two approved observations of the practitioner

OR

Northern Lights-approved Level I portfolio and one approved observation of the practitioner

Please Note: If you wish to meet this level by completing a portfolio, you must contact Northern Lights for permission before beginning this process.

Experience: Two years or more
Professional Recognition Bonus if Eligible: $500
See if you are eligible for a bonus.
Fact Sheet (pdf): Career Ladder Fact Sheet
Description:

Level III A

Completed Vermont Child Care Registered Apprentice Program

OR

Completed CCV Child Care Certificate program

OR
21 related college credits in at least 3 Core Knowledge Areas AND two approved observations of the practitioner


Level III B

Associate Degree in early childhood education or related field

OR

Associate Degree in any field with 21 related college credits in at least 3 Core Knowledge Areas

Experience: Two years or more
Professional Recognition Bonus if Eligible: IIIA:$750 IIIB: $1000
See if you are eligible for a bonus.
Fact Sheet (pdf): Career Ladder Fact Sheet
Description:

Bachelor Degree in early childhood education or related field

OR

Bachelor Degree in any field with 30 related college credits in at least 3 Core Knowledge Areas


Level IV B

Above with Vermont Agency of Education teaching license with endorsement in early childhood, early childhood special education, or elementary education

Experience: Two years of more, may include student teaching
Professional Recognition Bonus if Eligible: Level IVA: $1200 Level IVB: additional $500
See if you are eligible for a bonus.
Fact Sheet (pdf): Career Ladder Fact Sheet
Description:

LEVEL V

Level V A

Master Degree in early childhood education or related field

Level V B

Master Degree in early childhood education or related field with Vermont Agency of Education teaching license with endorsement in early childhood, early childhood special education, or elementary education

Experience: Two years or more, may include student teaching
Professional Recognition Bonus if Eligible: Level V A: $1200 Level V B: additional $500
See if you are eligible for a bonus.
Fact Sheet (pdf): Career Ladder Fact Sheet
Description:

LEVEL VI

Level VI A

Doctoral Degree in a related field.

Level VI B

Doctoral Degree in early childhood education or related field with Vermont Agency of Education teaching license with endorsement in early childhood, early childhood special education, or elementary education

Experience: Two years or more, may include student teaching
Professional Recognition Bonus if Eligible:
See if you are eligible for a bonus.
Fact Sheet (pdf): Career Ladder Fact Sheet