Beginning July 1, 2019, all lead teachers in publicly-funded early learning centers in Louisiana will hold or be working toward the state’s new Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate.
The Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate is a professional credential for teachers who are working in child care programs and is part of the state’s effort to unify the early childhood system and professionalize the workforce. The Certificate builds on the Child Development Associate credential and has added components of classroom observation time, mentoring, coaching, and practice teaching. Alternate methods for obtaining the credential include bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in early childhood. The Certificate will need to be renewed every three years, and renewal requirements include both work experience and continued professional development.
To help teachers earn the new credential, the state provides scholarships for training, and there is no out-of-pocket fee to obtain the credential. The state has also provided funding for professional development providers throughout the state to administer the training and plans to develop an online program as well. In addition, early childhood educators who receive the new credential and stay in the field will be eligible for a refundable tax credit of more than $3,000 annually.
New teachers will have 24 months from their start date as a lead teacher to earn the Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate, and the state estimates that approximately 1,000 to 1,500 teachers will earn the new credential each year.