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Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood Professional Development



The Delaware First Professional Development System for Early Care and Education and School-Age Programs, commonly referred to as Delaware First, qualifies early childhood education professionals for employment by an early care and education or school-age care center. Delaware First is administered by the Delaware Department of Education, Office of Early Learning. 

Early childhood education professionals are qualified to work in specific positions once they meet the Office of Child Care Licensing requirements related to age, work experience, and education. All early childhood education professionals are encouraged to continue working and furthering their education in order to advance their career. 

Qualification Certifications for Early Care and Education include:

  • Early Childhood Intern
  • Early Childhood Assistant Teacher
  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator
  • Early Childhood Administrator

Qualification Certifications for School-Age Care include:

  • School-Age Intern
  • School-Age Site Assistant
  • School-Age Site Coordinator
  • Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator
  • School-Age Administrator

Once an individual is determined qualified for one of these position levels by Delaware First, they will receive a Qualifications Certificate for that position. 

Each individual is be responsible for keeping and maintaining their Qualifications Certificate. This is an important document that anyone employed or seeking employment at a licensed early care and education or school-age center in Delaware will be asked to provide as proof of their qualifications for employment.  However, individuals do not need to submit any further documentation to Delaware First even if they change employers.

For more information on qualification requirements to enter the early childhood field and the process for obtaining a Qualifications Certificate, visit the Delaware First website at or call (302) 735-4236.

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