Childcare Director Credential

Who is required to have the credential?

Administering a childcare program is a complex job, one that requires extensive skills and knowledge in both child development and program administration. The expectation that directors of childcare programs be well-trained and credentialed is ever-increasing. In keeping with this trend, in 1999 the Florida Legislature revised childcare licensing standards to require directors of licensed childcare facilities to have a Director Credential. As a result of the legislative changes, the Department of Children and Families developed a comprehensive, renewable Director Credential consisting of educational and experiential requirements at three levels: Level I, Level II and Advanced.

Effective Jan. 1, 2004, every childcare facility is required to have a credentialed director, except during evening hours. A director may only supervise one childcare facility, except if the facility is a before- and after-school program. The director is the on-site administrator/supervisor who must be present in the facility a majority of the time that the facility is in operation, except during evening hours of operation. Every applicant for a license to operate a childcare facility or a license for a change of ownership of a childcare facility must document that the facility director has a Director Credential prior to issuance of the license.

A Director Credential is valid for five (5) years from the date of issue. A Director Credential issued prior to Jan. 1, 2004 will have an initial renewal date of Jan. 1, 2009, and will require renewal every five years thereafter.

The credential requirements for each level are listed below.

Foundational Level (Level I)

Documenting Education Requirements:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Part I Mandated Child Care Training and Staff Credential
  • 8 Hours of Special Needs training
  • Active Staff Credential
  • Overview of Child Care Management course - College Degree or Coursework – submit an unaltered copy of the transcript or unofficial transcript documenting date degree and/or coursework was completed.

Documenting Experience Requirements:

  • Experience may be earned as a director, co-director, assistant director, or lead teacher in a Head Start program.
  • To document experience, you may submit one of the following:
    • Letter on official letterhead from child care facility owner, board member, company CEO, representative of the organization, or supervisor stating position, title, and experience as a director, or
    • Copy of Child Care License listing applicant as director.
  • "Year of Experience" is equivalent to a minimum of 1040 hours of paid and/or nonpaid documented work experience.

Course Requirements:

Level II

To qualify for a Level II credential, you must have at least one year of experience in on-site childcare and program administration, in addition to meeting all the requirements listed above.

How to Renew Director’s Credential

For directors who need to renew their staff credential, any early childhood course that would fall under the category of Child Care and Education Programming would be an approved renewal course. At Seminole State College, a director can take any early childhood course offered in a given semester except the following: EEC 1941, EEC 1523 and EEC 1011.

Advanced (Optional)

Education Requirements:

Experience Requirements:

To achieve Advanced-level certification, you must have at least two years of experience in on-site childcare and program administration, in addition to meeting the requirements listed above.

Other requirements may apply. For more information, view the Director Credential information from the Department of Children and Families website.

Note: Seminole State is the only facility that provides this training for center directors in Seminole County. Seminole State also allows directors and future directors to take the credential courses while obtaining their CDA or course requirements for Form 5211.

Class space is limited for both online and on-site courses.

Please contact the Early Childhood Education Department for more information:

Director Credential Application

Download and complete the Director Credential Application, CF-FSP 5290. Please include all appropriate supporting documentation and mail to the address listed in the application.

For specific details regarding the Director Credential, call 866.320.9710.


Early Childhood Education
407.708.2350 fax
Office: J-011, Sanford/Lake Mary Campus