Skip to main content

How to obtain a California child development permit

October 19, 2017

Categories: Blog

Published: October 19, 2017

If you love working with children, a California child development permit could be the right career move. First, you’ll need to start your degree in early childhood education and development. Then, you have to apply for a permit. Find out how you can obtain a permit and start your career now.

What are the six kinds of California child development permits?

FYI: There are six levels of child development permits issued by the California Department of Education. Sound confusing? Read on.

These permits range from a child development assistant to a child development program director. Here’s the rundown of what each permit requires and what it means for you.

  1. Child development assistant: This is the lowest level. To obtain this permit, you must have completed six semester units of early childhood education or development coursework or complete an approved Home Economics (HERO) or Regional Occupation Program (ROP) in Child Development Related Occupations. If you hold this permit, you can work with children in a child care and child development program—but you must be supervised by an individual that holds one of the other 5 higher permits.
  2. Child development associate teacher: This permit requires a minimum of 12 semester units of coursework, including at least 3 units in child/human growth and development, child and family relations, and programs/curriculum, as well as at least 50 days of instructional experience in a child care program. Alternatively, a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential can substitute the coursework and experience requirements. Child development associate teachers can supervise CDP assistants and aides.
  3. Child development teacher: The teacher permit level requires applicants to complete 16 semester units in general education and 175 days of experience or hold an associate degree or higher in early childhood education or child development and have three-semester units of field experience. Individuals with a child development teacher permit can supervise aides, assistants, and associate teachers.
  4. Child development master teacher: In addition to instructing and caring for children in a child care and development program, a master teacher can coordinate the curriculum and staff development. This permit requires 16 semesters in general education, six units in a specialization like infant and toddler care or child health, 2 units in adult supervision coursework, and 350 days of experience. Alternatively, individuals could also complete a baccalaureate degree, 12 semesters of relevant coursework, and 3 semester units of supervised field experience. Master teachers can supervise teachers, associates, assistants, and aides.
  5. Child development site supervisor: This permit includes all of the responsibilities of the master teacher level, in addition to allowing individuals to supervise a child care and development program at one site. The site supervisor can also oversee the master teachers. Site supervisors must have an associate degree, six semester units in administration and supervision of child care, 2 semester units of adult supervision coursework, and 350 days of experience; 100 of these days must include supervising adults as well. There are 3 other paths to obtaining this permit level. Explore all of the details here.
  6. Child development program director: Permit holders can supervise multiple sites of a child care and development program in addition to caring for and instructing children and coordinating curriculum and staff development. There are 4 requirement options that lead to becoming a child development program director. Check out the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) site to learn all four paths to becoming a child development program director.

For a full explanation of all six permit levels, read the CTC’s child development permit guide.

There is also a school-age emphasis authorization that can be added to any permit level. This allows the permit holder to care for children in before-school, after-school, and other school-age child care programs.


How do you apply for a child development permit?

There are two ways you can apply for a California child development permit. You can either apply through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing or the Child Development Consortium.

When you apply, you need to include school transcripts, application fees, fingerprints, and proof of instructional experience. Keep in mind that your education must be regionally accredited by bodies like the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. (Psst. Pacific Oaks has this accreditation!)


Start your child development education at Pacific Oaks

Before you pursue your California child development permit, you need a strong foundation in child development and early childhood education. Pacific Oaks College offers flexible learning options at Southern California campuses and online.

Our selection of early childhood education programs includes both B.A. and M.A. programs that are available on campus and online. We also offer a B.A. in Human Development that focuses on Early Childhood Development.

No matter what permit level you wish to obtain, your path to a California child development permit starts at Pacific Oaks.

Any questions? Request more information today.

Categories: Blog