Delaware First Qualifications

Delaware First
  • The Delaware First Professional Development System For Early Childhood Program, commonly referred to as Delaware First, supports early childhood educators by certifying them to become employed by an early child care or school-age care center once they meet specific requirements related to age, work experience and education.  The requirements are explained in detail in the Delacare: Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers as established by the Office of Child Care Licensing in the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.   Early childhood educators are encouraged to continue working and furthering their education in order to move to the next qualification level.  Delaware First is administered by the Delaware Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning.  


  • Process for Qualification Review

    The process for requesting a review of qualifications is as follows:

    1. Applicant reviews the requirements for positions.
    2. Applicant selects the appropriate Qualifications Application form for either Early Care and Education or School-Age.
    3. Applicant selects the position they believe they are qualified for, completes and signs the Qualifications Application.
    4. Applicant collects official college transcripts (sealed in envelope un-opened from your college), diplomas and training certificates to document training and education to meet the specific qualification.
    5. Applicant copies their driver's license, photo ID and/or other proof of age to meet qualifications.
    6. Applicant collects signed original Verification of Experience forms to document total experience required to meet qualifications. Verification of Experience forms required for all positions except for Intern.
    7. Applicant mails via U.S. mail, or delivers the application and all documentation to:
      Delaware First
      Department of Education
      401 Federal Street, Suite 2
      Dover, DE 19901

    Incomplete applications or those with missing documentation will be held for 60 days. Notification regarding the missing information will be sent to the applicant's address as listed on the application.  Applications and documentation cannot be accepted via fax.

    When the application and documentation have been received, reviewed and verified, Delaware First will issue a Certificate of Qualifications that indicates the position for which the applicant qualifies. This document is the applicant's original and should be kept in the applicant's own files.  Applicants should make several copies of the Certificate of Qualifications for prospective employers.  *NEW* Applicants may request a copy of their Certificate by calling the Delaware First Office at 302-735-4236.  Note:   Certificates will be marked "Copy" and will be mailed out within one week.

    Please note that Delaware First currently has a 4-6 week turn around time for processing qualifications. Please allow at least 6 weeks before calling to inquire about the status of an application.


  • Office of Early Learning - Delaware First
    Delaware Department of Education
    Dover, DE 19901
    (302) 735-4236