• Educators (Birth - 8 Years of Age):
    Delaware First

  • Child hand painting in classroom

  • The Delaware First Professional Development System for Early Care and Education and School-Age Programs, commonly referred to as Delaware First, supports early learning professionals by certifying them to become employed by an early childcare 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 learning professionals 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.  See New Brochure Here

    Process for Qualification Review

    Early Care & Education Center

    The following is the process for requesting a review of qualifications for an Early Care & Education Certificate:

    1. Applicant reviews the Early Care and Education Qualifications for early childcare education positions.
    2. Applicant completes the Early Care and Education Qualifications Application, selecting the one position they believe they are qualified for. Applicant signs and dates the bottom of the application.
    3. Applicant reviews and ensures they have Early Care and Education College Courses or similar coursework (if needed).
    4. Applicant collects official college transcripts (sealed in envelope 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 or delivers completed application and all documentation to:
      Delaware First, Department of Education, 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901.

    School-Age Center

    The following is the process for requesting a review of qualifications for a School-Age Certificate:

    1. Applicant reviews the School-Age Qualifications for school-age positions.
    2. Applicant completes the School-Age Qualifications Application, selecting the one position they believe they are qualified for.  Applicant signs and dates the bottom of the application.
    3. Applicant reviews and ensures they have School-Age College Courses or similar coursework (if needed).
    4. Applicant collects official college transcripts (sealed in envelope 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 or delivers completed 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.

    Please note that Delaware First currently has a 4-6 week turnaround time for processing qualifications. Processing time does not begin until Delaware First has received a completed application packet and all necessary documentation.  Please allow at least 6 weeks before calling to inquire about the status of an application.

    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. 

Last Modified on May 30, 2018