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CPP Online Handbook: Staff Requirements

Teachers’ skills and knowledge are the key element to the delivery of the Colorado Preschool Program services. All preschool staff that serve CPP children must meet the Colorado Department of Human Services Licensing Requirements, but that is only a minimum level of professional preparation.

The Colorado Preschool Program Act states, “In establishing criteria for district preschool programs relating to qualifications for preschool teachers, the department shall not require preschool teachers to be licensed pursuant to article 60.5 of this title but shall allow the district or a head start agency or child care agency to employ a non-licensed preschool teacher so long as said teacher meets other qualifications established by the department.” (C.R.S. 22-28-108 (3))

It is important however, that each teacher have the appropriate skills, knowledge and disposition to teach young children.


To ensure that the teacher has the appropriate skills to teach young children, the department addresses the preschool teacher qualifications in two ways. Staff qualifications are outlined in the Rules for the Administration of the Colorado Preschool Program Act (PDF), and they are also further defined in the Section D of the Colorado Quality Standards for Early Childhood Care and Education Services (PDF).

The Rules state that teachers must be able to show that they have received education credits in the field of early childhood. This can do be done through a portfolio that demonstrates knowledge in:

The rules further indicate that if the teacher cannot demonstrate skills in the above areas, they must be supervised by someone who can, and they must be making progress in the areas of need as part of their staff development. (2228-R 6.06-.07 C.C.R.)

In addition, each early childhood program participating in the Colorado Preschool Program must demonstrate the capacity to deliver high quality developmentally appropriate services as defined by the Colorado Quality Standards for Early Childhood Care and Education Services. An important goal in the Quality Standards is that programs are staffed by adults who understand child development and who recognize and provide for children’s needs.

The Quality Standards in Section D (PDF) state that:

  • Staff who are in charge of a group of children should have at least a Child Care Professional Credential (CCP), Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) or an associate degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development.
  • In cases where staff members do no meet the specified qualifications, a training plan and timeline, both individualized and program-wide, have been developed and is being implemented for those staff members.
  • An early childhood educator is employed to direct the educational program of children birth through eight. The qualifications of an early childhood educator are a baccalaureate degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development and at least three years of full-time teaching experience with young children, and/or graduate degree in ECE/CD. This individual may be the classroom teacher, early childhood coordinator, building principal, or center director.
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