North Carolina

Overall Policy Lever Score

4

The minimum child care licensing requirement is the North Carolina Administrator Credential Level I, which requires a minimum of seven semester hours in early childhood education six semester hours in early childhood administration and, including a portfolio. Coursework for the director credential is offered at 58 community college locations. Pre-K certification is available in principal licensure which requires a master’s degree. The QRIS, North Carolina Star Rated License, is a points-based system that builds on the foundation of licensing standards. A principal license is required for administrators of school-based state pre-K programs and a director credential with a bachelor’s degree is required for directors of community-based programs with state pre-K. There are three early childhood administration degree programs in North Carolina offered by University of North Carolina at Wilmington, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Isothermal Community College in Columbus. Three early childhood leadership academies are also available.

Interesting Facts: North Carolina

  • The median age of child care directors in North Carolina is 47 years; 44% of the directors are people of color (2012 Workforce Study, Child Care Services Association).

  • The North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential has been earned by 75% of child care directors (2012 Workforce Study, Child Care Services Association).

  • The Leadership Matters Institute offered by Smart Start of Forsyth County uses the PAS to support directors in program improvement.