Overall Policy Lever Score


Child care licensing in Iowa requires directors to have a minimum of 30 semester hours in general education. The Iowa Department of Human Services operates the state-wide QRIS, which is based on a point system. Points are awarded if a program director has a national administrator credential or is a licensed principal. Elementary principals are required to have a master’s degree and teaching experience. Pre-K is included in the licensing grade-level range. State pre-K classrooms must be NAEYC accredited programs, which includes qualification standards for directors related to their level of general education and specialized training in early childhood education and business administration. There are no early childhood leadership degree programs or leadership academies offered in the state.

Interesting Facts: Iowa

  • Sixty-six percent of child care directors in Iowa have a bachelor’s degree or higher. (Building Iowa’s Child Care Workforce for the 21st Century, 2010)

  • Aim4Excellence™ and National Administrator Credential (NAC) are the only approved administrator credentials for the QRIS.

  • There are 682 elementary principals, 710 child care directors, and 3,703 family child care providers in Iowa.