Overall Policy Lever Score


Child care licensing standards minimally require that directors have 72 clock hours of training in child development and 30 clock hours in management, and 3 years of experience in licensed child care.

A day care administrator credential is a credential recognized by child care licensing as one way to meet director qualifications to become a child care director. Texas Health and Human Services does not support or endorse day care administrator credential programs or their sponsors. Programs recognized by licensing comply with TAC, Title 26, Part 1, Chapter 745, Subchapter P.  Several educational institutions in Texas offer Texas Director’s Credential and links to them are provided on the Texas Health and Human Services page. National Institute of Child Care Management also offers Texas Director Credential.

Elementary school principals must have a master’s degree and pre-K certification is available. However, principal licensure does not require pre-K content or practical experience in the principal preparation requirements. The Texas Rising Star (TRS) QRIS was revised in 2017 to be implemented statewide. It is a hybrid model that adds points to required elements. Minimally, at the highest level of the QRIS, directors must have attended the TRS director’s certificate course and worked as a director for 8 years in a TRS program or a nationally accredited program. School-based pre-K programs require principal licensure. Directors of a community-based state pre-K programs must be nationally accredited or be a TRS program with a minimum of three-star certification.

Interesting Facts: Texas

  • QRIS and community-based pre-K require directors to attend a leadership academy modeled on the McCormick Center’s Taking Charge of Change™ program.

  • Southwestern Assemblies of God University and the University of Houston Clear Lake offer graduate degrees in early childhood administration.

  • Three community colleges in Texas offer associate degrees in early childhood administration.