Washington DC

Overall Policy Lever Score


Child care licensing minimally require Bachelor of Arts (BA) in early childhood education or a BA with at least 15 semester credit hours in early childhood by Dec. 2022.  The District of Columbia does not have a director credential. All licensed facilities that accept public funding are required to participate in state’s recently launched QRIS program, Capital Quality . Any licensed facility that does not accept public funding has the option to participate in the Quality Rating and Improvement System. Elementary school principals are minimally required to have a bachelor’s degree for licensure with a valid administrator license issued from another state.

Interesting Facts: Washington DC

  • The District of Columbia joins 5 states in requiring an associate degree for the director of a child development center of any size.

  • Washington, D.C. has the highest average salary for child care directors ($68,180) and elementary principals ($160,213) in the nation.

  • Trinity Washington University offers a master’s degree in early childhood program administration.