Career Levels

The Registry Career Levels

Please note The Registry Career Levels indicate your educational achievement and do not reflect your qualification for positions in child care licensing.

Download: The Registry Career Levels  |  The Registry Career Levels + Commentary | The Registry Career Levels - en Español


Key Terms

Degree in Another Field:

Any degree not directly related to teaching children.  Examples of titles of non-related degrees include any business degree, counseling, criminal justice, psychology, etc.

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DPI License:

Professional Educator licenses issued by the Department of Public Instruction are recognized. Substitute teacher, instructional aide, principal and counselor licenses are not accepted.

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Regionally Accredited:

Regionally accredited refers to the educational accreditation of schools, colleges, and universities in the United States by one of seven regional accrediting agencies.

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Registry Credentials:

Registry Credentials are a series of 4-6 specific credential courses for a total of 12-18 credits per credential.  Successful completion of the commission process and verification of credential course work is required to be awarded a Registry Credential.  Information on Registry Credentials can be found at https://www.the-registry.org/Credentials/Overview.html

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Related Credits:

Credits from courses where the course content is most applicable to the field of early care and education, including the business of operating an organization specific to child care, are considered related credits.

  • The Registry reviews courses documented on an official transcript to determine which credits are related to the field. 
  • While The Registry understands that all education can be somewhat related to your work, there is a limit to the scope of coursework that can be included. 
  • Only those courses most related to working with children are reviewed. A guideline for assessing if a course is considered related is if 80% or more of the course content is specific to children or business.
  • All related credits that are child care and education focused are added to an individual member’s Registry training record. Business related credits are also considered, however there is a limit to the number of business courses that can be added to an individual member’s Registry training record based on Wisconsin Child Care Licensing regulations. 
    • 12 business credits can be added for a teacher
    • 24 business credits can be added for a director or administrator of a child care organization, licensed family and agency staff
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Related Degrees:

Degrees in Early Childhood and Youth Development are those that are directly related to teaching children. Titles of these degrees include any elementary education, early childhood education, as well as Community Engagement & Education and Foundations of Teacher Education.

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Semester Credits:

Only semester credits from a regionally accredited institution of higher education are entered on an individual member’s Registry training record.  Quarter or trimester credits are converted to semester credits.

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Tiered Training:

Tiered training is any training that is reviewed and approved as a Tiered training by The Registry, CEU, or credit based training from a regionally accredited institute of higher education.  Registered trainings are not counted towards career levels, but have value as continuing education hours.

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The Registry Career Levels and Commentary

Career Levels 1-6

Level One
A Level One is awarded when an individual becomes a Registry member and does not have any Tiered training documented on their personal profile.

Level Two
A Level Two is awarded with documentation of the completion of high school or GED. This documentation can be a copy of a diploma or high school transcript. Graduation from high school can also be verified by an official transcript from an institution of higher education that documents enrollment in a formal degree program.

Levels Three-Five
Levels 3-5 are achieved through the accumulation of Tiered training hours. Tiered training is approved by the Registry and is added directly onto a member’s Registry training account by the trainer. CEUs can be entered directly by the trainer or listed on an official transcript and entered by Registry staff. Credit based training must be submitted on an official transcript and is then entered by Registry staff.

Level Six
CDA – The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is a widely recognized non-credit credential in early childhood education. Upon successful completion of a CDA, a certificate is issued to the student. A copy of this certificate must be sent to The Registry for verification. Additional information about the CDA can be found at http://www.cdacouncil.org/about/cda-credential

Family Services Credential (Non-credit) - The Family Service Credential is a comprehensive, competency based training experience, designed to support teachers in their work with children and families. The Portage Project offers the bulk of the training for Wisconsin. Upon successful completion, a certificate is issued to the student. A copy of this certificate must be sent to The Registry for verification.

3 related credits – A semester course for 3 related-credits must be documented on an official transcript from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. The course must be a qualifying course for credit as determined by Wisconsin Child Care Licensing or any one of the Registry Credential courses from the following Registry Credentials: Afterschool & Youth Development, Family Child Care, Infant Toddler, and Preschool. 

Career Levels 7-10

Level Seven

  • Mentor and Mentor Protégé- these 2 courses were previously offered at some technical colleges. Both courses must be verified on an official transcript.
  • 6 related credits - Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits.

Level Eight

  • Family Services Credential (6-9 credits) -must be submitted on an official transcript.
  • Early Childhood Education Technical Diploma (9-12 credits)- must be submitted on an official transcript.
  • 12 related credits - Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits

Level Nine

  • Registry Credentials - Afterschool & Youth Development, Family Child Care, Diversity, Inclusion, Infant Toddler, Leadership, Program Development, and Supporting Dual Language Learners 
  • 18 related credits - Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits

Level Ten

  • Registry Credentials – Administrator and Preschool
  • 24 related credits - Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits

Career Levels 1-6

In Levels 11-17, degrees from a regionally accredited institution of higher education are considered as well as related credits and Registry Credentials. There is a distinction between degrees in early childhood and youth development and degrees in another field. 

Level Eleven

  • One-year diploma comprised of specific coursework from any Wisconsin technical college totaling 24 or more credits. Other out-of-state credentials submitted will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • A combination of any 2 Registry Credentials
  • 30 related credits – Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits
  • Associate’s Degree in another field plus any 1 Registry Credential

Level Twelve

  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Associate’s Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field
  • Associate’s Degree in another field plus any 2 Registry Credentials
  • Associate’s Degree in another field plus 30 related credits – Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits

Level Thirteen

  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Associate’s Degree plus any 1 Registry Credential
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field plus any 1 Registry Credential
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field plus 30 related credits – Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits

Level Fourteen

  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Bachelor’s Degree
  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Bachelor’s Degree plus a Professional Educator DPI License
  • Master’s Degree in another field
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field plus any 2 Registry Credentials
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field plus 36 related credits – Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits

Level Fifteen

  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Bachelor’s Degree plus any 1 Registry Credential
  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Bachelor’s Degree plus any 1 Registry Credential a plus Professional Educator DPI License
  • Doctorate in another field
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field plus any 3 Registry Credentials
  • Bachelor’s Degree in another field plus 48 related credits – Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits.
  • Master’s Degree in another field plus any 1 Registry Credentials

Level Sixteen

  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Master’s Degree
  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Master’s Degree plus a Professional Educator DPI License
  • Master's Degree in another field plus 36 related credits – Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits
  • Master’s Degree in another field plus any 2 Registry Credentials
  • Doctorate in another field plus any 1 Registry Credential

Level Seventeen

  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Doctorate
  • Early Childhood & Youth Development Related Doctorate plus a Professional Educator DPI License
  • Doctorate in another field plus 36 related credits – Refer to key terms for information regarding related credits
  • Doctorate in another field plus any 2 Registry Credentials