Kristin Zink Program Coordinator*




Phone: (619) 660-4512


What do I need to be a preschool teacher?

According to Title 22, a qualified preschool teacher needs to have 12 units in Child Development. The four courses (12 units) are:


  • Child Growth and Development (CD 125)
  • Child Family Community (CD 131)
  • One Curriculum course (CD 126 or CD 127 or CD 128 or CD 129)
  • One Elective (one 3 unit Child Development course) 

I'm thinking of opening up my own Family Day Care home. What classes do I need?

Presently you are not required to have had any classes in Child Development to operate a family day care home. However, we strongly advise you to become familiar with issues of child growth and development, curriculum design and implementation, plus the basics of running a successful business. Our department offers a number of classes that can teach you about these topics.

Child Care is regulated by the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing.


For more information about certificates and degrees, click here.


Can you explain the difference between a credential, a permit, a license and a certificate? The terms are frequently interchanged.


Credentials are issued by the Commission on Teacher Preparation for teaching grades K-12. Generally, in California you need a B.A. degree plus another year in a school of education to earn your credential.


To teach in a Children's Center or pre-school program in California no credential is needed, or offered.


Child Development Permit

A Child Development Permit is required to teach in a program that receives subsidies from the Child Development Division of the State Department of Education. These are sometimes referred to as Title V programs and they comprise about 20% of the Child Development programs in California.


Permits are issued by the Commission on Teacher Preparation, the same organization that issues credentials to K-12 teachers. The new permit matrix offers a variety of permits, each requiring a different level of education and giving the holder varying degrees of authority.


Licenses are given to programs (not people) by the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing. You must have a license to operate a child care center or family day care home. You may take care of the children from ONE other family (besides your own) without a license. For more information on obtaining a license contact:

Community Care Licensing

7575 Metropolitan Dr. #110
San Diego, CA 92108



The Cuyamaca Child Development Department offers five certificates. Two of our certificates parallel the "Associate Teacher" and the "Teacher" levels of the Child Development Permit. Others focus on areas of specialization. We believe that if you can only take a few classes, these would be the most valuable ones for you take.

For more information on our


certification programs, click here


then scroll down to "Child Development" section of classes.


Requirements for Head Start Programs

Teachers must have a state issued credential (See Child Development Permit above) OR an Associates, Bachelors or Advanced degree in Child Development.


I took some child development courses at another college. Will they count towards meeting licensing requirements?

Specific courses are required by the state of California.


Please contact the Program Coordinator,


to review your coursework for licensing requirements.


Student Comments

“The Child Development program supported me in my growth… from being a volunteer to  student teacher to my current position as a full-time contracted teacher in the Child Development Center. I  went from being a timid shy student to being a confident teacher of young children. "

Cynthia Mendoza, Child Development Center, Cuyamaca College, Certificate in Child Development.