Professional Registries

What is an ECE & OST Professional Registry?

In the Child Care Industry, we do not license professionals as we do in K-12 settings. Instead, we license programs or facilities; child care professionals then register in their state’s Early Childhood (ECE) & Out-of-School-Time (OST) Professional Registry. That entry point to the field serves to connect Early Learning Professionals to program licensing, professional development, quality initiatives, opportunities for growth and professional advancement, as well as tracking and reporting their career progression over time.

Professional Registries are unique in that they are the primary interface with the largest consortium of Childcare and Out-of-school-time Workforce members in the industry (cutting across setting and role). Collectively they reach over 1.8 million people impacting the lives of children. In collaboration with their employers, registry staff work with field professionals to track, verify, and report their essential information. This process helps to surface workforce priorities, gaps in services, and inform equity efforts. In return, targeted support, reflecting the actual needs of the community they represent, are leveraged to strengthen improved access to services, announce new opportunities, and illuminate support for the professionals, in turn increasing the quality of experiences for children and families in their care.

Example provided of one state’s professional registry functions, source The ASPIRE Registry in New York. Each state has a similar menu of services they provide to the workforce, childcare licensing, quality improvement initiatives, and state professional development system.




Require Registration for Licensing

In 2022, there were 20 states who required Child Care Professionals to register for Child Care Licensing.

Require Registration for Quality Improvement Programs

In 2022, 38 states required Child Care Professionals to participate in the Registry to participate in Quality Improvement initiatives.

Early Care & Education (ECE) and Out-of-School-Time (OST) Professional Registries are integral to data and professional development systems. They are designed to verify, securely store and track:
1) Demographic (race, languages, wage, SES)
2) Employment (current and past)
3) Preparation (training and education)
4) Specializations (credentials and certifications),
5) Professional Growth (career pathway progression, competencies, and service)
of ECE & OST teachers and providers. Professional registries across the country are designed to strengthen workforce preparation and exist to support, recognize, and represent those who care for children in ECE & OST care/education settings.

Registries are located evenly across three types of settings: state government, in universities, or at non-profit organizations. They have common functions and are uniquely built to support each state’s needs. Their collective underlying goal to create a single, statewide workforce support system with a record of ECE/OST employment, education, and training remain constant across the nation.

Workforce registries provide crucial infrastructure to the workforce and quality improvement initiatives across the country. Performing more than two dozen functions (12 common and 12 which vary by state) workforce registries:

  1. Provide Workforce Support
  2. Vehicle for Professional Development Systems
  3. Support Implementation of Child Care
    Licensing Regulations
  4. Act as Hub for the Early Learning System
  5. Track & Report on Workforce Development,
    Education, Training and Recognition

Professional Registries Contribute to Quality in Early Care and Learning by supporting the people who care for children.

Registry Infrastructure – Interconnected


State Information

Register in your State's Professional Registry and access other local information, workforce data, and resources by visiting our state member profiles.


Focus on Registries

Find out the latest information about registries around the US.