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Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
Minimum Hiring Requirements 

The Minimum Hiring Requirements for Educators are part of EEC’s strategy to support the goal of developing career pathways and opportunities for educators.

EEC aims to support educators in pursuing meaningful qualifications and ongoing professional development to build their knowledge and skills working with children. We know well-prepared, well-supported educators are vital to ensure all children served in EEC-licensed programs receive high-quality education and care. 

On August 31, 2021, the Board of Early Education and Care put in place Emergency Regulations that allowed the Department of Early Education and Care to identify flexibilities that will help the child care sector address the severe workforce shortage. In direct response to feedback from EEC providers, educators, parents, and the EEC field more broadly, the Minimum Hiring Requirements are designed to support programs in streamlining hiring criteria and provide accelerated pathways for new teachers to enter the field. Effective December 6, 2021, this policy:

  • Eliminates the Teacher Qualification verification process for prospective candidates Group and School-Age (GSA) programs are trying to hire in order to overcome the backlog of the current paper-driven process

  • Provides increased flexibility for GSA and center-based programs to confirm qualifications at the site level and recruit candidates more quickly by allowing some coursework to be done after hire

  • Broadens the types of EEC-permitted educator preparation programs and certificates to allow recruitment of candidates from a broader set of backgrounds

  • Updates the prior work experience criteria to allow for activities where a candidate may have demonstrated competency for the role they are pursuing


The Minimum Hiring Requirements for Educators is one of EEC’s critical strategies to address the workforce challenge and to recruit new educators to this important sector. They are designed to empower program leaders to recruit interested candidates and to support them to start on a pathway to beginning a career in early education and care. While maintaining the high standards of quality for all teachers, EEC has worked to develop an expedited on-ramp for those interested in working in early education for the first time.  

EEC will provide technical assistance, consultation, and support to program directors through the implementation of this policy.

Revised Educator Qualification Policies 

Group and School-Age Policy - These new policies are designed to be used by hiring managers when evaluating the qualifications of educators.


The Department of Early Education and Care's StrongStart Online Professional Development System (StrongStart Online PDS) is part of Massachusetts' StrongStart Quality Early Education and Care initiative. The StrongStart Online PDS provides resources for educators and administrators to enhance quality in their programs and support individual educator success, such as training and technical assistance.

Learn more >

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