The trend toward inclusive and interdisciplinary service delivery in early intervention and early childhood special education has propelled collaboration focused on aligning respective standards for personnel preparation across professional organizations (V. D. Stayton, 2015). Representing what a state deems to be the minimum parameters necessary to ensure a licensee is ready to practice, licensure requirements have historically been seen as a conduit for ensuring the availability of competent professionals (W. Geiger et al., 2014). Advocacy has focused on increasing congruence across competencies and licensure requirements to reflect the commonalities required of practice for all providers of services to young children with disabilities and their families. In an effort to document the current status of national licensure/certification requirements for professionals working in early childhood, the Early Childhood Personnel Center investigated state licensure parameters for 13 professional disciplines across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Results indicate historic variance in licensure requirements persists within and between disciplines involved in the delivery of services to young children with disabilities and their families. Detailed findings and implications are discussed.
School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (Dr Chen); and Department of Special & Early Childhood Education, College of Education and Human Services, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (Dr Mickelson).
Correspondence: Ann Marie Mickelson, PhD, Department of Special & Early Childhood Education, College of Education and Human Services, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd, N/E 411, Mail Stop 8662, Oshkosh, WI 54904 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Drs Chen and Mickelson are leading coauthors with equal contributions.
Support for this research was provided, in part, by the Federal Office of Special Education Programs (CFDA 84.325B). The authors wish to thank Drs Emily Lakey, Stephanie Parks, and Lois Pribble for their assistance in the study and everyone at the Early Childhood Personnel Center for supporting this piece of work.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.