Administrative Credential

Administrators and directors who wish to increase or refine existing skills, add new competencies, or earn a professional credential will benefit from this program. This credential is critical to those working in programs who wish to learn more about administration or anyone who wants to maximize their business knowledge.


Individuals in an administrative role use this credential program to enhance their existing skills, gain new knowledge and network with other administrators in the field. The courses are also designed to prepare staff in non-administrative positions to take on new leadership roles and increased responsibility. Increased business expertise and related skills are a benefit to all employers.

Effective January 1, 2009, The Department of Children and Families requires completion of the Administrator Credential for directors of group child care programs licensed for 51 or more children within three years of assuming the position. Directors of programs licensed for 50 or fewer children are required to take one course in the Administrator Credential within one year of assuming the position. Individuals with advanced degrees may not be subject to this requirement.

View DCF Licensing Rules for Group Child Care Centers

The Registry Administrator Credential meets the requirements for directors of programs accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Course Information:

Each course is three credits. The courses with a brief description of each are as follows:

Course One: Administration/Supervision in Early Childhood Programs: Roles and Responsibilities *

This course provides an overview of roles and responsibilities of directors, coordinators, supervisors and other administrators in early childhood programs.

Course Two: Operations Management in Early Childhood Programs *

This course includes discussion and practical applications related to scheduling, staffing, facilities management, equipment acquisition and maintenance, record keeping and communication.

Course Three: Financial Management and Planning in Early Childhood Programs*

This course includes the principles and practices in budget planning, preparation and fiscal management including hands-on experience with program applications.

*If you are taking one of the Administrator Credential Courses to meet Licensing regulations, we recommend that you take one of the first three courses as listed.

Course Four: Early Childhood Programs and the External Environment

This course reviews external factors which affect the operation of early care and education programs including determination of community child care needs, marketing, laws and regulations, working with government and community agencies, political and societal issues and trends.

Course Five: Best Practices for Children and Families in Early Childhood Programs

This course focuses on establishing and maintaining quality programs based on professional standards, the best available information on child growth and development and family friendly environment/services. Coursework includes a review of literature and research studies, licensing laws and regulations, criteria for staff credentials, accreditation of programs by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs and funding requirements and performance standards such as those for Head Start.

Course Six: Capstone Course – Administrative Seminar

This is the culminating experience in the credential course sequence. Major individual projects are required with a focus on the integration of program aspects in developing strategic planning for change. Prerequisites: Courses 1 through 5 of the Administrator Credential course sequence.

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A celebration is held each year to honor graduates of Credentials. Sponsors of the event are The Registry, Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, and the Wisconsin Family Child Care Association.