Professional Development

Child care providers in Montana must complete at least sixteen hours of professional development per year. The Montana Early Care and Education Career Development System reviews and approves all our Child Care Resources classroom workshops and online training.

Classroom Workshops

Our professional development classes are posted and promoted online and in our monthly Child Care Resources e-newsletter. Please visit our Events Calendar to see and register for currently scheduled classes.

Online Training

Complete your training in the comfort of your own home at your convenience. Visit to view our complete course catalog and get started.

Montana’s Early Childhood Practitioner Registry

Montana has developed a comprehensive, coordinated career development system for practitioners working in every type of childhood setting.  Participation in The Practitioner Registry is a licensing requirement which provides summary data on the Montana Early Childhood workforce to assist the state and CCR to plan professional development opportunities suitable to your needs. It also enables Child Care Licensing to monitor training records without looking at paper certificates at your facility. Your education and experience will determine your level on the Career Path. For more information, visit the Montana Early Childhood Project website or call 800.213.6310. If you need help applying to the registry, give CCR a call.

CPR and First Aid

Please note: The federal waiver which allowed First Aid/CPR to be completed online expired on September 30. As of October 1, 2020 all child care teaching/caregiving staff are once again required to take hands-on First Aid/CPR training. Simple CPR online course certification taken after March 15 and prior to October 1 will be accepted and honored through their expiration date. Any new hires or certificate renewals on or after October 1 will need to complete a hands-on training. Effective 3/1/2021, all First Aid cards must state “Pediatric” in order to be accepted by ECP. In order to avoid having to retake First Aid, please ensure that any First Aid course you complete states “Pediatric” on the card. Here is an additional notice from ECP:

As you may know new requirements regarding CPR and First card requirements will be taking effect starting March 1, 2021. The examples shown in this attachment is not a comprehensive list but are the most common examples of certification cards seen by the Early Childhood Project and would be deemed as acceptable. Please make sure that by March 1, 2021 all of the cards submitted to the Early Childhood Project meet the guidelines shown in the document. Thank you.”

All caregivers in Montana are required to maintain current CPR and First Aid course completion or certification cards. First Aid and CPR trainings cannot be found on the ECP Statewide Training Calendar. If you need CPR and First Aid, see the links and contact information below for local opportunities.  First Aid/CPR courses are not offered for training credit hours.

Local CPR and First Aid courses are available at:

*Due to ongoing changes with the pandemic, please ensure that any offering you choose meets the requirements for infant, child, and adult CPR and pediatric first aid (must include a hands-on portion).

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The Child Development Associate Credential™ is a widely recognized credential in early childhood education and is a stepping stone on the path of career advancement, particularly for those who do not want to pursue higher education.

The CDA credential is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council for Professional Recognition works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development. For more details, visit the Council for Professional Recognition website.

Montana Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program (MECAP)

MECAP is an on-the-job training program that takes place over the course of two years.  Participants will complete college level courses with the support of a mentor.  After completing MECAP, the participant will be eligible for a level 4 on the Practitioner’s Registry. Click here for more information.


The best indicator of excellence for any care facility is national accreditation.

Child care centers are accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children. For more information on the NAEYC, please contact our professional development specialist at Child Care Resources.

Family and group facilities are accredited through the National Association for Family Child Care. For more information on NAFCC, please contact Claudette Barber at 406.728.6446.

National accreditation standards are significantly higher than Montana’s licensing standards. Nationally accredited facilities are evaluated on several criteria, including quality of relationships between the caregivers, the children and the children’s families; activities; and program curriculum.

CCR Mobile Texting Campaign

Want to stay connected? Join CCR’s mobile texting campaign to receive important updates and notifications by text. We will send a few texts each month relevant to you such as STARS deadlines, upcoming training opportunities, or important licensing changes. Join today to stay connected!