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 expires on September 30. As of October 1, 2020 all child care teaching/caregiving staff will once again be required to take hands-on First Aid/CPR training. Simple CPR online course certification taken 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.

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.


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.