The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) in August convened a new Child Development Permit Workgroup. Over the next several months the workgroup will examine the current Child Development Permit (CDP) structure and recommend updates to the Commission. Workgroup members comprise a diverse array of experts in child development permits, from school districts, county offices of education, college programs, Head Start programs, and community-based organizations. Melanee Cottrill, Head Start California Executive Director, and Ristyn Woolley, California Head Start State Collaboration Office Director, serve as liaisons to the workgroup.

This CDP workgroup will build upon recommendations from a Child Development Permit Advisory Panel that met from 2015 to 2017. That panel was similarly charged with making permit-related recommendations to the commission. Extenuating circumstances, including announcement of the State Master Plan for Early Learning and Care prevented those recommendations from being implemented. For more on the prior panel, see this summary of their work.

The CDP workgroup held its initial meeting in person at the CCTC’s Sacramento office in late August. While the bulk of the meeting was dedicated to sharing background information, key themes emerged from the discussion:

  • The impending launch of the pk-3 early childhood specialist instruction credential will heavily influence the workgroup’s efforts.
  • Permit holders are professionals who provide a valuable service – and deserve recognition and compensation as such.
  • The workgroup will keep equity at the forefront. Recommendations will be centered around elevating equity for permit holders, children, and families alike.

Among the recommendations from the prior Advisory Panel, and a top priority for Head Start California, is removing the 10-year limitation on associate teacher permits. Removal of the limitation was briefly discussed in brainstorming sessions at the August meeting; the concept enjoyed broad support and no opposition among workgroup members. Head Start California’s advocacy team believes that the workgroup’s support of this proposal will be beneficial to our ongoing efforts to remove the limitation.

In all that we do at Head Start California, it is important that your voice as a program director is represented. If you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns regarding the child development permits or the pk-3 credential, please reach out to Melanee Cottrill, HSC Executive Director, at or by phone/text to (916) 926-8165. Together, we can make a difference.

Melanee Cottrill, Head Start California Executive Director, (pictured, left) and Ristyn Woolley, California Head Start State Collaboration Office Director, (pictured, right)


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