Child Development Staff Retention Program (AB 212)

The CRET Program (also known as AB212) is a joint effort of the California Department of Education and the Nevada County Child Care Planning Council. AB212 is designed to increase the retention and academic preparedness of early educators working in child development programs – centers and family child care homes – in which most of the children are subsidized by the State. 

To support this effort, AB212 and First 5 Nevada County have aligned efforts to maximize professional development opportunities, stipends and reimbursements for child care professionals working in state funded, CDE center-based programs and Family Child Care Network providers! 

Professional Development Stipends are made available to educators completing an Early Quality Matters Professional Development Plan. The plan is designed to inform their work with children and families, and/or contribute towards a degree in child development or a closely related field.


Reimbursements are given for costs related to professional growth, including fees for professional early childhood organization membership, specialized ECE training, child development permit fees. 


Teachers/Directors must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply for a stipend and/or request for reimbursements related to professional growth:


  • Work in a state funded (CDE/EESD-contracted) child development center or  a licensed Family Child Care Provider in a CDE/EESD contracted Family Child Care Home Network in Nevada County​ 



  • Your program is participating in Quality Counts California

  • Your employment directly affects the children in the child care program

  • Included staff: program directors*, site supervisors*, head/master teachers, teachers, teacher aides, family child care and their staff, classroom substitutes working on a consistent at least 15 hours a week for 9 months (* Employed by the child care agency and can qualify to be a substitute in a classroom when needed)

  • Excluded staff: cooks, housekeepers, bus drivers, groundskeepers, maintenance staff, family service workers, office staff, volunteers, R&R child care employees visiting/monitoring/supporting child care programs, home visitors not connected with a center-based component, nurses, health aides, exempt in-home care providers


  • Worked consistently at the same CSPP/CCTR/FCCHN program for a minimum of 15 hours per week and for at least nine (9) months

  • Have a Valid Child Development Permit OR choose Option 1 and with a Professional Growth Advisor, create a Professional Development Plan to apply for a Permit

  • Have a CA Workforce Registration ID Profile

Note: If you do not have a permit, contact CDTC by visiting their at or contact the child development department at your community college.  Click on “Permit Stipends”, and follow the instructions for obtaining or upgrading your permit. Community colleges can often process permit applications more quickly than the CDTC.  In addition, the Child Development Training Consortium offers support to eligible person applying for, renewing, or upgrading their permits; more information is available at 

You will need a valid permit to qualify for a stipend at the time of verification; it takes approximately nine months or more for your permit to be issued.  A pending permit will not be accepted at the time of verification.


  1. If you are not proficient in English, you may take English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes at a community college if directed to do so by your college.  This option is intended for applicants needing to improve their English language skills in order to enroll in college classes toward earning a degree in child development.

  2. If you do not have a child development permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), you should take required child development classes, or the required general education courses (for teacher permit level or higher).  If you already have a permit, you may take classes needed to upgrade or renew your permit.

  3. If you do NOT have an Associate degree (AA/AS), you can take child development, English, math or general education classes; or prerequisites to classes that are transferable for a degree in child development.  Check with an advisor at your college or university before enrolling in a class if you are not sure it is a prerequisite or transferable class.

  4. If you have an AA/AS or are working towards a Bachelor Degree (BA/BS), you should take classes that are transferable and are counted as credit toward a four-year college or university degree; or classes at a four-year college or university that count towards a degree.  Acceptable degrees include Early Childhood Education, Early Special Education, Child Psychology, and Child Development.

  5. If you have a BA/BS or higher, you should take college or university classes that are directly related to your work with children and families in a child development program.  Sample topics include:  the child with special needs, diversity, dual language learners, parent relations, adult supervision, program evaluation, and advanced child development.  Unit bearing extension or continuing education courses can be counted as eligible only for individuals who already hold a BA/BS or higher.

You can only apply for an AB212 stipend from one county in California.