STARS / Merit Training

General information

Council for Children and Families Inc. offers basic and advance early childhood training designed for teachers who work with children ages 0 – 5 years old. Trainings are suitable for family day care setting as well as day care center or Head Start. All our training can be used to apply for a new Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) or renew existing CDA . Students outside of Washington State can take correspondence classes but in person classes are only available to Washington state residence living in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

All our trainings are approved by the Washington State and Registry System (STARS) to fulfill education requirements (WAC 170-29A-1800). We closely work with Managed Education and Registry Information Tool (MERIT) to report classes and advance students on career lattice for early care and education professionals. Professionals who currently work in child care facilities licensed or certified by Washington State DEL can receive cost reimbursement for all our classes.

High quality of the classes and follow up support is extremely important to us. All correspondence classes are written by Tatiana Sikora, president of the Council for Children and Families, Inc. who holds M.Ed. and have over 19 years of experience in teaching and curriculum development. She is also a top level trainer in Department of Early Learning Washington State. We write and re-write curriculum to include new research as it develops. We strive to make information practical and interesting for all type of learners. All trainings are part of core competency system as described in Washington State Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals

Cost of STARS/MERIT trainings

For all our trainings Council for Children and Families Inc. charges 10 dollars per hour per person. Special arrangement can be made for a large group of students. Each student is responsible to make a full payment before each class. Students can pay with scholarship, if one is available. Council for children and Families Inc. cannot obtain scholarship for students.

Washington State students only.

All our students who are registered teachers working in licensed early childhood facility in Washington State are eligible for reimbursement of training cost up to 150 dollars a year. Funds vary from year to year and are not always available. To receive reimbursement, the student must have a STARS ID number and use that number to fill out the reimbursement application.

To file your claim online, follow these instructions:
1) Go to the MERIT homepage: and sign in.
2) Once you are signed in, go to the “Applications” tab.
3) Select the “Training Reimbursement” application (near the bottom of the screen).
4) Follow the instructions to submit the application.
5) You do not need to submit supporting documents such as certificates or receipts; your MERIT
professional record will track this information for you in your training history.
6) You will receive a confirmation E-mail letting you know your application was received. Reimbursement checks are generally issued within 30 days.
More information about this process can be obtained by contacting Department of Early Learning, P.O. Box 40970, Olympia, WA 98504-0970, 360.725.4665 Toll-free: 1.866.482.4325 360.586.0052 (fax: first floor) 360.725.4925 (fax: second floor)

We offer correspondence and in-person classes.