After many years of discussion and relationship building, the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCFY) and Pacific Northwest Montessori Association PNMA have established a system recognizing the Montessori teacher credentials of AMS, AMI, or MACTE accredited institutions for state “credit”.  Montessori educators were already being granted “credit” within the Washington’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Early Achievers. But now for the first time, Montessori teachers who have earned university degrees will receive the same level of points within the QRIS as a teacher who had an ECE degree at that level.

What this means is that a Montessori teacher with an AMI, AMS, or MACTE Montessori credential plus a bachelor degree is granted the same points as a teacher who has earned a BA in ECE; a master’s degree plus a recognized Montessori credential would equal a MA in ECE and so on.  An impressive outcome!

PNMA invested many hours and maximized meetings with DCYF to also explore how to get Montessori listed as an approved curriculum choice for programs within Washington Early Achievers (QRIS). PNMA provided sufficient evidence for the state to accept Montessori as an approved early childhood curriculum, and now Montessori schools that are also accredited by AMS, recognized by AMI, or part of “Montessori Verification” by PNMA will be also able to score curriculum points as part of their rating.

WFIS is thrilled to see that the dedication and determination exerted by PNMA leadership has come to fruition and will benefit Montessori communities statewide!  No doubt, this pathway in WA will be an example that other state’s will be looking to implement in the years to come.