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Professional Preparation and Recognition

Framework for Understanding Parenting Educator Professional Preparation and Recognition

This framework is designed to provide information about existing types of professional preparation and recognition available for practitioners in the field of parenting education. Individuals enter parenting education from a broad range of experience and educational levels – from high school education or GED to doctoral degree. This framework is not meant to be a career ladder but can be used as a resource in the development of one. A person can be engaged in more than one of the types of professional preparation and recognition listed simultaneously.

There is currently no widely accepted consensus regarding definitions for the terms “credential” and “certificate” as is evident in the terms used in the examples below. The following are working definitions of these terms as used in this document:
  • Certificate – completion of a course of study (e.g., 10-day course, 12-credit graduate program; can be credit or non-credit)
  • Credential – verification or validation of one’s qualifications (experiences and education) as a professional by a third party based on defined criteria

*The programs/resources listed below under the five types of Professional Preparation and Professional Recognition that constitute the Framework are posted only to illustrate the type of Professional Preparation and the type of Professional Recognition under which they are listed and are not endorsed by NPEN.

Professional Preparation

Parenting education professional development training

College-level degrees and certificates

Professional Recognition

Voluntary Registries or Directories

Verification of Competencies (Generally referred to as a credential)     


State of Minnesota Board of Teaching License as Parent and Family Educator

Other Professional Development Resources

Professional Liability Insurance FAQs

Professional Liability Insurance protects against lawsuits claiming professional errors, omission, and/or negligence.  Anyone working in a service field where they provide education or give advice should carry liability insurance to protect themselves from legal fees and financial loss.

Liability Insurance FAQs is a list of common questions and answers to support Parenting Educators in seeking and obtaining Professional Liability Insurance. If you have additional comments or resources that you feel are helpful to add, please email

©2024 National Parenting Education Network


The National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) operates through the lens of equity and justice. We know the importance of social justice (racial, economic, educational, health, housing, employment, criminal, and environmental), diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and belonging within the parenting education field and our organization. We demonstrate our commitment to these realities by ensuring that our membership and leadership roles are open to parenting professionals of all ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, ages, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, genders, and marital statuses.  

Children learn about a just society through the words and actions of their parents, caregivers, and others.  We assert that our anti-racism and anti-oppression parenting education and family advocacy work allows everyone to be heard and supported. Our work includes promoting diverse parenting educators and parenting education in our media, webinars, member communications, leadership opportunities, networking, conferences, trainings, and advocacy. By keeping racial justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and belonging at the forefront, we create an environment within NPEN that supports parenting educators, parents, and caregivers, thereby, encouraging children’s healthy growth and development.

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