CYC Certification

Child and Youth Care Worker Certification

FAQs and Resources


Where do I begin?
There are three levels of certification, Entry, Associate, and Professional. The best place to start is by determining the level for which you will apply. The Degree + Years and Training Requirements charts should help you.

What is accepted for professional development documentation?
Certificates are best. However, all documentation should have a title/topic, the number of hours completed, instructor name and credentials, and date. For trainings you attended but were not given a certificate, your employer can provide a statement of what you have completed. Applicable college courses also can be counted. Calculate 16 training hours for every 1 credit (for example a 3 credit course = 48 training hours).

What is the exam like and is there a study guide?
The CYC exam is an in-person (proctored) exam. There is no study guide but there are a few sample questions. It is a situational judgment exam, not facts to memorize. Relying on your experience and training is the best way to prepare. It is all multiple-choice. The scenarios cover many different areas of youth work. Although you may not have worked in all these settings, you should be able to apply your knowledge of youth work to the other settings. There is a 3-hour time limit, and most testers do not take the full time. The Entry Level exam has less reading and these testers generally finish first.

Where can I get more training hours?
Your employer and conferences can provide training hours as long as it is documented. The IAN Online Academy (Cypherworx), it has many topics including everything needed for Entry level certification:

  • Exploring Ethics in School Age Care: Focus on a Professional Code of Ethics
  • Exploring Individual Differences in School-Age Children: Implications for Programming
  • Guiding the Behavior of Individual Children
  • Developing Activities that support Character Development and Promote Social Interaction
  • Helping Children with ADD Succeed in School Age Programs: Characteristics and Needs of Children
  • Helping Children with ADD Succeed in School Age Programs: Strategies and Techniques for Staff

Why are there paper applications and reference forms on the CYC website?
Do I have to do those also? No, the online application is unique for Indiana and replaces the paper forms. The reference forms will be electronic too and sent directly to those you designate for reference. Once completed, they will be added to your application documents.

When/how will I find out if I my application is approved and I passed the exam? What if I do not pass?
The CYC Office will contact you about your application and exam status. You are eligible to take the exam a second time. However, scholarships will not cover the fee for a second test.


Monthly events at this time.

Meetings are the first Wednesday of every month from 9am to 9:30am Eastern.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Indiana Youth Services Association is committed to proactively working to advance racial equity, focusing on eliminating inequities and increasing success for all in our agency and our community!

Indiana Youth Services Association
303 N Alabama St., Suite 210
Indianapolis, IN 46204 (317) 238-6955