Online Certificate Programs in Childcare

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Professional Prerequisites: None
  • Average Program Length: 9-12 months (full time); 18 months (part time)

Online certificate programs in childcare provide students with the general knowledge required to provide children with healthy, safe, and skilled care. As such, students become familiar with general safety and health techniques, as well as gain a basic knowledge of child development and psychology. An online childcare certification program is typically pursued because most states require childcare providers to be certified. Overall, the majority of those enrolled in certification programs do so to qualify for childcare jobs, though some do so simply to gain the skills and knowledge they feel they need to be effective care providers.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Childcare

Course work in online childcare certificate programs generally requires students to study first aid, childhood development, health, and safety as it relates to childcare. Typical courses include introduction to early childhood, general psychology, and communication. Some programs require students to complete both course work and practical experience. This experience is especially beneficial for students planning on working in states that require childcare workers to be licensed, as licensure requires both a certificate and proven work experience. For instance, the Council for Professional Recognition requires those seeking Child Development Associate (CDA) licensing to have 480 hours of childcare work experience as well as 120 hours of training.

Online and on-campus programs are generally the same, except in terms of delivery. Both program types require the completion of the same curriculum, exams, and courses. However, online students’ programs are much more flexible; they can “attend” class when it is most convenient to them, versus having to attend class at specific times as on-campus students do. The most notable difference between the two is hands-on experience. Whereas the majority of on-campus childcare programs require a practicum, not all online childcare programs do; those online programs that do not require a practicum often make internships optional or offer services and other resources for engaging in one after the certificate program has been completed.

What Your Online Certificate in Childcare Can Do for You

As noted earlier, most often people pursue a childcare certificate program online because the majority of states require such certification to work in childcare facilities, and some states even require it for those who provide childcare at their home. In instances where certification isn’t required, some professionals still take online certification programs because childcare certification can make them more marketable as a childcare provider, as well as provide them with common health and safety procedures.

Once they complete their online childcare certification program, students will be prepared for a variety of careers. One potential career is that of a nanny. This job has changed drastically in recent years as nanny agencies have increased in number. Many have prerequisite requirements for joining an agency, and academic and professional qualifications and background checks have become common practice. According to the International Nanny Association, the average full-time, live-in nanny earns $652 per week, while the average full-time, live-out nanny earns $705 per week. Generally speaking, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average childcare worker earns $19,300 annually.

Other certificate holders may seek jobs as recreation workers, where they plan and lead group activities for children at a camp, park, or children’s center. The BLS reports that the average salary of a recreation worker is $22,260 annually. However, keep in mind that individual salaries will vary.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

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Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.