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Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Southern New Hampshire University

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Walden University

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Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Grand Canyon University

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Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Regent University

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Liberty University

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Purdue University Global

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Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Saint Leo University

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Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Colorado State University Global

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Bryant & Stratton College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Bryant & Stratton College

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University of Virginia responds quickly to information requests through this website.

University of Virginia

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Where Can I Find Free Online Childcare Education?

The following free online childcare education courses are available from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Open University. Course materials are available at any time.

What You Need to Know

Free online childcare courses can benefit current or aspiring teachers, administrators or parents who want to learn more about the subject for their career or for personal development. Specific childcare topics that you can explore include child participation, parenting and the role of play in child learning. Your course may include different activities to help you learn the material. These courses do not award college credit, and instructor feedback is not available.


The Open University

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, The Open University is a distance education institution which provides OpenCourseWare (OCW) courses through its OpenLearn program. The children's participation course at the Open University is an advanced course that provides access to lectures, course materials and assignments for free. Another option is The Role of Play in Children's Learning, which is offered at the intermediate level.

Children's Participation

The course covers the theory, skills and values needed to engage and communicate with children in a variety of settings. You'll examine ways to encourage children to express opinions about issues that affect them, like behavior of caregivers or playtime activities.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You could complete textbook and online reading assignments. You'll listen to audio of experts talking about children's participation and list the skills needed to encourage a child's involvement. You could also complete a 'diamond ranking' of a child's statements about involvement, then adapt these statements to encourage their participation when deciding on an activity. Completing assignments isn't required because instructors will not review your work.

What Materials Are Provided?

Materials include a chapter on children's participation from a textbook and an interactive animation showing how to create a diamond ranking. You can also access an audio file of two experts who train others to encourage children's participation.

The Role of Play in Children's Learning

The Role of Play in Children's Learning at The Open University is an intermediate course provided by the institution's OpenLearn program. You won't receive credit, but you can access the course's content for free.

What Will I Learn?

You'll learn the value of using play to help children learn and develop emotionally, creatively and socially. You'll also examine the definition of childhood play and analyze your attitudes about using it to teach children.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You could answer questions about the importance of play in curriculum, list and compare play activities, and seek opportunities for children's play where you work. Assignments also include examining your beliefs about children's play and questioning children about their play.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course includes lecture notes that are categorized under topics such as the definition of play, the value of play, curriculum and play, and questions about play. You can also access five learning activities that include the assignments.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's infant and early childhood cognition course is an OCW course that was originally taught to undergraduate students on-campus. You won't receive credit for this course.

Infant & Early Childhood Cognition

The course covers research on the cognitive development of children and examines how they learn. You'll explore how children understand objects, people and things as well as how they establish causal relationships by connecting what they see.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You could review a lab on creating a research method. Also, you could review an empirical article, design a brochure tailored to be delivered to the public, create a research poster, or write a review on a specific literature-based subject.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course provides lecture notes on topics such as reasoning, imagination and identity. You may also access requirements for the research proposal and suggestions for approaches to the critical response papers.