Online Child Care Certification Programs

While nationally recognized certification in childcare is still unavailable online, some schools do offer online associate degree and certificate programs in childcare or early childhood education that can help you fulfill certification requirements. Read on to learn more about credentialing criteria, available programs, common course topics, certifying organizations and salary statistics. Schools offering Child Care Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Certifications Do I Need to Be a Child Care Worker?

Although employer and state requirements vary, in most states, childcare workers are required to have a nationally recognized certification, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) and/or be licensed. Depending on your employer, you may also have to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. While it is not possible to earn your certification in childcare online, some colleges and universities do offer associate degree and certificate programs in childcare or early childhood education that can help you fulfill the CDA education requirements.

Child Care Certification Requirements Varies by state, a Child Development Associate credential is common
Certifying Organizations Council for Professional Recognition,
National Early Childhood Program Accreditation
Available Training Programs Certificates and associate degrees
Common Courses Academic program planning for children, family dynamics, literacy, child development
Mean Salary (2015) $22,310
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% (for childcare workers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Organizations Provide the Necessary Certification?

The CDA Certification is available from the Council for Professional Recognition in four different areas: infant and toddler, family childcare, home visitor and preschool. Each certification has its own application process and requirements such as submitting an online or paper-based application, an assessment fee, a professional portfolio and an exam. Requirements usually include 120 hours of professional education and 480 hours of practical experience.

An alternate certification is available from the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. In addition to a high school diploma, candidates should have relevant work experience and provide proof of continuing education.

What Will I Learn in an Online Associate Degree Program in Childcare or Early Childhood Education?

Online degree programs in early childhood care and/or education typically lead to an Associate of Arts and can require as many as 76 credit hours to complete. Some programs are specifically designed in accordance with CDA education and training criteria and may require on-site work experience or externships. Through the programs, you'll learn how to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs for infants and children up to the age of five in both public and private facilities and schools. Some education programs may include academic programming for children up to grade three.

In addition to a general education core, an associate degree program typically covers topics in infant and child development, family dynamics and literacy. You may also have a chance to study the relationship between learning and play.

If you enjoy working with children, you may also want to consider pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree program in one of the following areas:

  • Preschool and childcare center administration
  • Preschool education
  • Kindergarten or elementary education

What Will I Learn in an Online Certificate Program?

Students who do not wish to commit to a degree program can instead opt for a certificate, which provides intensive and highly concentrated instruction in areas such as early childhood education and child care. These programs can be completed in as little as a year, but still sufficiently prepare students for careers in the child care industry. Curricula generally feature a blend of fundamental core courses and more esoteric electives that focus on career skills. Common course topics in certificate programs can include:

  • Child development
  • Program planning
  • Creative expression
  • Children's literature
  • Curriculum development

What Will My Job Outlook and Salary Be?

As reported by the BLS, job opportunities for childcare workers are projected to increase by 5% from 2014 to 2024, which is about as fast as average. According to the BLS, the majority of childcare workers in 2014 worked for childcare services, private households and schools, as well as civic and religious organizations.

As of May 2015, childcare workers earned a mean hourly wage of $10.72. Providers employed by schools received an hourly wage of $12.01, while those working at day care centers were paid $9.99 an hour, on average (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Associate Programs

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  • Brenau University

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    Popular programs at Brenau University:

    • Master
    • Associate Programs

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  • New England College

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    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
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  • Northcentral University

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  • Florida Tech

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    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Bachelor Degrees
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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Central Christian College of Kansas

    Central Christian College of Kansas responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Central Christian College of Kansas:

    • Associate Programs

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