We're excited to announce that we're changing our name to Study.com All of our great content and features are remaining the same. Learn more x

Become a Certified Child Care Provider: Certification and Career Info

Learn how to become a certified child care provider. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements and find out how to start a career in child care.

View 10 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Be a Certified Child Care Provider?

A certified child care provider cares for children under the age of five during the day as well as older children before and after school or during vacations. The provider ensures the health and safety of the child at child care centers, in the child's home or at the provider's home. Working with active, young children can be stressful and tiring, though the job can be rewarding for individuals who enjoy children.

Job Requirements

Certification typically involves the acquisition of a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential based upon formal education and experience requirements. Licensing is required in select child care settings. The following table contains essential requirements needed to become a certified child care provider:

Common Requirements
Degree Level High school diploma*
Degree Field Childcare*
Licensure/Certification In-home child care providers need to obtain a Family Child Care Home License;** child care providers in a facility need to pass the CDA certification exam*
Experience Work experience or training is typically required*
Key Skills Patience, multi-tasking ability, and physical stamina; people skills, instructional skills and communication skills*
Computer Skills Scheduling and educational software***
Additional Requirements Background checks and immunizations;** CPR and first aid certification****

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **California Department of Social Services, ***O*NET Online, ****Michigan Department of Human Services

Step 1: Complete the State Requirements

Child care providers are required to obtain training prior to entering the field. These mandates may be satisfied by obtaining some postsecondary education credits or earning a degree in early childhood education. By 2013, Head Start teachers will be required to work towards an associate's degree or child development credential.

Success Tip:

  • Gain work experience. States may require in-home child care providers to have previous experience working with children.

Step 2: Complete the Licensing Process for Home Day Care Providers

The licensing process varies by state, and is often determined by the number of children for whom a caregivers plans to care. The licensing process typically involves completing forms, paying a license fee, completing an orientation and passing a home inspection. During the home inspection, licensing agents ensure that providers meet state requirements for safety, cleanliness and organization.

Step 3: Earn Certification

The Child Development Associate (CDA) assessment is a nationally recognized certification administered by the Council for Professional Recognition. To qualify for a CDA assessment, candidates must have accumulated 480 hours of experience working with children and 120 hours of formal child care education within the past five years. The application process consists of observations, gathering testimonials from parents, and passing an examination. The Child Care Professional (CCP) certification is recognized by some states. Requirements to obtain the CCP include having a high school diploma, child care work experience and continuing education.

Step 4: Maintain Certification

CDA initial credentials are valid for three years. The credential must then be renewed every five years. CDA renewal criteria includes documenting work experience, obtaining first aid training, joining a professional organization, completing a Letter of Recommendation Form and earning continuing education units (CEUs).

Show me popular schools

Related to Become a Certified Child Care Provider: Certification and Career Info

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
List of Free Online Child Care Courses and Classes

See our list of the top free online child care courses. Learn about what classes are available and what topics they cover to...

Bachelor's Degree for Managing Child Care Facilities

Research bachelor's programs for child care facility managers. Learn about the curriculum, career options and available...

Online Classes and Courses in Child Care Management

Child care management courses are offered online as part of postsecondary training programs or in standalone format. Courses...

Salary and Career Info for a Child Care Provider

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a child care provider. Get an overview of the requirements, job...

Online Child Care Certificate and Diploma Program Information

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • All degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree or higher
    • Post-Master's Certificate degree applicants must have a Masters degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Liberal Arts

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED; Graduate program applicants must have a master's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS in General Studies
    • Associate
        • AS in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Psychology programs do not lead to licensure and do not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.
    • An online degree does not lead to teacher licensure in any state; online education programs are not CAEP
    • * TEAC
    • or NCATE accredited
    • which is a requirement for certification in some states.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Human Services
    • Associate
        • Associate of Science in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (18 campuses)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BA - Liberal Studies (Integrated California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • A minimum 2.0 GPA
    • Submit high school transcript(s)
    • Submit college transcript(s) (if applicable)
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BA Liberal Studies

    What is your highest level of education?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics