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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 find the course that is right for you.

Online Child Care Courses for Credit

Education Portal's courses offer one of the most cost-efficient ways to pursue a degree or certificate program outside of enrolling in a college or university class.

Unlike most free online courses, which usually don't award academic credit to students who complete them, the Psychology 102: Educational Psychology course can be used to earn an alternative form of real college credit. Learning materials include free lesson transcripts as well as short video lessons and self-assessment quizzes available to registered members who pay a nominal fee. Chapters in this course include:

  • History and Educational Aims - Find out how educational psychology is applied in the classroom and get an overview of the theories used to explain how people learn.
  • Cognitive Perspective in Psychology - Explore the basic types of memories and discover their roles in organizing and processing new information. Examine problem solving strategies and tips for advancing students' creativity.
  • Behavioral Perspective in Psychology - Watch examples of how classical and operant conditioning, reinforcement schedules and shaping can be used to modify behavior.
  • Motivation in Learning - Learn how social-cognitive learning theory, attribution theory and Maslow's hierarchy of needs explain behaviors related to motivation.
  • Individual Differences in Children - Identify methods for measuring intelligence and the impact of factors like culture, parenting style and disability on student learning.

Free Online Non-Credited Child Care Courses

Child Health and Development at The Johns Hopkins University

PDF lecture slides and MP3 recordings are available for the majority of the 14 lectures in this course. Students can access writing assignments and readings from a free PDF version of the textbook; however, an e-mail address is required.

Exploring Children's Learning at The Open University

The instructional materials for this 20-hour, intermediate course include text with illustrations and links to readings. Learners will study 4 theories of child development: social learning, constructivism, behaviorism and social constructivism.

Minds of Our Own at Annenberg Learner

These 3 videos, each about an hour long, are part of the Private Universe Project and directed towards parents and teachers. They examine how children learn and look at prior assumptions about student learning that may need to be reevaluated. Although the videos can all be watched online for free, print guides and a DVD presentation of these videos require a fee.

Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids about Being Online at OnGuardOnline.gov

This federal government website provides tools for adults to help children remain safe while online. The video may be viewed online or downloaded in several formats. PowerPoint slides are available for group presentations. Users may also download and print other articles related to the topic.

The Parenting Center at Anne Arundel Community College

Parents and other caregivers may learn child care skills through these 8 videos that are 30-60 minutes in length. Topics include self-esteem in children, grandparenting and alternatives to spanking. Users may also locate additional links of interest through this site's general resources section.

Power of Positive Parenting at Utah State University

The Power of Positive Parenting course is based on Dr. Glenn Latham's book of the same name. The 27 lessons of this course are available in video, audio and text. Users encountering problematic links on this school's website may also access the video and audio clips for this course through The Internet Archive. Learners delve into topics such as proactive responses to behaviors, dealing with anger, alternatives to spanking, eliminating tantrums, toilet training and sibling rivalry.

Promoting Positive Development Among Youth at Tufts University

Students may want to complete a basic child development class before attempting this course. Notes from the 7 lectures are available in PDF or text format. Topics covered in this course include applied developmental science (ADS) theory and national/international perspectives on the participation of youth in civil society. Suggested readings are noted at the end of each text lecture.

The Role of Play in Children's Learning at The Open University

Learners will investigate the value of play and adults' roles in children's play in this intermediate course. Learning materials may be viewed online, printed or downloaded. Self-guided activities are included throughout the lessons.

The Whole Child: A Caregiver's Guide to the First 5 Years at Annenberg Learner

The 13 videos in this series are each about 30 minutes long and were filmed in preschools, child care centers and homes. Students can learn about children's development, along with developmental activities and methods for specific situations. The textbook and guides, along with the series DVD, may be bought through this website.

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Popular Schools

The schools in the listing below are not free 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.