Day Care Certification and Certificate Program Information

Research day care certificate programs and obtain information about certification. Get information about courses, requirements and career options so you can make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

A day care worker certificate program is designed to train anyone who plans to care for children, both in professional and home settings. The program curriculum centers on the physical and social development of children, childhood needs, education techniques for young learners and ways to amuse and enlighten children. Most schools require students to earn a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to admission.

Graduates of day care certificate programs often work as childcare center providers, nannies, hospital workers and preschool teachers. Continuing education options may include professional certification or earning an undergraduate degree in a related field.

Course Topics

Students in a day care certificate program learn the various development stages of children and the teaching and caring methods associated with each stage. Communication classes are also integral to the program so day care workers can communicate clearly and appropriately with children and parents. Some programs offer practical training where students are placed in day care centers to work under the supervision of experienced childcare professionals. Course topics often include:

  • Child development
  • Art and music for young children
  • Teaching young children
  • Childhood nutrition
  • Safety and first aid
  • Communication with parents
  • Care center administration
  • Child abuse recognition and reporting

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Childcare settings offer a wide variety of working hours and environments. Self-employed day care workers often work longer hours, but salaried day care workers can also be subject to overtime. Because the turnover rate across all childcare occupations is relatively high, job opportunities are abundant for graduates of day care certificate programs. According to 2008-2018 projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for childcare workers was expected to increase by 11%. As of May 2010, these professionals earned a mean annual wage of $21,110, stated the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, day care providers in home settings who only care for a few young children don't typically need licensing. However, all day care providers who care for several children typically need to acquire state licensing, which may include minimal education requirements, annual training classes and a background check.

Day care certificate program graduates may be eligible to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification, which is issued by the Council for Professional Recognition. This certification offers four focus areas and must be renewed every three years. It is the most widely recognized childcare credential across all early childhood education fields. In addition to CDA certification, graduates may also choose to advance their education with an associate's or bachelor's degree in early childhood education.

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