Childcare Specialist

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The Childcare Profession

Childcare Specialists are responsible for caring for children when parents or other family members are unavailable. Quality childcare is a useful and necessary alternative for many working parents where full- or part-time care allows them to continue their professional pursuits. Childcare professionals who not only provide constant care, but who also have an understanding of early childhood education and who can recognize potential emotional distress or developmental issues provide parents the peace of mind they need to ensure their child’s needs are met even when they can’t be there throughout the day. Childcare specialists work in large childcare centers, preschools and public schools or may also work in the home caring for one or multiple children at a time. For any individual with the special gifts and talents necessary to connect with young children, working as a professional in this field with the ability to create and foster an educational/developmental environment provides a rewarding career that projected to grow 14% to 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Childcare Specialist Program
 Program

This program introduces the historical, theoretical and developmental foundations for educating and caring for young children. With particular emphasis on caring for children from birth through age 8, this program takes students through a range of topics including the roles, responsibilities and requirements of individuals working in early childhood settings, current issues that have implications on children, families and early childhood professionals, and age-related developmental accomplishments. Alongside ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all children in their care, this program will ensure students have a firm grasp on the educational and developmental needs of young children in order to create a stimulating, nurturing and fun environment for all children in their care.


Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the roles, responsibilities, and requirements for those who work in early childhood education (ECE) settings and the evolution of the field of ECE
  • Analyze current issues in ECE that have implications for children, families, and society
  • Describe the age-related developmental accomplishments of young children from birth through age 8 in each of the developmental domains
  • Analyze programs that support individual differences, culturally responsive, and inclusive
  • Analyze ECE standards as related to preparing developmentally appropriate activities
  • Analyze practices that ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all children
  • Compare a variety of guidance strategies to help children develop emotional self-regulation and avoid challenging behaviors
  • Describe strategies that foster childcare worker and family partnerships
  • Describe the role of assessment/documentation to inform curriculum development and improve care, child outcomes, and early childhood program quality
  • Evaluate the attributes of professionalism in ECE including advocacy, and social justice

Note:  In order to qualify for an externship, students must successfully complete the program, including all quizzes and final exams, and be available for a background check and/or a potential drug screen.  This program can be completed in 6 months.  However, students will have online access to this program for a 12-month period. 

Education and Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program. 
  • National Certification exams:
    • National Career Certification Board (NCCB) Certified Child Care Worker (CCCW) Certification Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.
 
Optional Volunteer Externship Opportunity

Students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an optional volunteer externship opportunity with a local company/agency/organization whose work aligns with this area of study in order to gain valuable hands-on experience.  As students progress through their eLearning program, an Externship Coordinator will reach out to coordinate placement.

Note:
Additional documentation including health records, immunizations, drug-screening, criminal background checks, etc. may be required by the externship facility.