One of the keys to providing quality child care is a caring and well-trained staff. To help with professional development, several organizations have come up with incentive programs and educational opportunities for those who care for children. Staying in tune with the child care community through continuing education and cooperation among different branches of the child care workforce encourages a spirit of community while supporting individual professional accomplishment.
Here are some resources for child care professionals seeking to sharpen their skills, update their knowledge with new research, and get in touch with other people involved in caring for children.
Center for the Child Care Workforce
Visit CCW (now merged with the American Federation of Teachers) for information on child care apprenticeship programs nationwide. This site's main focus is advocacy for better conditions for child care professionals. It also provides monthly updates on conferences and events for child care workers.
Center for Children and Families
Offers information about online and onsite courses covering a range of topics, as well as information on workshops and forums throughout the country.
Council for Professional Recognition
The Council for Professional Recognition offers child care professional credentialing. This website also features a state-by-state directory of universities and programs that offer degree programs and courses for child care workers and administrators. To visit their National Directory of Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Institutions, click here. This site also has helpful links to other sources of information on professional development opportunities nationwide.
National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAEYC strives to ensure quality child care for every child through educational and skill-development opportunities for child care professionals, as well as through advocacy. The NAEYC website includes a list of conferences by NAEYC and similar organizations.
National Child Care Association
NCCA offers credentialing programs for administrators and child care professionals. It also offers helpful publications and professional development conferences for its members.
Licensing, Accreditation, and CWLA Standards of Excellence
Provides definitions of these terms, links to contact information for state licensing agencies and major national accrediting organizations, and includes information on CWLA's Standards of Excellence for Child Care, Development, and Education Services.
Offers help and information specifically for faith-based, rural, afterschool, Head Start, kith and kin, and family child care and development programs.
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