In any profession, ongoing learning and development is needed, and the child care field is no exception. All caregivers need to keep up with current knowledge and information. In fact, Oklahoma child care providers must have 12 hours of training each year to remain licensed.
Many providers want to learn more, earn higher degrees, provide a better service to children and make more money. For them, further development is part of being a professional in the field of early care and education.
Resource & Referral Agencies
The Resource & Referral agency is the first place a provider should call when interested in training or professional development guidance. The following services are available by phone, in our office and at your child care facility:
- Information on starting a child care center or a family child care home
- Assistance with developing or enhancing your child care program
- Help creating and modifying early learning environments in your home or center
- Training on topics including health, safety, and risk management, successful business practices, reading, games, crafts and more
- Technical assistance either by telephone, at our office, or at your child care facility that is tailored to meet your specific needs, such as auditing immunization records; setting of a learning environment; knowing how to increase your Star level; and developing good business practices, to name only a few
- Access to resource libraries where you can use laminating and die cut machines, check out books, games and toys to use in your program as well as consultation from a child development specialist on how to use these materials in your program
- Referrals to fill vacancies in your home or center
- Information on program funding to support your child care program
- Advice and information on professional advancement opportunities
- A newsletter with information on child care issues and listing local child care training opportunities
For some types of training, licensed providers can turn to their regional R&R for nearby classes. To find out what your R&R has scheduled, please go your R & R agency's web site for a training calendar or call for information.
The Oklahoma Child Care Services system that supports child care providers can be hard to navigate especially when you need immediate assistance. Call your local Resource & Referral agency for a quick referral to the appropriate agency for the specialized assistance you need.
Center for Early Childhood Professional Development
The Center for Early Childhood Professional Development (CECPD), a service of the University of Oklahoma, is a centralized statewide program that trains early childhood professionals, including child care center directors and teachers, as well as family child care providers. The Center:
- Manages the Early Care and Education Professional Development Ladder which tracks the educational progress of directors and teachers
- Conducts environmental rating scales for centers and homes who recently became Two Star facilities
- Implements and maintains the Oklahoma Director's Credential
- Recruits and maintains a registry of educators approved to offer training for child care providers
- Developed and implements the Entry Level Child Care Training (ELCCT) course required of all new child care teachers working at centers
- Administers the R.E.W.A.R.D. salary supplement program for child care providers
- Offers a variety of training opportunities for child care providers
- Access to a video lending library
To discover how professional development can increase income for child care providers, check out CECPD's description of REWARD Oklahoma.
If you already know about REWARD Oklahoma and just want to see the supplement scales and requirements.
Scholars for Excellence in Child Care
The Scholars for Excellence in Child Care program, through the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education, offers:
- Scholarships towards tuition, fees and books at the community college and at the career technology centers for the Pathway to CDA program.
- A scholarship for credential assessment fees for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and Child Care Professional (CCP) credential.
- A scholar coordinator at the community college who works with child care providers who are returning to school for higher educational opportunities in the child care field.
- Each scholar coordinator recruits, supports and mentors child care providers seeking a credential, certificate, or associate degree in child development or early childhood education.
Career Technology Centers
Career Techs offer a curriculum called Pathway to CDA that is designed to help child care providers earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. For more information, contact the Adult Education Coordinator at your local Career Technology Center .
Warmline The Warmline for Oklahoma Child Care providers offers free telephone consultations to child care providers on numerous health topics. Prerecorded topics can be accessed anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at toll free 1-888-574-5437. Consultants answer the phone during normal business hours.
Other Professional Development Opportunities
In addition to training, professional development can include conferences, participation in professional associations and subscriptions to professional resources, such as online newsletters, journals, etc.