Do caregivers at child care providers have similar training?
It is a common misconception that all child care teachers, or caregivers, are required to receive the same training and have the same educational background regardless of where they work. While all child care teachers must receive annual training, they are not required to receive the same amount of training nor do they have to be trained in the same topics. The required level of education, training hours, and topics vary by child care provider type and quality level.
All child care providers (centers, group child care homes, and faith-based programs), with the exception of family child care homes, must receive some training in the following areas: program administration, child growth and development, and curriculum activities for children. Caregivers can elect to attend training in other topic areas, including: child guidance, health, safety, nutrition, and professional development. However, the amount of training hours required varies by provider type:
Child care centers
- Directors must receive a minimum of 20 hours
- Caregivers must receive a minimum of 15 hours
Group child care homes
- Directors must receive a minimum of 15 hours
- Caregivers must receive a minimum of 10 hours
Family child care home caregivers must receive a minimum of 10 hours of training.
In addition to these training hours, all child care providers, with the exception of registered family child care homes, must have at least one caregiver on the premises at all times who has a current certificate for the provision of basic first aid and child-infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Remember that not all child care programs are regulated by the Department of Social Services. Programs that aren’t regulated (don’t have a license or registration), may not have any education, training, or health and safety requirements for their caregivers.
Why does education matter?
Teachers who received specialized preparation and ongoing professional development and support in early childhood development are more likely to have positive interactions and relationships with children and their families. These teachers offer an environment rich in language and content experiences. Teachers with education and training specific to early childhood development and learning are also more likely to use a variety of teaching practices (like learning through play) and curricula. These teachers are key components to a high quality learning environment for children aged 0-5.
Higher standards with ABC Quality
Providers that choose to participate in ABC Quality choose to be held to a higher standard of child care quality. One measure of quality is caregiver education and ongoing training. In addition to receiving the trainings required of all regulated providers, Level A and B providers must:
- Complete additional or more advanced education
- Complete more training hours in select topic areas
- Receive mandatory nutrition and physical activity training
- Complete training related to children with different abilities and needs
Half of lead teachers at the highest quality centers (levels A and A+) have, at a minimum, a Certificate in Early Care & Education; all caregivers must have the SC Early Childhood Credential. Directors of level A and A+ centers must have at least an Associate degree in Early Care & Education. Teachers and directors at level A and A+ centers also receive 20 hours of specialized training every year to help them plan curriculum and activities to support every child’s development and to prepare them for kindergarten.
Search for your early learning program on abcquality.org to see whether it is quality rated. Ask about the health and safety certificates, training, and educational background of the caregivers in your child’s daycare. Visit abcquality.org to learn more about child care and development and learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.
By ABC Quality Team at 9 Jan 2018, 11:00 AM