Child Care Online Training Courses

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) sets state standards for child care and ensures that all licensed childcare providers adhere to these standards. With these standards in place, compliant child care facilities can be sure that they are providing the safest possible environment for the children in their charge. Parents who send their children to licensed facilities can also rest assured that their children will be cared for by qualified individuals with up-to-date training.

DCF provides online courses for child care workers to take to meet state training standards. Required courses vary depending on the type of facility. Child care training in the state is broken down into four main categories:

  • Child Care Facility
  • Facility Serving Only School-Age Children
  • Licensed Family Day Care Home
  • Large Family Child Care Home

Competency Exams

Competency exams are required as proof of a worker’s knowledge in a specific area. Although these exams are usually taken after completion of a corresponding course, some exams are available to take without completion of related coursework. If a child care worker passes the competency exam for one of the courses, he or she will receive credit for the course without taking it. If the competency exam is not passed, the worker will need to take the online course before attempting the exam again.

Child Care Facility Training Requirements

All child care facility employees are required to complete 40 hours of training. This training must begin within 90 days of starting the job, and must be completed within one year of when the training began. In addition to these 40 hours, five hours of literacy training must be completed within one year of the employee’s start date. The good news is that almost all of it can be done online.

Five specific courses, comprising thirty hours of training, are required for every worker in this class of child care facility. These courses include:

  • Child Care Facility Rules and Regulations
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Behavioral Observation and Screening

The remaining 10 hours of training are made up of electives and may include such courses as: Special Needs Appropriate Practices, Early Childhood Computer Learning Centers or Early Literacy for Children Birth to Three.

Facility Serving Only School-Age Children Training Requirements

Workers in child care facilities that serve only school-age children have similar requirements. Employees in these facilities must complete 40 hours of training, beginning within 90 days of commencing employment and ending no later than one year from the training start date.

These five courses, offered online, make up 28 hours of training, and are required for all workers in child care facilities serving school-age children only:

  • Child Care Facility Rules and Regulations
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Understanding Developmentally Appropriate Practice
  • School-Age Appropriate Practices

Twelve hours of training must come from one of three sets of elective options. The worker or his or her employer may decide which option to take based on the needs of the facility.

Licensed Family Day Care Home Training Requirements

Family-run day cares have somewhat different training requirements. Operators of home-run day cares and substitutes who work at least 40 hours per month are required to take 30 hours of online or in person training courses, plus five hours of literacy training. Mandatory courses for these workers include:

  • Family Child Care Home Rules and Regulations
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Behavioral Observation and Screening

Substitutes who work fewer than 40 hours per month must pass the competency exam for the Family Child Care Home Rules and Regulations course. They are also required to have an active certificate of completion from an infant and child CPR class and first aid training.

Large Licensed Family Child Care Home Training Requirements

Training requirements for large family child care facilities are slightly more extensive. Before becoming licensed, a child care worker in this type of facility must have possessed a staff credential for at least one year. A staff credential may be gained by completing formal education in a related field or by acquiring a certificate or a credential that is recognized by the state of Florida.

Operators and substitutes who work over 40 hours per month are required to complete 40 hours of training. Most of this, if not all, can be taken online. Thirty training hours must be completed from these five courses:

  • Family Child Care Home Rules and Regulations
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Behavioral Observation and Screening

Ten more hours of training must be completed within six months of becoming licensed. These hours may come from electives such as: Basic Guidance and Discipline, Special Needs Appropriate Practice or Infant and Toddler Appropriate Practice.

In addition, these workers must complete five hours of literacy training within one year of beginning employment in the field. They must also have an active infant and child CPR certification and first-aid training.