What Kinds of Certifications Should a Childcare Provider Have?

Certifications and licensure provide childcare providers with a level of credibility and legitimacy, inspiring parents to confidence and helping a business to grow. Because state licensing requirements can vary so widely from one state to the next, however, childcare providers who are just starting their businesses may have a difficult time determining which certifications and licenses are essential. Certifications and accreditations can also go above and beyond the minimum state requirements, making it the situation even more complicated for new providers. Still, there are some certifications which are crucial for a fledgling childcare provider to obtain.

State Licensing for a Childcare Provider

Federal law governing childcare providers is quite vague, largely charging individual states with ensuring reasonable prevention of infectious disease, appropriate health and safety training for staff, and safety of the premises. Each state then steps in with more detailed regulations, which can make the licensing process confusing for individual proprietors. The NACCRRA offers a breakdown of regulations and laws on a state-by-state basis, simplifying the process of state licensure significantly.

One of the first things prospective clients look for in a childcare provider is state licensure, and operating without a license can care stiff fines and penalties in some states. At the very least, you should learn the maximum capacity allowed for childcare providers operating without a license in your state, and adhere to those guidelines stringently.

CPR and First Aid Certification

As a childcare provider, you will be personally responsible for the health and welfare of every child under your care. The vast majority of your prospective clients will not consider leaving you responsible for their children for extended periods of time if you don’t have appropriate and current certification in CPR and first aid. Choking incidents and major physical injuries are relatively rare occurrences, but in the event of a health emergency, you must be capable of handling the situation. The life of a child could depend upon your ability to provide necessary care, which is why certification in CPR and first aid is non-negotiable.

Certification in basic health and safety is almost always a requirement for state licensing, which means it will also be almost impossible to operate a business as a legitimate childcare provider without this training.

Accreditation for Childcare Providers

Obtaining licensing through your state shows your facility is capable of meeting the minimum requirements for childcare facilities. Additional accreditation shows a commitment to quality and is often considered a mark of distinction among parents seeking childcare. To become accredited through most programs, a childcare provider’s facility must demonstrate a superior level of care, a focus on curriculum and be actively working to aid in child development in preparation for school.

Many accredited childcare providers will participate in continuing education programs in order to stay current and expand their knowledge base. Caregivers who have a vision of establishing a high-quality program should consider taking the steps to become accredited by these programs:

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