List of Free Online Child Care Courses and Classes

See our list of the top free online child care courses. Learn about what classes are available and what topics they cover to find the course that is right for you.

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Online Child Care Courses for Credit's courses offer one of the most cost-efficient ways to pursue a degree or certificate program outside of enrolling in a college or university class. While the website doesn't offer courses specifically in child care, it does offer courses commonly found in related degree programs for teachers or child care providers.

Unlike most free online courses, which usually don't award academic credit to students who complete them, the Psychology 102: Educational Psychology course can be used to earn an alternative form of real college credit. Learning materials include free lesson transcripts as well as short video lessons and self-assessment quizzes available to registered members who pay a nominal fee. Chapters in this course include:

  • History and Educational Aims - Find out how educational psychology is applied in the classroom and get an overview of the theories used to explain how people learn.
  • Cognitive Perspective in Psychology - Explore the basic types of memories and discover their roles in organizing and processing new information. Examine problem solving strategies and tips for advancing students' creativity.
  • Behavioral Perspective in Psychology - Watch examples of how classical and operant conditioning, reinforcement schedules and shaping can be used to modify behavior.
  • Motivation in Learning - Learn how social-cognitive learning theory, attribution theory and Maslow's hierarchy of needs explain behaviors related to motivation.
  • Individual Differences in Children - Identify methods for measuring intelligence and the impact of factors like culture, parenting style and disability on student learning.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Child Care Management
  • Child Care Services
  • Child Development
  • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Family and Community Services
  • Family Systems
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services

Free Online Non-Credited Child Care Courses

The Johns Hopkins University

  • Child Health and Development offers PDF lecture slides and MP3 recordings for the majority of the 14 lectures in this course. Students can access writing assignments and readings from a free PDF version of the textbook; however, an e-mail address is required.

The Open University

  • Exploring Children's Learning gives students instructional materials for this 20-hour, intermediate course including text with illustrations and links to readings. Learners will study 4 theories of child development: social learning, constructivism, behaviorism and social constructivism.
  • The Role of Play in Children's Learning investigates the value of play and adults' roles in children's play in this intermediate course. Learning materials may be viewed online, printed or downloaded. Self-guided activities are included throughout the lessons.

Annenberg Learner

  • Minds of Our Own has 3 videos, each about an hour long, that are part of the Private Universe Project and directed towards parents and teachers. It examines how children learn and looks at prior assumptions about student learning that may need to be reevaluated. Although the videos can all be watched online for free, print guides and a DVD presentation of these videos require a fee.
  • The Whole Child: A Caregiver's Guide to the First 5 Years has 13 videos that are each about 30 minutes long and were filmed in preschools, child care centers and homes. Students can learn about children's development, along with developmental activities and methods for specific situations. The textbook and guides, along with the series DVD, may be bought through this website.

  • Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids about Being Online provides tools for adults to help children remain safe while online. The video may be viewed online or downloaded in several formats. PowerPoint slides are available for group presentations. Users may also download and print other articles related to the topic.

Anne Arundel Community College

  • The Parenting Center includes topics like self-esteem in children, grandparenting and alternatives to spanking. Users may also locate additional links of interest through this site's general resources section.

Utah State University

  • The Power of Positive Parenting is based on Dr. Glenn Latham's book of the same name. The 27 lessons of this course are available in video, audio and text and delve into topics such as proactive responses to behaviors, dealing with anger, alternatives to spanking, eliminating tantrums, toilet training and sibling rivalry.

Tufts University

  • Promoting Positive Development Among Youth covers applied developmental science (ADS) theory and national/international perspectives on the participation of youth in civil society. Suggested readings are noted at the end of each text lecture.
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