Penn Foster Career School

Career Diploma: Child Care Professional

Penn Foster Career School's online Child Care Professional Career Diploma Program is designed to help prepare students for careers working with children from birth to age 8 in preschools, daycares, and other child care settings. Read more about this program here.

Official Program Name:

Child Care Professional Career Diploma

School Offering Program:

Penn Foster Career School

Program Level:

Career Diploma

Program Description:

The Child Care Professional Career Diploma Program offered by Penn Foster Career School is intended to prepare students to take the first step towards becoming child care professionals through online courses, project-based learning, and optional professional work experiences. Students learn how to organize educational activities, supervise the health and safety of children under their care, and conduct observations and assessments of young children. Courses also provide the opportunity to learn about social, emotional, and physical growth and development in children. Students can choose a family-child care specialization or center specialization option, depending on where they wish to work. Depending on their specialization, additional course topics include starting a family child care business, working with school-age children, or infant and toddler care.

Students can participate in two optional Work Experience Options (WEO) that provide in-field training and real-world experience. Each WEO requires 240 hours of professional training time. Students who complete both WEOs will have the 480 hours of professional experience required to apply for the CDA (Child Development Associate) credential. The program also provides 38 continuing education units (CEUs) for students working with children ages birth through eight.

This program aligns with the outcomes of the National Association of Young Children (NAEYC) and the eight educational areas mandated by the Council for Professional Recognition.

Program Materials Supplied by Penn Foster Career School:

Penn Foster Career School provides students in its Child Care Career Diploma program with the textbooks and learning aids needed to complete the program. An online library, career guidance, access to student services via e-mail, phone, and message board, and an online community are also offered.

Learning Format:


Financial Aid:

Penn Foster offers low tuition with 0% interest and affordable monthly payments.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Child Care Professional Career Diploma:

Program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Penn Foster Career School to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Core Courses

  • Orientation to Child Care Professional
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Child Guidance
  • Home, School, and Community
  • Observation and Assessment
  • Curriculum, Activities, and Lesson Planning
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child

Family Child Care Specialization

  • Starting Your Own Early Childhood Program
  • Working with Multi-Age Groups
  • Caring for Children in Your Home

Center-Based Specialization

  • Infant and Toddler Care
  • Working with Preschoolers
  • Working with School-Age Children

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Furthering Your Education:

Graduates of Penn Foster Career School's Child Care Professional Career Diploma Program may be interested in continuing their education and pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree. These programs could prepare them for positions in child care management or increased responsibilities within their current role.

Degree options include:

  • Associate of Science - Child Care Professional
  • Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate of Science in Child Care Center Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

Career Paths:

After completing Penn Foster Career School's Child Care Professional Career Diploma Program, students may be able to pursue entry-level positions working with children in child care centers, preschools, or family homes. Some of the positions they could consider include:

  • Teacher aide
  • Preschool aide
  • Nanny
  • In-home child care provider