New, free youngster care certificates to assist working households, financial restoration

New family childcare program at Windward CC.

In response to the need for childcare to support working families, Windward Community College is introducing the Family Child Care Essentials online certificate program. Students will learn how to build and run a quality family childcare business, including obtaining a license, keeping financial records, marketing, and working with children and families.

A 2017 study by the University of Hawaii from the Center for Family in Mānoa found that 64% of the children of working parents require childcare and that existing providers can only serve 25% of them. The current pandemic has affected services and reduced the number of existing childcare providers as more parents return to work. This puts additional strain on families, makes it difficult for some parents to return to work and ultimately slows down economic recovery.

To meet this growing need, Windward CC’s Office of Career & Community Education created the program in collaboration with People Attentive to Children (PATCH), a childcare and placement agency, and Learning to Grow, a multi-faceted project in support of Families and providers of supplementary childcare. To earn the Family Child Care Essentials Professional Development Certificate, students must complete the following:

  • Six required online courses with PATCH
  • 20 hours of training without credits with Windward CC in a community of practice, a collaborative environment with other providers

“We are pleased to be able to offer a program to increase childcare capacities across the region Hawaii, support new family childcare providers and benefit working parents and their keiki, ”said Chancellor Windward CC Ardis Eschenberg.

Tuition for the Family Child Care Essentials certificate program is free. Participants also receive free course materials and additional resources, as well as access to individual coaching. The participation of students in the program is funded by the until 2022 Hawaii Resilience Fund and the Omidyar family Fund of the Hawaii Community foundation.

Classes start weekly with open enrollment. Call for more information Cassia Simms-Smith, Program Coordinator, at (808) 235-7363 or email [email protected]. Course information, registration and registration for the information event can be found online.

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