Child Day Care

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your accredited online learning program includes seven Instruction Sets designed to take you step by step through the knowledge and skills you'll employ in your new career in Child Day Care.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams. You can earn your Career Diploma in as little as six months.

Computer Specifications
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer (or Mac equivalent) and high-speed Internet in order to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:


Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: To prepare students to start and operate a child care business.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Know how to supervise and monitor the safety of children in their care
  • Understand the preparation of meals and snacks, helping children keep good hygiene, changing diapers, and sanitizing toys and play equipment
  • Know how to organize activities and implement a curriculum that allow children to learn about the world and explore interests; support children's emotional and social development, encouraging understanding of others and positive self-concepts
  • Understand the creation of schedules and routines that ensure that children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Recognize signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring the problems to the attention of parents
  • Understand the keeping of records of children’s progress, routines, and interest, including daily observations and information about activities, meals served, and medications administered
  • Know how to communicate with children's parents or guardians about daily activities, behaviors, and related issues

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Contemporary Child Care
The increasing demand for child care; benefits of quality child care; types of child care, including in-home care, family day care, and center-based care; meeting licensing requirements - providing a safe and healthy environment; managing staff.

Instruction Set 2

Child Development, Part 1
An overview broken down into birth-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-36 months, 3-5 years; details on social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development.

Child Development, Part 2
The stages of growth and tips on developing a learning environment for children in kindergarten, ages 6-8, and ages 9-12.

Practical Exercise: Reflection and Observation

Supplement: Student Observation Guide

Learning Aid: Ages and Stages Chart

Instruction Set 3

How to Start Your Child Care Facility: Basic Steps
Assessing community needs; licensing requirements, making a business plan; insurance; planning space (indoor and outdoor).

Licensing, Accreditation, Certification
General licensing procedures and agencies; areas of regulation; director's responsibilities; steps in the licensing process; accreditation of child care programs and facilities; certification of child caregivers.

Practical Exercise: Local Standards and Regulations

Instruction Set 4

The Facility
Government regulations - zoning and safety; analyzing space requirements for in-home and center-based care.

Roles and qualifications of personnel; hiring personnel; physical exam and fingerprinting; work schedule and responsibilities; vacations, holidays, and sick leave; staff meetings; trial employment period; termination procedures.

Computers in Day Care
Introducing children to the world of computers; educational and fun activities that can be done using the computer.

Practical Exercise: Facilities and Staff

Instruction Set 5

Program Planning
The purpose of program planning. Curriculum planning and content planning.

Planning and Implementing for the Environment
Preparing environments that promote program goals; grouping children; selecting and purchasing equipment.

The relationship between guidance and discipline; applying your knowledge of child behavior and development; styles of adult-child interaction.

Inclusive education; principles of inclusion; building tolerance and acceptance; children with special needs; assessing and adapting the environment to create one that promotes respect.

Practical Exercise: Program, Environment, and Guidance

Supplement: Activities for Infants and Toddlers

Learning Aid: Creating Environments for Learning & Play

Instruction Set 6

Caring for School Age Children
Caring for school-age children; outdoor and indoor games; visual arts; music and movement; drama; science in after-school care; math.

Working with Parents
Parents' legal rights; communication with parents including orientation; visits to facility, and oral and written communications; parent participation; parent education.

Financing and Budget
Estimating costs including general and specific cost factors; estimating income; balancing the budget; other financial responsibilities.

Practical Exercise: Parents, Finances, and School-Age Children

Supplement: Master Forms for Day Care Facility

Textbook: Caring for School-Age Children

Instruction Set 7

Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child
Promoting good health; health appraisals; health assessment tools; conditions affecting children's health; creating a safe environment; safety management; management of accidents and injuries

Practical Exercise: Health, Safety, and Nutrition

Textbooks: Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child

Learning Aids:
• Poison Antidote Slide Guide
• Children's First Aid Slide Guide


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

Education requirements vary for Early Childhood Education professionals. Penn Foster recommends you check with the licensing agency in your area for specific requirements. 

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.