As an early childhood educator, I know there are a lot of great courses one can take and certifications one can earn. Some courses like First Aid and CPR lead directly to certification and are required to be a registered provider or licensed center. Other certifications are optional and have more requirements than just participating in a course to achieve certification. One such optional certification that I find beneficial to keep up is ChildNet Certification. There are several benefits of ChildNet Certification that make it worth it to me to keep my certification current.
First, achieving this certification makes me more confident that I am meeting all state requirements. This leads to less anxiety about the unannounced visits that the Department of Human Services (DHS) does to verify that I comply with all state requirements for registration.
Second, being ChildNet Certified is a requirement for earning Levels 2-5 in the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS). Participation in QRS is also optional, but I choose to participate in it from many reasons, not the least of which is to show the families I serve (and those I hope to serve someday) that I strive for the highest quality in my program. Additionally, by participating in QRS I earn extra money for my program, up to $1,000 every two years as an in-home provider.
Choosing to be ChildNet Certified is in investment that makes sense. Early childhood educators tend to work a lot of hours, often for less compensation and benefits than other respected professionals. The little extra time it takes me to keep up my certification more than pays for itself in the doors it opens to me in QRS and potential grants.
If you have questions or would like to speak with someone about ChildNet Certification, you can contact your local Child Care Consultant here!
For more information on ChildNet Certification or ChildNet 2.0 training, check out the Iowa CCR&R website here!
Researchers say 24 percent of Iowa residents live in child care deserts, places where child care is scant. That figure jumped to 37 percent in rural areas.