High-quality, foundational professional development

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) has made a commitment to offer high-quality, foundational professional development opportunities to child care providers in various settings. The identified goals are to:

  • Increase provider professionalism
  • Develop a professionals’ passion for quality child care available for children
  • Ensure a healthy and safe environment for children
  • Help providers understand their influence on the quality of child care and its impact on society and children’s futures
  • Help providers understand the impact of the child care system on communities, families, employers and businesses
  • Motivate providers to apply principles of child development when planning curriculum rather than just doing activities
  • Continually strive for a quality child care environment for every child
  • Assist providers with strengthening business practices to support their career of choice

Types of Training Presented

CCR&R offers free or low-cost foundational core trainings in face-to-face group settings, as well as through online (page under construction) webinar settings. Providers are encouraged to attend these trainings to build foundational knowledge of the child care business.

Content Areas for Training

Training topics may include:

  • Planning a safe, healthy learning environment, including nutrition (two hours required in the first year)
  • Steps to advance children’s physical and intellectual development
  • Positive ways to support children’s social and emotional development (includes guidance and discipline)
  • Strategies to establish productive relationships with families (includes communication skills and cross-cultural competence)
  • Strategies to manage an effective program operation (includes business practices)
  • Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
  • Observing and recording children’s behavior
  • Principles of growth and development
Making Food with Child

Training Credentials

Training must be approved by the Department of Human Services (DHS) or be conducted by an approved trainer. CCR&R is an approved training program with the Department of Human Services (DHS). For a list of additional approved training entities, see the Department of Human Services (DHS) Comm.

Training Certificates

A certificate of seat hours is issued at the end of each series or class and is creditable for 5 years, unless otherwise noted. These hours can be used towards regulatory hours as presented in the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) Guidelines specific to provider type.

NOTE: One college credit hour in early childhood or elementary education for school age is the equivalent of 15 hours of training.

Tips for a Successful Training Experience!

  • All participants registered in CCR&R training will be provided with materials and the opportunity to participate in the class.
  • Any participant arriving late or leaving a training early will not receive training credit or a certificate for the training.
  • A child age 14-18, who meets the Department of Human Services (DHS) regulations as an employee/assistant in a child care program, may attend trainings but should be accompanied by an adult. All other children will not be allowed to attend as this is an adult learning environment not appropriate for children.
  • All class participants are expected to behave in a professional and courteous manner. CCR&R reserves the right to withhold a training certificate or ask a participant to leave the class if the participant does not behave in an appropriate manner.
  • Please sign-in as attendance is verified using the final roster for each class.
  • Trainings are a great opportunity for providers to network with other providers. Take time to share ideas and build community together.
Provider and Child

i-PoWeR Professional Workforce Registry

Iowa's Early Childhood and School Age Professional Workforce Registry (i-PoWeR) is a comprehensive registry where you can find and enroll in the Department of Human Services (DHS) approved professional development opportunities related to early childhood and school-age professionals. It will also maintain a record of your professional achievements. Approved training opportunities can be accessed by visiting i-PoWeR.

For assistance on creating an account, please contact your local Child Care Consultant or Training Specialist or email the i-PoWeR Help Desk. Additional tips and tricks that every provider should know can also be found on flyers here:  Home Providers or Center Staff & Managerial Roles

Additional trainings approved by DHS can be accessed on the DHS website here.

CCR&R Foundational Trainings

CCR&R is funded to offer core trainings to assure that providers are meeting minimum requirements. As funding allows, we try to offer diverse and higher-level trainings. Please contact the Training Specialist in your area for a list of additional trainings that may be available. Our Child Care Consultants assist with professional development planning and can make referrals to partner programs that will help providers in following their plans for higher education.

Training Name

Training Description

ChildNet 3.0

This series provides the foundational skills needed to operate a successful child care business. Upon series completion, providers will be eligible for ChildNet Certification and to obtain points in the Quality Rating System.

Emergency Preparedness

Resource page only - Iowa law requires child care providers to have a written emergency plan in place by October 1, 2016. Emergency plans must include procedures for 6 key areas. There are templates and tools available for child care providers to help meet your program's needs. You are not required to use any of the templates and tools offered, although the tools and templates will help you meet requirements in Iowa law.

Essentials Preservice Series

This series offers providers important information on ten key health and safety topics and was developed to meet Iowa Department of Human Services professional development requirements.

Environment Rating Scale

This series is a nationally recognized tool used to assess and improve the quality of center, school age, infant/toddler and family child care programs. Workshops offer step-by-step guidance for making helpful changes that can make a real difference in the work that is done with young children.

First Aid that includes management of a blocked airway and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Certification in infant and child first aid that includes management of a blocked airway and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (check with your Child Care Consultant for training options in your area or see this the approved training sites here).

Foundations of Understanding Trauma

This basic orientation training will focus on behavior shaping through a trauma-informed lens. It will use the latest science from multiple fields to support the practice of staff engaged in helping children overcome challenges that are not of their own doing or choice. Changing the question of “what’s wrong with you” to “what happened to you?”

Iowa Early Learning Standards

This series addresses developmental areas of young children, which are based on research and theory in early care and education. It is a guide in understanding how children learn, as well as the importance of play, routine and relationships in regards to their development.

Medication Administration

This course is designed to address the principles and skills needed to administer medications to children.

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporter Training

Providers are required to attend this Iowa-specific training to learn how to identify the signs of child abuse and the steps needed to report incidents.


This nutrition and physical activity self-assessment is available to child care providers as a tool to set goals and implement healthy activities in their programs. Training and on-site consultation is provided.


The Physical Activity Learning Session (PALS) training is for early childhood providers to learn the best practices of physical activity for children birth to five.

Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports

This training is an effective, evidence-based approach for supporting social competence and addressing challenging behavior in young children.

Program for Infant/Toddler Care of Iowa

This training approach equates good care with training infant/toddler providers who are preparing themselves and the environment so that infants can learn.

School-age Matters

School age children have a specific set of developmental needs that are different from younger children. Attendees will learn the skills needed to effectively adapt their programs to accommodate this age group.

Universal Precautions

Providers will learn what can be done to protect the children in their care from the spread of germs and disease. Additionally, they will gain an understanding of the importance of post-exposure policies and procedures.

To assist with tracking your professional development and staff professional development, view recommended forms.

Regional Training Announcements

Training Specialist from each of the 5 CCR&R regions, work to ensure that early childhood professionals receive multiple opportunities for continuing education credits. To view current training opportunities by region, click the links below.

Online Training Opportunities

Various approved online training opportunities are available for flexibility. Group and self-study options are credible, and a fee may be associated with each one. Individual trainings can be accessed on the DHS Training Registry or by clicking the appropriate listings. CCR&R also offers many online trainings, they are posted in our NEWS section or contact your Training Specialist for options.

For additional trainings approved by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), click here

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Careers and Pathways from Iowa AEYC

A career pathway groups similar occupations and assists early childhood educators to prepare for the future, regardless of current or desired level of training or education. Each occupation requires different levels of training, education, and continuous professional development. By utilizing the career pathway documents, every early childhood professional can plan the sequence of increased training and qualifications, and can understand professional responsibilities for each occupation.

  • Teaching Roles Pathway - A tiered chart that allows early childhood teachers and providers the ability to track and develop a professional development competency plans.
  • Program Administrator Pathway - A tiered chart that allows program administrators the ability to track and develop professional development competency plans.
  • Careers in Early Childhood: An Iowa Directory - A directory that contains the listing of the variety of careers that are available in the early childhood field.
  • Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (IA AEYC) Careers and Pathways - A career pathway groups similar occupations and assists individuals in the workforce to prepare for the future, regardless of current or desired level of training or education. Using a career pathway, every early childhood professional can plan the personal sequence of training and qualifications, and can understand professional responsibilities for each specific job.
  • Access Navigate Your Pathway through Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (IA AEYC) website to track current professional development and create a plan for the future. This website is a hands-on, interactive tool that allows early childhood professionals to make decisions about training and education needed to develop a dynamic career.

Child Development Associate National Credential

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is a nationally recognized credential earned by those working in the early care and education field. The CDA credential is based on a core set of competency standards and includes an assessment process by the Council for Professional Recognition.

The CDA credential, a recognized part of child care regulations in Iowa and across the country, is a way to earn points on Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) and is part of achieving some accreditation standards. CDA credentials have been awarded around the country since 1971 and over 300,000 credentials have been granted. All CCR&R trainings correspond with the 8 CDA content areas listed below:

1) Planning a safe and healthy learning environment
2) Advancing children's physical and intellectual development
3) Supporting children's social and emotional development
4) Building productive relationships with families
5) Managing an effective program operation
6) Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
7) Observing and recording children’s behavior
8) Understanding principles of child development and learning

For more information how to achieve your CDA, visit our CDA webpage here.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Iowa

T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) is a comprehensive scholarship program that provides the early childhood workforce access to educational opportunities and is helping establish a well-qualified, fairly compensated and stable workforce for our children. You can access the T.E.A.C.H. booklet here.

Early child care and education providers who may be eligible include those who:

  • Work in a regulated preschool, child care center, or home program for at least 30 hours per week (or all the hours your preschool offers programming with a 20 hour minimum)
  • Have worked with children birth to age 5 in current program for at least 3 months (6 months for bachelor scholarships)
  • Are working toward an early childhood degree, CDA credential (or renewal), endorsement, or teacher licensure renewal at an Iowa college
  • Have the support of your employer (if applicable).
  • Demonstrate participation in or progress towards a quality initiative such as QRS, QPPS, Head Start, or NAEYC/NAFCC accreditation.

For a directory of 2017 Early Childhood Programs at Iowa Colleges and Universities, click here. This directory is designed to provide valuable information to colleges, students, potential students, employers and policymakers. All information has been provided to us by the colleges and is not verified.

For more information on the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Iowa Program or to apply, visit Iowa AEYC.

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Establishing a well-qualified workforce for our children

CCR&R Instructor Resources


Statewide Training Policies and Procedures Handbook

  • Appendix A - Instructor Application (Word template)
  • Appendix B - Instructor Agreement
  • Appendix C - Facilitator Agreement
  • Appendix D - Instructor Observation
  • Appendix E - Instructor Self-Assessment (Word template)
  • Appendix F - Instructor Approval Letter (sample only)
  • Appendix G - Request for Child Care Training Approval Application Instructions
  • Appendix H - Child Care Training Approval Application (Word template)
  • Appendix I - Training Instructionl Plan and Content Outline (Word template)
  • Appendix J - Training Approval Application Score Sheet
  • Appendix K - Symposium Presenter and Workshop Proposal (Word template)

Request for Child Care Training Approval from Department of Human Services

i-PoWeR Professional Workforce Registry

Iowa's Early Childhood and School Age Professional Workforce Registry tutorial webinars were recorded in November and December of 2019. The topics are:

  1. The Basics: Participants will learn the basics of creating a profile and registering for events, applicable for all provider types
  2. Creating a Profile: Participants will learn how to create a profile and upload documents for their registry profile, applicable for all provider types
  3. Managing Staff: This webinar is specifically for Program Directors and will focus on managing staff profiles
i-PoWeR Flyer

i-Power Videos