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Education & Children Programs ►Childcare Specialist Certificate Program with Externship


Program includes National Certification & an Externship Opportunity



The Childcare Profession

Childcare Specialists are responsible for caring for children when parents or other family members are unavailable. Quality childcare is a useful and necessary alternative for many working parents where full- or part-time care allows them to continue their professional pursuits. Childcare professionals who not only provide constant care, but who also have an understanding of early childhood education and who can recognize potential emotional distress or developmental issues provide parents the peace of mind they need to ensure their child’s needs are met even when they can’t be there throughout the day. Childcare specialists work in large childcare centers, preschools and public schools or may also work in the home caring for one or multiple children at a time. For any individual with the special gifts and talents necessary to connect with young children, working as a professional in this field with the ability to create and foster an educational/developmental environment provides a rewarding career that projected to grow 14% to 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The Childcare Specialist Program

This program introduces the historical, theoretical and developmental foundations for educating and caring for young children. With particular emphasis on caring for children from birth through age 8, this program takes students through a range of topics including the roles, responsibilities and requirements of individuals working in early childhood settings, current issues that have implications on children, families and early childhood professionals, and age-related developmental accomplishments. Alongside ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all children in their care, this program will ensure students have a firm grasp on the educational and developmental needs of young children in order to create a stimulating, nurturing and fun environment for all children in their care.

Program Objective

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the roles, responsibilities, and requirements for those who work in early childhood education (ECE) settings and the evolution of the field of ECE
  • Analyze current issues in ECE that have implications for children, families, and society
  • Describe the age-related developmental accomplishments of young children from birth through age 8 in each of the developmental domains
  • Analyze programs that support individual differences, culturally responsive, and inclusive
  • Analyze ECE standards as related to preparing developmentally appropriate activities
  • Analyze practices that ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all children
  • Compare a variety of guidance strategies to help children develop emotional self-regulation and avoid challenging behaviors
  • Describe strategies that foster childcare worker and family partnerships
  • Describe the role of assessment/documentation to inform curriculum development and improve care, child outcomes, and early childhood program quality
  • Evaluate the attributes of professionalism in ECE including advocacy, and social justice

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There is a National Certification exam available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • National Career Certification Board (NCCB) Certified Child Care Worker (CCCW) Certification Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.


National Certification

Upon successful completion of this  Auburn University program, students would be eligible to sit for the National Career Certification Board (NCCB) Certified Child Care Worker (CCCW) Certification Exam and the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program at  Auburn University will be prepared and are eligible to sit for these national certification exams. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for these national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so.  Auburn University works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.

Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location.  Auburn University works with national organizations and has the ability to place students in externship opportunities nationwide.