Online continuing education available for Early Childhood professionals through ISU

The quality of care that children receive between birth and age five sets the stage for the rest of their lives. With that in mind, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers professional development for child care providers.

Participation in professional development is an important part of providing quality care and education. Research indicates a strong correlation between formal education and training of providers and quality early care and education for children. Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) regulations provide minimum standards for continuing education. Many Iowa initiatives encourage child care professionals to exceed minimum professional development expectations.

“Early childhood professionals often work long hours and lead busy personal lives. By providing online courses, we give a convenient option to grow knowledge, expand skills and meet Iowa licensing requirements,” says Cindy Thompson, a human sciences specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The ISU Extension and Outreach team of human sciences subject matter experts offers online courses on a vast array of subjects including dealing with stress, STEM, literacy, and guidance. Most courses are available to any early childhood professional, but some are specific to home providers, center staff and administrators.

Some courses are eligible for National Administrator Credential (NAC) credit as well as Continuing Education Units (CEUs). All courses are eligible for DHS credit, just like attending a face-to-face class. Through the use of polls, chat boxes and small group discussions, participants interact with peers.

To see a listing of all current online options for early childhood professionals offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, visit Iowa early childhood professionals with questions or suggestions related to the Early Learning Online options may contact Cindy Thompson at

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