Whether you're a center-based or family child care home professional, Starting Point offers free professional development opportunities, workshops and training classes on hundreds of topics. These classes will help you grow your skills, obtain credentials and start you on a career path. Start by registering for an OPIN number at https://login.occrra.org/. You’ll find information and easy-to-find training classes by clicking here or on the statewide Professional Development Network at https://login.occrra.org/ under PD Track, Search for Trainings.
Earn the nationally-recognized Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and chances are you’ll be in demand by families and early childhood administrators alike. Starting Point’s CDA Preparation Program will give you the specialized training, support and resources you need to pass the CDA assessment and turn your job into a profession. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Scholarships for CDA assessments are available through T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®OHIO. For requirements and an application, go to http://teach.occrra.org/documents/TEACH_CDA_Fee_Eligibility_and_Application.pdf. Supported by Cuyahoga County Invest in Children.
Interested in obtaining an Associate or Bachelor’s degree? T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®OHIO, provides scholarships to assist early childhood professionals in earning Associate or Bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education through participating colleges. With a degree, you’ll be able to earn more and gain credibility as an early childhood professional. Assistance is available for the cost of tuition, books and related education expenses. Contact the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA) for information and applications. Watch the video Who's at School Today? Supported by Cuyahoga County Invest in Children.
If you want to enhance the quality of your early childhood center or family child care home and be recognized for excellent care, you’ll want to look into these programs:
Your center or family child care home can work to achieve quality ratings of one to five stars, through the State of Ohio’s voluntary Step Up to Quality program. These ratings show families that you offer the high quality care they want for their children. For more information, contact Gloria Anderson or log onto http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc/stepUPQuality.stm
Accreditation To become an accredited, an early childhood center or family child care home must measure up to national standards of quality established by the:
Each of these organizations requires your center or home to voluntarily submit to a rigorous examination of their practices, staff and activities. This is the highest credential available.
Care For Kids The Starting Point program recognizes family child care home providers in Cuyahoga county that have achieved high quality standards. Providers must be licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and participate in specific Starting Point child development, technical assistance, site visits, inspections and criminal checks. Those that meet quality standards are recognized as Care for Kids Homes or the highest level, Care for Kids Gold Seal Homes. For information, contact Beverly Williams. This program is part of Cuyahoga County's Invest in Children.
Starting Point offers assistance to child care centers and family child care home providers who care for children with physical, developmental, health or behavioral problems. With help from a network of experts, we provide training, consultation, adaptive toys, equipment and facility alteration. For information see Working with Children with Special Needs to SpecialNeeds Provider brochure. Special Needs Child Care is part of Cuyahoga County's Invest in Children program.
If you’re interested in starting your own early childhood center, Starting Point offers start-up assistance. Periodic workshops and consultation are available. Contact Elizabeth Saraniti. If you’d like to become a family child care home provider, contact Beverly Williams.
The Job Bank is an excellent resource for early childhood professionals and centers alike. The centers use it to seek employees and the child care professional can look for jobs in the field. Career counseling is also offered here. Contact Starting Point.
For information on professional development opportunities in Northeast Ohio, click here.