Miami Dade College’s School of Education is creating two new child care certificate programs that are expected to launch in the Fall of 2019.
The two certificates are in early childhood special education and child care management for center owners.
“These programs were introduced because nothing like them had existed before,” said dean of school education Susan Neimand. “They are absolutely essential certificates that the School of Education is excited and proud to see introduced.”
However, the progression of the certificates has been slowed by the guidelines set by the Florida Department of Education. From Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, the FLDOE conducted a state frameworks review (which Miami Dade College’s School of Education hosted and led) at the InterAmerican Campus.
The FLDOE’s state supervisor, the office of early learning and 13 institutions of higher education gathered to revise the associate in science for early childhood education competencies to make sure they align with the state’s guidelines.
“As it stands now, there [are] too many sections within the framework,” Neimand said. “We shredded the guidelines down to what works in today’s classroom and we believe that it was a successful meeting to improve upon the state’s education.”
Child care management for center owners is a four course,12 credit certificate and is team-taught with the school of business. The certificate provides center owners with the legal, financial and early childhood information to open a center.
“Center owners are business people who generally have little understanding of developmentally appropriate practices and Department of Children and Families guidelines. These are business people who need to understand early childhood education concepts so that their centers provide high quality to all children,” Neimand said. “These courses provide a balance between business acumen to run a profitable center and early childhood education to run a high quality center. ”
Early Childhood Special Education is also a four course, 12 credit certificate. The program is for child care practitioners working with young children from birth to age five.
“Most care providers have basic training, but need special training to work with children with exceptionalities,” Neimand said. “With the increase of autism and the ability to identify learning anomalies, MDC’s School of Education is proudly responding to our community’s need. It is a necessity to have providers who are trained to work with these unique populations.”