Child Care Career Pathways with High School Diploma

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in childcare or furthering your early childhood education after graduating from high school, our online child care high school classes can help you begin to prepare for a job in the field while you earn you diploma. You’ll complete your online high school core classes, like English, science, and math, then work toward a diploma or degree in childcare and early childhood education in five elective courses Then you will follow our childcare career pathway by taking five elective career-based courses.. Your career-focused electives are transferable to the Penn Foster Child Care Professional Career Diploma Program, giving you a head start on becoming a preschool teacher, nanny, or childcare provider.

Childcare Workers





State Licensing

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Save up to $366 Ends 10/26/2021

Cost of program


$1,315 Save $366


$50/month, Start for as low as $1

800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM EST)

child care worker holding letters.

Child Care Career Pathways Courses


General High School Courses





Social Studies

Health & Physical Education

  • Technology Requirements - As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® Sierra Version 11.2 or later, access to a word processing program to complete written assignments, and an email account to complete this program with Penn Foster.

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Related Career Pathways


What does a child development class in high school cover?

Your high school childcare career classes cover foundational skills you’ll need to take the next steps toward a career path working with children. You’ll cover the basics of working with young children in a daycare or preschool setting, including child development, how to plan curriculum that helps children learn and grow, and important safety and health skills. Once you’ve graduated from the program, your childcare classes can be transferred to our Child Care Professional Career Diploma so you can continue your education.


How do you get certified to work at a daycare?

While there’s not a required certification that you need to work in a daycare, there are a few things that childcare facilities look for in employees and some industry credentials that can help you stand out. Before being hired at a daycare or preschool, you’ll need to pass a criminal background check and most states may also require that you obtain the appropriate clearances from federal or state child protective agencies. Most employers will cover the cost of obtaining these background checks and clearances, though some may ask you to pay for them yourself and will reimburse you after you’ve been cleared.

Additionally, many childcare professionals will want to earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. This credential may not be required for all roles in a daycare facility but it can help you stand out when you’re applying to jobs and even allow you to earn a higher salary.


What do childcare workers do?

Childcare workers are responsible for overseeing the care and development of young children in daycare centers, preschools, and even as nannies in private homes. Day-to-day, they’re duties include supervising the children in their care, organizing mealtimes, organize activities and games to help children learn, and more.


What skills does a childcare worker need?

A successful childcare worker has a few important skills. These include patience, strong communication skills, decision-making skills, and empathy and compassion.

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*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. "Childcare Workers." Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accessed June 16, 2021

Statements found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are not a guarantee of any post-graduation salary, in part because the data used to create the Occupational Outlook Handbook includes workers from differing educational backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographic areas of the country.