Child Development Training

Certificate 5 months

Child Development Certificate Online

If you're looking to start a new career in childcare and prepare to earn your CDA Credential in the future, our Child Development Certificate online can help you take the first steps towards professional development today! Through self-paced online classes, you'll learn the fundamentals of early childhood education on your schedule.

  • Can help prepare students for entry-level childcare careers in preschools, daycares, and more.
  • Fulfills the requirement of 120 hours of formal education needed to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential.
  • Your online child development certificate covers foundational early childhood education knowledge like child development, the importance of health and nutrition for children, and more.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $70

Cost of Program


$529 Save $70


$49/month, Start for as low as $39

1-800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM EST)

early childhood educator teaching student the alphabet.

What You Will Learn

  1. How to effectively supervise and monitor the safety of children in your care.
  2. How to organize activities and implement a curriculum that allows children to learn about the world and explore interests, support children's emotional and social development, and encourage understanding of others.
  3. How to recognize signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring the problems to the attention of parents.
  4. How to keep records of children’s progress, routines, and interests, including daily observations and information about activities, meals served, and medications administered.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Child Development Career Outcomes

Childcare Workers







Early childhood educators work in preschools, child care centers, nursery schools, public or private schools or programs, and in-home child care programs. Our Child Development Certificate online can help you build the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful childcare worker, while also fulfilling the educational requirement to earn a CDA.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Additionally, those working with children may be required to successfully pass a background check and have necessary clearances to work in the field.

Child Development Certificate Online Curriculum

  • 4 courses
  • 35.5 continuing education units (CEUs)
  • 18 exams
  • 2 submitted projects

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 5 months
  • Average time = 9 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework.

In our Child Development Certificate online, you'll learn the fundamental knowledge that can help you prepare to take the next steps toward a career in a preschool, daycare, or another childcare facility. Your classes also fulfill the 120 hours of formal education needed to apply for your CDA. Your online child development courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child
  • Assessment in Early Childhood Education

Show Full Curriculum

Child Development Success Stories

Penn Foster’s Child Development Training can help prepare you for the first step in your childcare career. This program has helped recent graduates find new jobs or start their own businesses while learning at their own pace. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
quote icon

Melonie E.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2021

"I would recommend Penn Foster to anyone... It’s a convenient way for you to accomplish your goal. You work at your own pace, nobody else's."

Looking for training in early childhood education for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
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Child Development Certificate Online Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our Child Development Certificate online. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $70

Cost of Program


$529 Save $70

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Save up to $15

Cost of Program


$529 Save $15

  • Pay $49 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Credit card, PayPal, or ACH from bank account
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $49 per month
  • Start for $49 down
  • Mail your payment using coupon book
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-275-4410 9AM - 9PM EST

Request Info

Our Proven Child Development Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced


  • Digital study guides
  • Self-check quizzes
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Student Portal Help Center


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services
  • Robust learning resources

Related Programs

Child Development Certificate Online FAQs

Why become a child care professional?

If you love working with children and want to play a vital role in shaping their education and emotional development, become a child care professional could be the perfect career for you! Besides allowing you to do what you love, jobs in childcare are expected to remain steady, offering you the opportunity to find work in preschools, daycares, and more.

What are the five stages of child development?

The five stages of child development are

  • Cognitive Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Fine Motor Skill Development
  • Gross Motor Skill Development

Through your online child development courses, you'll build an understanding of each stage and how it is relevant to helping children grow and learn.

What do you learn in child development?

In your child development courses, you'll learn the fundamentals of early childhood education, child growth and development, and health, safety, and nutrition for young children.

What jobs can you get with a child development certificate?

While a certificate-level program alone may not necessarily qualify you for employment in the field, earning a Child Development Training Certificate can help you gain the foundational skills that are necessary to work with young children. After completing the certificate online, you'll also fulfill the educational requirement to earn a CDA Credential, which can help you boost your resume and advance in a child care career.


The completion of a certificate-level program does not typically qualify a student for employment. Completion of this program may assist students who have previous academic or work-related experience improve their chances for promotion or entry-level employment.


* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. "Childcare Workers." Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accessed September 27, 2022.

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.