Child Care

Education, Human and Public Services

This 118-hour pathway certificate prepares students for entry-level work as caregivers in a child care center and/or transfer into the Early Childhood Education diploma program. Instruction begins with an introduction to the early childhood profession in which major learning theories, ethical standards, and current trends that influence best practice are explored. Students will learn assessment strategies to plan developmentally appropriate curriculum and practice, and how health, safety and nutrition influence the motor, cognitive and emotional development of young children. Sixteen hours of field observation in a variety of actual childcare settings exposes students to culturally, linguistically and ability-diverse young children and families. A component of this program is approved as a substitute for the "Essentials Preservice/Orientation for Child Care Providers" that meets requirements of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Federal Child Care Development Block Grants. Upon successful completion of this career pathway certificate, students will also have completed Mandatory Reporter, CPR/First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogen certifications.

Award: Career Pathway Certificate
Credits: Noncredit
Locations: Town Clock Business Center (Dubuque)

Paying for the Program


You may qualify to earn a Career Pathway Certificate at no cost if you meet all eligibility requirements.

Career Outlook

$16,717 - 43,462

Estimated annual salary range for Education, Human and Public Services graduates based on EMSI. Salary range represents 10th percentile - median annual wage for related occupations ​within a 100-mile radius from the center distance between Calmar and Peosta Campuses.

View Career Details
  • Register and pay tuition now for the next class offering or Apply for Tuition Assistance
  • For Tuition Assistance contact an NICC Business and Community Solutions Program Success Coach to complete the following:
    • Tuition Assistance Program Application
    • National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) Assessment
    • Interview

Program Requirements

  • Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Care Provider Physical Examination Report (Form 470-5152)
  • Immunization Review
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Screening
  • Overall Health Status
  • Determination of Suitability for Childcare
  • Background Check with Finger Prints
  • Drug Testing
Request Information

New for spring 2019, in partnership with Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA and Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, the College will provide on-site child care at no cost while students are in class for the Child Care program. Full-time employed graduates may qualify for additional child care support for up to 12 months at a licensed or registered child care provider. Space is limited so early program registration is recommended.

Samaria Neely
Career Outreach Coordinator

  • Email:
  • Phone: 888.642.2338
  • Location: Dubuque