Child Care Foundational Training 

Cartoon of preschool teacher and students sitting on floor and looking at a globe

Background

In early 2022, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) created a workgroup to review the noncredit Child Care Foundational Trainings (CCFT) with a goal to ensure the content was accurate, relevant, and represented a diverse, equitable, and inclusive lens.

In June 2022, DCF and our training organization partners began offering free Child Care Foundational Trainings in response to the workforce shortage in child care.  

The funding for these free Child Care Foundational Trainings closed May 31, 2023. As of the close of this free program, 9,184 individuals completed the free trainings.

Beginning June 1, 2023, the foundational trainings will still be offered by approved training agencies, but at a cost to participants. 

The Child Care Foundational Trainings include the following noncredit trainings:

  • Introduction to the Child Care Profession
  • Skills and Strategies for the Child Care Teacher
  • Fundamentals of Infant and Toddler Care
  • Fundamentals of Family Child Care

See the DCF Approved Training Agencies Offering Noncredit Child Care Courses publication and the Wisconsin Registry Statewide Training Calendar for the list of agencies currently offering these courses.

Learn more about starting a licensed child care program

New Child Care Foundational Trainings Coming in 2024!

Watch for new and updated Foundational Child Care Trainings to be offered statewide in 2024. Many of the current courses are nearly 20 years old and DCF wants to ensure that:

  • We are providing individuals looking to enter the child care field with the most updated information, and
  • All individuals entering the field are receiving consistent, high-quality trainings with real-time feedback and discussion with instructors and peers.

Sign up for a February Train-the-Trainer Informational Webinar!

CCFT Train-the-Trainer Informational Webinars February 8 and 23

CCFT Train-the-Trainer Informational Webinars in February

Join DCF and the Wisconsin Registry when we host two energizing Child Care Foundational Training (CCFT) Train-the-Trainer Informational Webinars. These February webinars are a pre-requisite to becoming an approved CCFT facilitator through a course-specific train-the-trainer event.

Current facilitators must attend one of the two available webinar sessions to maintain their active trainer status. Tier 3 trainers interested in becoming an approved CCFT trainer may attend to learn more.

The webinars provide an overview of the new TSO and Trainer approval process, as well as key information regarding the revised CCFT trainings. And, you’ll get a walk-through of the new online module delivery method!

See the webinar schedule below and click on the registration link to learn more and register to attend. You only need to attend one session.

Child Care Foundational Training Timeline - Q3 2023 through Q3 2024

Find more information in the FAQs below.

General Questions Regarding the Child Care Foundational Trainings
  1. Who are the Child Care Foundational Trainings meant for?          
    The Child Care Foundational Trainings (CCFT) are for any individuals looking to enter the child care workforce. These entry-level, department-approved noncredit courses will meet any of the educational requirements for certified and licensed child care programs.
  2. Are these trainings different from the department-approved noncredit, entry-level trainings?          
    No. The Child Care Foundational Trainings are the department-approved noncredit, entry-level trainings for early childhood care and education professionals.
  3. Will I get credit for completing these trainings?          
    No, the foundational trainings are noncredit trainings that meet most of the educational qualifications for certification and licensing.
  4. Why is DCF updating the trainings?         
    The noncredit foundational trainings were created in 2003-2005, and only one of the four had been updated since then, meaning most of the training materials were almost 20 years old. To ensure that we are providing individuals looking to enter the child care field with the most updated information, we created this CCFT project to revise the training curricula.
  5. What are the new delivery methods for Child Care Foundational Trainings?         
    Trainings will be offered in blended and face-to-face formats. Face-to-face includes both in-person and virtual platforms, such as Zoom, Skype, Teams, etc. Blended means training time is split between face-to-face and web-based (online) instruction.
  6. Will correspondence coursework still be offered?         
    No. Correspondence coursework will no longer be offered. All correspondence coursework must be completed no later than July 31, 2024, in order to  meet child care licensing and certification requirements.
  7. Why has DCF changed the method of delivery for these trainings?           
    DCF wants to ensure all individuals entering the field are receiving consistent, high-quality trainings with real-time feedback and discussion with instructors and peers. Updating delivery methods, including adding a blended option, will meet DCF’s goal while still ensuring trainings are accessible to individuals.
  8. Are any of the trainings prerequisites for other trainings?         
    No, trainings are not required to be completed in a specific order. However, DCF recommends the trainings be taken in the following order:

Recommended training order: 1. Introduction to the Early Childhood Education Profession 2. Skills and Strategies for the Early Childhood Education Teacher 3. Fundamentals of Infact and Toddler Care

  1. What are the hours for each training? 
    1. Introduction to the Early Childhood Profession: 50 hours
    2. Skills and Strategies for the Early Childhood Education Teacher: 50 hours
    3. Fundamentals of Infant and Toddler Care: 50 hours
    4. Fundamentals of Family Child Care: 30 hours
  2. Why have the hours changed for these trainings?          
    The care and learning opportunities children experience in their first five years are critical for healthy brain development and there is a lot of information providers need to know. As we have worked on this project over the last year, we have realized that we could not fit all of the important information individuals need to build a strong foundation in the ECE field with shorter trainings.
  3. Since the revised curricula include Wisconsin Model of Early Learning Standards (WMELS) content, will these foundational trainings give credit towards WMELS training?          
    No. While these trainings provide a good foundation and include many connections to the WMELS, they do not cover all the content and learning objectives from the full 15-20-hour training. To get credit for completing a WMELS training, individuals would need to complete the full 15-20-hour WMELS training or an approved higher education course where all the learning objectives are covered.
  4. Will these trainings affect my YoungStar rating?          
    No.  YoungStar education requirements for 3, 4, and 5 Star providers are based on an individual’s credit-based education through their Wisconsin Registry Career Level.
  5. Will these trainings be offered in languages other than English?          
    Yes. The foundational trainings will also be available in Spanish and Hmong. Availability of these trainings will depend on multilingual trainer availability to offer these trainings.
  6. Will I still receive a printed postcard in the mail showing I’ve completed the training?          
    No. As of June 1, 2023, the Wisconsin Registry has switched to electronic postcards. The electronic postcard will contain the same information as before. It will also include the Registry ID Number in the lower left corner and a QR code in the lower right corner. The QR code is a security measure to help prevent fraud. To access your electronic postcard, you will need a free Registry account (not a Registry membership). For more information, visit the Registry’s CCFT Certificate Support Guide or contact the Registry.
Questions Regarding the Timeline of the Child Care Foundational Trainings
  1. When must current coursework in the free training program be completed?           
    The free Child Care Foundational Training program is made possible by federal COVID-relief funding and ended on May 31, 2023. All courses must have been completed by the end of the program.
  2. When is the last day to complete correspondence CCFT training?         
    Correspondence trainings must be completed on or before July 31, 2024.
  3. Will my previous correspondence training continue to meet the child care licensing and certification requirements?         
    Yes. Any previously approved training completed on or before July 31, 2024 will still meet child care licensing and certification qualification requirements. Trainings beginning on or after June 1, 2024, must meet the revised content and new delivery standards.
Questions Regarding the Revised Child Care Foundational Trainings
  1. When will the blended revised Child Care Foundational Trainings be available to the public?         
    The blended revised Child Care Foundational Trainings will be available beginning June 1, 2024.
  2. When will the face-to-face and blended revised Child Care Foundational Trainings be available to the public?         
    The face-to-face revised Child Care Foundational Trainings will be available beginning June 1, 2024.
  3. How will individuals enroll for the blended courses?         
    Individuals will enroll using the Wisconsin Registry’s online registration system. When events are posted on the statewide training calendar, a student will be able to register right from there. Training Sponsoring Organizations (TSOs) will work with Registry staff to set up their online registration which includes where they want the training fee to be deposited.
  4. Are currently approved trainers automatically approved trainers for the revised trainings?         
    No. All trainers interested in teaching the revised trainings will be required to go through the new trainer approval process, including the Train-the-Trainer events.
  5. When will the Train-the-Trainer be scheduled for the revised Child Care Foundational Trainings?         
    The in-person Train-the-Trainer events will be held in late April 2023 and early May 2023. Only Tier 3 Trainers who have attended the Child Care Foundational Training Train-the-Trainer Informational Webinar in February and completed the new trainer approval process through the Wisconsin Registry will be invited to attend the Train-the-Trainer event specific to the Child Care Foundational Training they want to be approved to teach. Information on future Train-the-Trainer events will be shared after the roll out of the revised CCFTs.
  6. How often will the foundational trainings be revised?          
    The foundational trainings will be reviewed at least every two years and revisions made where necessary.
Trainer-Specific Questions

Trainer Qualifications

  1. How does a Training Sponsoring Organization (TSO) become an approved CCFT TSO?      
    Each TSO interested in offering the CCFT will need to first become a Wisconsin Registry approved TSO. As the TSO goes through the Wisconsin Registry approval process, the TSO can request to become a CCFT TSO by reviewing and signing a CCFT TSO Agreement.
    More information about that process can be found on the Wisconsin Registry’s website.
  2. What are the requirements to train for these courses?

Initial requirements 

  • Work for or contract with a Wisconsin Registry approved CCFT TSO
  • Tier 3 Trainer Endorsement from the Wisconsin Registry
  • Approved AHT trainer, for those interested in teaching the Intro to the ECE Profession and Infant and Toddler courses 
  • Two years of experience in an ECE program working directly with children 
  • Complete the Train-the-Trainer events 
  • Sign a CCFT Trainer Agreement through the Wisconsin Registry for using the DCF trainings

Ongoing requirements 

  • Participate in the Community of Practice and attend at least one event per year. 
  • Teach each training for which the trainer is approved at least once every two years.  
  1. Do the Train-the-Trainer events cover all four trainings? 
    Yes, the Train-the-Trainer events will cover all four trainings. Each foundational training will be covered on a separate day, so trainers will be able to determine which events they need to participate in depending on which trainings they want to be approved for. 
  2. When will the Train-the-Trainer events take place?     
    The in-person Train-the-Trainer events will be held in late April 2023 and early May 2023. 
Date CCFT
Monday, April 22 Fundamentals of Family Child Care
Tuesday, April 23 Fundamentals of Infant Toddler Care
Wednesday, May 1 Skills & Strategies for the Child Care Teacher
Thursday, May 2 Introduction to the Child Care Profession
  1. How can I register for the train-the-trainer events?
    Registration will be sent to qualified trainers who have updated their WI Registry trainer profile to show that they would like to become a CCFT trainer. Individuals who are not qualified trainers are not eligible to attend the CCFT Train-the-Trainer events.
  2. Can a trainer be trained and approved for only one training?     
    Yes, trainers will be able to choose which of the four foundational trainings they want to be approved for. This will be included as part of the application through the Wisconsin Registry.
  3. Will agencies be granted training approval, or will the individual trainers be granted approval?     
    Both training agencies and individual trainers will need to be approved through the Wisconsin Registry.
  4. Are currently approved trainers automatically allowed to train these courses?     
    No. All trainers interested in teaching the foundational trainings will be required to go through the new trainer approval process.
  5. What is the time line for a trainer to be marked “inactive?”      
    All time lines for inactivity are calculated from the end date of the most recent training or event. See examples below:     
    Inactivity due to lack of training: A trainer must teach a course within a two-year time span. For example, Trainer X offers Introduction to the Early Child Care Profession, which ends August 6, 2024, and does not offer it again. They will be marked “inactive” on August 7, 2026. 
    Inactivity due to failure to participate in a Community of Practice (CoP): A trainer must participate annually with a CoP event. For example, Trainer Y attends a CoP virtual event on April 7, 2024, but does not participate again. They will be marked “inactive” on April 8, 2025.
  6. How can we check a trainer’s active or inactive status?     
    The department and the Wisconsin Registry are evaluating the best option for this type of list; more detail will be available in the future.
  7. Over the course of two years of activity, do trainers need to offer all four trainings, or can they specialize in one training?      
    Trainers will need to offer each of the trainings for which they are approved. Trainers will indicate on the Wisconsin Registry’s trainer application which of the four trainings they would like to offer.
  8. Are there other ways for trainers to get re-authorized to train these trainings?     
    If a trainer becomes inactive for failing to teach the trainings at least once every two years, for failing to participate in the community of practice, or not renewing their Wisconsin Registry trainer requirements, they will be placed on an inactive list. To become an active trainer again, it depends on the length of time a trainer has been inactive.
    • If a trainer has been inactive for two years or less, they will need to participate in a Community of Practice event to become active again.      
      Example: Trainer A offers the Intro training on March 15, 2024, but does not offer it again. On March 15, 2026, they will be placed on an inactive list for failing to offer the trainings every two years. Trainer A decides in June 2028 that they want to offer the Intro training again. To become active again, they must attend a Community of Practice event prior to teaching the training.
    • If a trainer has been inactive for more than 2 years, they will need to go through the trainer approval process again.      
      Example: Trainer B offers the Infant and Toddler training on June 8, 2024, but does not offer it again for the next two years. On June 8, 2026, Trainer B is placed on an inactive list. In August 2028, Trainer B wants to begin offering the Infant and Toddler training again; to become an active trainer, Trainer B will need to reapply through the Wisconsin Registry to become an approved CCFT trainer, attend a Train-the-Trainer event, and begin participating in the Community of Practice.

Community of Practice Questions

  1. Will there be four different Communities of Practice?     
    No, there will only be one Community of Practice (CoP) for all four foundational trainings, held twice a year. Once the CoP gets started, the group can provide feedback about the potential for training-specific check-ins between the two large group meetings held each year.
  2. Will the Community of Practice be held virtually or in-person?    
    The first CoP will be held in person to encourage networking and collaboration. The format of future CoP meetings will be determined at a later date. 
High School Specific Questions

Do high school staff who wish to teach these DCF Child Care Foundational Trainings to high school students need to meet the trainer qualifications to do so?         
Yes, all trainers will need to meet these requirements. If a high school teacher wants to offer these trainings but does not meet the requirements, they could partner with an approved training agency and trainer to offer the trainings to their students. In that scenario, the approved trainer will be the one delivering the materials and responsible for the training.

Contact Information

Who can we contact to with further questions about the Foundational Trainings?

If you have any questions regarding the CCFT project, you can email DCFDECECCTraining@wisconsin.gov.