8 Free Online Training Courses with Certificates

Learn valuable childcare skills with these free online training courses

8 Free Online Training Courses with Certificates

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  1. Online childcare training courses are a convenient way to learn new techniques and skills to help keep children safe and healthy and create a high-quality, inclusive program.
  3. Woman working on her laptop
  4. Source 

Free online childcare training courses with certificates   

1. Trauma-informed care and the pyramid model

ProSolutions Training offers a free childcare training course on trauma-informed care and applying these practices to the pyramid model.

"Trauma-informed Care and the Pyramid Model" can be completed in five hours. The course offers a free certificate of completion and 0.50 continuing education credits.

2. Recognizing and reporting suspected child abuse

ProSolutions Training offers a free childcare training course that teaches educators how to recognize signs of child abuse, the importance of reporting suspected abuse, and how to identify children who may be at higher risk of being abused or neglected. 

“Recognizing and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse” can be completed in two hours. The course offers a free certificate of completion and 0.20 continuing education credits.

3. Classroom WISE

The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network partners with the National Center for School Mental Health to offer Classroom Well-Being Information and Strategies for Educators (WISE).

Classroom WISE consists of several modules to choose from that are self-paced and can be completed in five hours. The course offers a free certificate of completion once completed.

The training description specifies the online courses is for K-12 educators, but it deserves a notable mention as many early learning centers include kindergarten readiness programs or a kindergarten class. 

4. Obesity prevention training

Bright Futures offers the free online course "One Step at a Time: Helping Young Children Be Physically Active!" One Step at a Time is a self-guided obesity prevention training course for childcare educators.

The course curriculum consists of three modules:

Promoting Physical Activity for Young Children:

This module: 

  • Discusses why it’s essential for children ages one to four to be physically active
  • Describes barriers to physical activity that young children may face
  • Explains how much physical activity young children need

children exercising


Promoting Children's Physical Activity in Child Care Programs:

This module covers:

  • How childcare providers can promote physical activity in their programs
  • The differences between inside and outside play, structured and unstructured physical activity, and moderate and vigorous physical activity
  • How to promote physical activity in children with disabilities
  • How to handle discipline and screen time

Working with Parents to Promote Children's Physical Activity

This module: 

  • Discusses adults’ role in promoting children’s physical activity
  • Gives childcare providers tips to share with parents to help encourage children's physical activity

You can complete the obesity prevention training course in one hour. After completing the self-assessment quizzes at the end of each module, you can download a free certificate of completion. You can also apply for one continuing education hour from your state.

5. Pediatric first aid

First Aid for Free offers a free online course that teaches you first aid for infants and young children.

The pediatric first aid course curriculum consists of two modules:

Lifesaving skills

This introductory module covers: 

  • An introduction to the pediatric online first aid course
  • The primary survey for children and babies: DRAB
  • Unconscious and breathing children and babies: the recovery position
  • Unconscious and not breathing children and babies: CPR
  • Choking

Medical conditions

This module covers the following conditions: 

  • Meningitis
  • Asthma in children
  • Croup
  • Febrile seizures

The self-guided pediatric first aid course includes a quiz at the end of each module. In addition, educators receive a free certificate once they complete the course units. 

Since this module is self-guided, the time frame depends on how quickly the module and quiz are completed.

6. Watch me! Celebrating milestones and sharing concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a free training course that teaches early childhood educators how to monitor children’s progress toward developmental milestones and discuss children’s progress with their parents. This course includes a free certificate of completion. After completing the course, educators can earn training credit by completing an evaluation and passing a post-test with at least an 80%.

This course:  

  • Explains the importance of monitoring children’s development
  • Describes educators’ role in monitoring children’s development
  • Explains how to monitor children’s developmental milestones and discuss findings with children’s parents

7. Social and emotional competence of children

ProSolutions Training offers a free childcare training course that teaches educators how social and emotional competence in children can make it less likely for children to be mistreated.  

“Social and Emotional Competence of Children” can be completed in two hours. The course offers a free certificate of completion but doesn’t offer continuing education credits.

8. Playing outdoors

Care Courses offers a free childcare training course that teaches educators about the benefits of outdoor play for young children.  

“Playing Outdoors” teaches educators:

  • The year-round benefits of outdoor play
  • How to recognize outdoor environments and activities that encourage young children to explore their environment

“Playing Outdoors” can be completed in one hour. The course offers a free certificate of completion and 0.1 continuing education credits.

9. Working with children with special educational needs — free with a paid certificate

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Global Text Project offers a free Alison course that teaches childcare professionals how to work with children with special educational needs. The course also teaches childcare providers the core elements of special education and the roles and responsibilities of educators.

This course describes the most common disabilities educators encounter in the classroom and explains how to develop an individual educational plan (IEP) for students with special educational needs.

"Working with Students with Special Educational Needs" can be completed in approximately three hours. The course offers a certificate of completion for $21.44 that you can download as a PDF. You can also buy a printed copy of your certificate for $27 and a framed copy for $37.

Ongoing asynchronous professional development 

If you’re a childcare director, you can offer these budget-friendly training courses for staff to choose from based on their needs and have them complete it from the convenience of the center or home asynchronously as part of their professional development requirements. 

As you hire new staff, develop a strong onboarding plan for your newest team members, so they can feel welcomed and your investment in their growth with a robust professional development plan. Download our staff onboarding checklist to ensure you’re preparing a meaningful onboarding experience.

Get your free staff onboarding checklist - brightwheel

Check out our free staff onboarding checklist so you don't miss a single step!

Gain the skills to succeed by enrolling in an online childcare training course

Enrolling in an online childcare training course is a convenient way to gain the skills you need to excel as a childcare educator. Earning a childcare training certificate proves that you have the skills to ensure the well-being of the children in your care and that your childcare center prides itself on hiring staff that knows how to keep children safe and healthy.


Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

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