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DMACC Newton Campus Rises to Child Care Challenges

DMACC Newton Campus is offering a new, one semester Early Childhood Education certificate program. (Pixabay)
DMACC Newton Campus is offering a new, one semester Early Childhood Education certificate program. (Pixabay)
May 22, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa's economy is bouncing back, creating an increased demand for qualified child care providers.

And a central Iowa college is rising to meet the challenge.

Some child care providers had to close shop after Maytag left Newton in 2007 and jobs were lost. But a decade later, industry is picking back up with Trinity Structural Towers and TPI Composites among businesses increasing their workforce.

To help meet the needs of local families, Joe DeHart, provost of Des Moines Area Community College Newton Campus, says a new Early Childhood Education certificate program will be offered this fall.

"So we just want to be on top of that so that we make sure that whether it's first shift, second shift or third shift, our child care providers then are properly trained and they have the opportunity to get that training locally," he states.

DeHart says the one semester program is tailored for people interested in working in a preschool or day care setting, but unable to pursue a two-year degree. But course work may be applied to the Early Childhood Education Associate program.

While the certificate prepares students for an entry-level position, DeHart notes it also can help others who already are working in child care.

"It's going to improve employability,” he says. “It would improve viability if they are looking to do in-home child care.

“It will also improve the working status if they are already employed that they can come in and be eligible for raises because they've invested in their training."

In Iowa, child care workers earn on average more than $18,000, and up to nearly $24,000 a year.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA