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WITC provides childcare professionals with free courses

(12-20-2016) WITC provided no-cost credentials to staff at two- and three-star YoungStar childcare providers through the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge grant. WITC was able to serve 42 students who took some or all of the grant-funded courses across the WITC district.

The training provided childcare providers from centers and family childcare homes with information about child development and best practices in teaching, learning, caregiving, curriculum and environments. Childcare providers increase their YoungStar rating by continuing their education. YoungStar is Wisconsin's childcare quality rating and improvement system; the system awards up to five stars for the best quality of care.

"A well-trained early childhood workforce will immediately benefit the children and families who receive care, and it will benefit the community as these children grow up to be healthy, productive members of society," said Amy Pennington, WITC early childhood education instructor.

Students of the program received the professional credential for infants/toddlers for a total of 12 credits earned. The 18-month program concluded with students developing a comprehensive professional portfolio, which was presented to a Commissioner from The Registry, Wisconsin's recognition system for the childhood care and education professional, who then awarded the credential.

"The infant/toddler credential has been such an asset to me as a parent, a family daycare provider and an early childhood educator," said Angela Reardon, student in the professional credential for infants/toddlers courses and owner of Apples and Bananas Family Daycare. "Whether one has been in early childhood education for many years or is new to the field, this course is essential. Through this course, and with the inspiration of my classmates and the wonderful instructor, Kari Merritt, I have been able to find focus and purpose to my home daycare program. It has given me the tools to create an effective, rich, play-based, child-focused program."

"It was an honor to work with such a dedicated and passionate group that was so eager to learn," said Kari Merritt, WITC early childhood education instructor. "I couldn't be prouder of all they accomplished and the difference that they are making in the field of early childhood."

WITC partnered with local Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association as well as community partners to provide this programming.

WITC is grateful to all our community partnerships. Your support of the WITC Foundation is essential to student success. For information on how to contribute, visit

A nationally top-ranked college and a designated 2016 Military Friendly ® School, WITC serves the educational and career needs of more than 25,000 residents of Northwestern Wisconsin each year. With multiple campuses, WITC offers career-focused associate degree programs, technical diplomas, short-term certificates, customized business training, and a wide array of courses for personal or career enrichment. WITC is a member of Wisconsin Technical College System and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, call 800.243.WITC or visit WITC is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer and Educator.