It is recommended for those aspiring daycare providers as well as the staff to have a license prior to have a career in the field of childcare. Thus, every state of America such as Mississippi has its own licensing standard requirement.
In the state of Mississippi, each job title or position has different qualifications or requirements. However the state has general requirements in all daycare include:
- Every employee or probable of the childcare or daycare facility, be it full-time, part-time, temporary, substitute, or volunteer should have a good moral character and shall meet the least possible qualifications or requirements for the corresponding job classification as stated in the state’s requirement.
- Any individual who, in the opinion of the licensing authority, appears to be unable to physically or mentally care for children on a daily basis and/or in emergency situations will not be allowed to act as a caregiver or caregiver assistant. Any person whose ability is in question shall, at the request of the licensing authority, be able to demonstrate the ability to perform, at a minimum but not limited to the following:
- Physical ability to exit the children during a fire drill in under two minutes.
- Ability to read medication directions and properly dispense medication to children (required only if the facility dispenses medication).
The educational requirements are being discussed in the succeeding sections.
Classes offered through the State
The classes and degrees offered in various universities and colleges in the state of Mississippi are not different from those offered in other states of America. Those who want to have careers in the field of daycare or childcare education can take up degrees on childhood education, childhood development, or childcare management. Furthermore, those who took up a different course can have the chance to work in the daycare or childcare industry in the state of Mississippi as the state do sometimes credit or consider several courses which are closely related to childhood education given that the subject credits are equivalent.
For those daycare staff or teachers classes such as Child Care Laws, Child Growth and Development, Family and Community Relations, First Aid and CPR, Nutrition and Health, Psychology, and Small Business Management are the common classes included in childcare courses. Aside from these, basic education classes such as English, Mathematics, Sociology and others should also be taken up.
Certifications Given for Completed Classes
The state of Mississippi awards certificates or credentials same with the other states of America. The three most common credentials awarded to aspiring daycare providers and staff is CDA, CCP, and NAC. These certifications and credentials are given only to those individuals who have completed and finished the required coursework, accomplished the required credit hours, and acquired the minimum working experience. All states of America require daycare providers and staff to attend trainings on CPR or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and First Aid.
To gain the Child Development Associate credential or CDA, daycare providers must be a high school graduate or a holder of GED certification with 480 working hours and 120 hours for formal education with children in the last five years. The Certified Childcare Professional certificate is given to those daycare providers are intended for those daycare teachers who did not finish their college degree or taken up a different course.
Moreover, the state of Mississippi offers the NAC or the National Administrator Credential designed for aspiring daycare managers and directors. This credential concentrates more on the management of the organization as well as the administration, site maintenance, and planning and development of childcare programs.
The state of Mississippi requires a special or specific credential for daycare or childcare director, which is the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) Office for Children and Youth (OCY) Director’s Child Care Credential.
Cost of the Classes
The cost of classes for childcare degrees and courses can range from $4,500 to $25,000 per year in the universities and colleges in the state of Mississippi. Factors such as type of school (whether public or private, vocational or non-vocational), location of the school, and the degree you are currently enrolled affects the rate or cost of tuition fees.
Required Classes that Day Care Providers Should Take
Childcare courses or degrees are highly preferable and recommended for those individual who want to establish a career in daycare or childcare industry. In addition to the degrees, working experience and credit hours should also pass the requirement of the state.
For Daycare Directors/Providers
A program or childcare director (which is usually the childcare provider should be at least 21 years old and shall meet one or a combination of any of the following requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, child development, elementary education, child care, special education, psychology (with emphasis on child psychology), or family and consumer sciences (with emphasis on child development), or equivalent degree from another child-related field or course of study.
- A two-year associate degree from an accredited community or junior college in child development technology which must include a minimum of 480 hours of practical training, supervised by college instructors, in a college operated child care learning laboratory.
- A two-year associate degree from an accredited community or junior college in child development technology or child care and two years paid experience in a licensed child care facility.
- Two years paid experience as a caregiver in a licensed child care facility, and either (1) a current Child Development Associate (CDA) credential from the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition (CECPR), or (2) a Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) Office for Children and Youth (OCY) Director’s Child Care Credential, or (3) 24 semester hours credit with a grade of “C” or better from an accredited college or university in courses specific to early childhood.
- A verified certificate from the licensing agency certifying that the individual was qualified to be the director of a licensed child care facility prior to January 1, 2000 in the State of Mississippi.
Caregivers should be at least 18 years of age and shall meet one or combination of any of the following requirements:
- A high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
- A current CECPR Child Development Associate (CDA) credential or an MDHSOCY Director’s Child Care Credential.
- 3. Three years prior documented experience caring for children who are under 13 years of age and who are not related to the caregiver within the third degree computed according to civil law.
- A lead caregiver for infants and toddlers shall have 3 semester hours in infant/toddler development and care practices, from an accredited college or university, or 4.5 CEUs in infant/toddler development and care practices.
For Caregiver Assistants:
Caregiver assistants shall be at least 16 years of age and shall work under the direct on-site supervision of a director or caregiver at all times. They shall not have the direct responsibility for a group of children as the sole caregiver. Caregiver assistants under the age of 18 shall not be given the authority to discipline children.
Links and Contact Information for Class Application
There are several departments in the state of Michigan that handles childcare and family welfare. You can contact them for more information and inquiries regarding the licensing procedures, fees, classes required and the like. You can reach the following departments:
Child Care Licensing Agency
Mississippi State Department of Health
Child Care Facilities Licensure
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
Phone: (601) 364-2827
Toll Free: 866-489-8734 (complaint line)
Fax: (601) 576-7813
Head Start – State Collaboration Office
Office of the Governor
501 North West St., 15th Floor
PO Box 139
Jackson, MS, 39205
Phone: (601) 576-2021
Fax: (601) 576-2791
State Child Care Resource & Referral Contact
Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network
School of Human Sciences
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: (662) 325-3083
Fax: (662) 325-1805