Training & Workshops

Quoting Albert Einstein, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”  Everyone can benefit from continuing to learn new ideas, processes and research.  The State of Illinois believes in continuing education and therefore requires 15 hours of training per year for child care staff and family child care owners in licensed child care programs.  West Central Child Care Connection is a resource for training.  We offer instructor led, online, self study and webinar options for you to choose from.

Training Calendar

West Central Child Care Connection plans to offer 90 presenter/instructor led training and professional development opportunities for child care providers. Training is either free or have a very small registration fee. Providers can call to register at 800-782-7318, or you can email Sharon at, or you can register online directly from the Training Calendar.  Please check back to the calendar regularly as we will add new training opportunities when we receive approvals.

Online Trainings

There are online trainings that are accepted by DCFS as well. These trainings are useful if you are obtaining hours for a CDA or applying to become a licensed provider. Some of the trainings found at these links are free and some do charge a fee to complete the course. We encourage you to attend “live” trainings which are beneficial for a variety of reasons: more personal interaction, networking with others, and question and answer opportunities. However we know that sometimes they are not an option.  Many of the links below offer multiple trainings on a variety of great topics.


Lead in Water: Protecting Illinois Children

Food Handlers Course – These food handler courses will take you through the fundamentals of food safety for your food handler training certificate which is sometimes confused with a permit, license, card or certification. Once the course has been completed, you should have a good understanding of what foodborne illness is, how it is caused, and what you can do to help prevent it from occurring.

Once the course is successfully taken, you will be able to immediately print a certificate for your records.

Listed below are some options


SIDS/SUID/Safe Sleep and SBS/Traumatic Brain Injury Training

ExceleRate Illinois Trainings

  • ExceleRate Orientation
  • Transitions
  • Environment Rating Scale
  • WEEC
  • Continuous Quality Improvement Plans
  • Curriculum
  • Screening Tools
  • Assessment

Gateways To Opportunity Training

  • ECE Credential
  • We Choose Health
  • Becoming A Registry Member

Illinois Afterschool Network

  • School age care issues

Care Courses

  • CDA certification and renewal courses
  • NAC renewal courses
  • Other child related topics

Recorded Trainings

West Central Child Care Connection offers Recorded Trainings that can be viewed through You Tube.  After viewing the training, you may complete an assessment of learning about the recording to receive DCFS training credit hours of completion.  Any questions or requests for a recorded video link can be made by calling our office at 800-782-7318 or by email at  There is no fee to view these recorded trainings.

Topics include:

Family Child Care Business: Marketing, Taxes and Recordkeeping
Relationship Building: Effective Communication, Challenging Communication, Compassion and Kindness
Screening Young Children: Observation, ASQ3
Literacy, Dramatic Play, Music and Movement, Puppets,
Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Math, Sand, Water, Sensory Play
Science: Light and Shadow, Air and Wind, Nature, Seasonal Activities, Ramps and Structures
Health: Food Allergies, Mood Foods, Autism, Stress Management
Importance of Play, Intentional Play
Behavior/Discipline: Understanding Childrens Anger, Self Regulation Skills, Strategies
Excelerate Illinois – Bronze Level

Self Studies

West Central Child Care Connection offers Self Studies for checkout from our office. Each self-study contains a DVD and questions for you to complete to confirm understanding of the material presented. Providers will submit their self-study materials after viewing the DVD and upon successful completion of the questions, will earn two DCFS contact hours. Providers have one month to complete the self-study and submit it to be approved.  There is a $10.00 fee (plus $20.00 fee for unlicensed providers) per person for each self-study. Any questions or requests can be made by calling our office at 800-782-7318 or by email at

Statewide Training Opportunities

West Central Child Care Connection serves nine counties in West Central Illinois. There are wonderful training opportunities outside of our nine county region. If you are interested in a training opportunity or conference that is within Illinois, but is not sponsored by us, it may qualify for Individual Professional Development Funds to help cover the cost of registration, travel, and possibly more. Please call or email to inquire about eligibility.