Francis Institute awarded $120,000 to take training online

The Francis Institute for Child and Youth Development at MCC-Penn Valley was recently awarded $120,000 to add an online component to the Institute’s child care provider training programs.

The financial contributions, which came from multiple sources, will support the development of an online version of the Developing Your Family Child Care Business curriculum, which helps child care providers establish or improve their businesses.  The online program, which is expected to be available by December 2012, will be accessible to learners worldwide.

“Thanks to the generous support from our funding partners, we will be able to reach many more emerging child care business owners who have been unable to attend our training in the past” said Jerry Kitzi, director of the Francis Institute.

Donations from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, H&R Block Foundation, Bank of America, and the Francis Family Foundation will allow the Francis Institute to partner with Gateway Instructional Design Group of Overland Park, Kan. to create a customized online portal design for the training modules. Gateway will also design and manage the branding, course delivery, registration, enrollment, and payment aspects of the courses.

The addition of the virtual modules to the existing curriculum creates a blended learning environment for students since they will have the ability to receive in-person and online instruction. The expanded student audience, which will not only grow geographically but will also now include individuals with child care centers outside of their homes, has resulted in a program name change to Developing Your Child Care Business.

Students who complete the program, whether online or in person, will have developed a business plan and a policies & procedures handbook for parents. Students who complete the program online will have the option to purchase a membership to receive additional coaching by telephone once the class has ended.

“We’ve been teaching this curriculum face-to-face since 1996 in the Greater Kansas City community” said Rebecca Curtis, Resource Center coordinator at the Francis Institute. “Turning this training into an e-learning course to expand globally is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.”

The Francis Institute for Child and Youth Development, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, was designed to support the Child Growth and Development degree program housed at MCC-Penn Valley.