Hawkeye Community College: Scholarships for Childcare Director Training Certification

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IWF extends a special thank you to our 2023 Grant Partner, Hawkeye Community College Foundation, for guest writing this blog and for creating accessible certification for childcare workers so they can earn a fair, livable wage for the crucial work they do.

In response to low wages for childcare providers, which impacts the childcare crisis, Hawkeye Community College (HCC) established a 12-week Childcare Director Training Certification program in 2021. The grant awarded by the Iowa Women’s Foundation has provided $250 program scholarships to 20 participants whose salaries already hover around the poverty line. Scholarship funds will help supplement the total cost of tuition, which is $499.

HCC is proud to spotlight a Childcare Director Certificate student, Kathy Dencklau. Kathy participated in the spring 2023 cohort and has been able to directly apply several of the lessons she learned in the program.

Below, Kathy shares what brought her to HCC, how she’s helping members of her community and some suggestions for how the college can improve its certificate class:

“I have been a childcare provider for many years and had directed a previous center prior to beginning this course. I took this course because I was asked to help build and then direct a new center in our community. I felt this class would help me by keeping my knowledge and skills current for the position I was taking.

The class was based completely online and went through a significant amount of content that guides the childcare center world. The class provided me an opportunity to take policies and procedures and go through them with the course content to revise if needed. The behind-the-scenes world of childcare centers and the work that goes into them is significant, and taking this course helped me make sure I would be successful by having all the correct information. 

I do wish we were able to have discussion posts that would allow the class members to discuss content, share experiences and ask questions. The instructor was informative and answered questions quickly, but the interaction with other providers would be a good value add to the course.

This course helped me take a strong look at our handbooks and policies to make sure we had complete and comprehensive policies and procedures in place.”

All of us at Hawkeye Community College wish Kathy much success as she continues to make childcare services available for those in her area. Thank you to IWF for making these scholarships possible so students like Kathy can provide accessible, quality childcare while also making a livable wage for their own futures.