Each week in partnership with the Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) we highlight North Valley leaders and programs specializing in early childhood education. Through a health and safety grant MCOE helps child care providers get special licenses and certifications for a fraction of the cost.

When it comes to being a child care provider there are a lot of different certifications and tests needed and the costs of those can really add up so MCOE offers $50 vouchers towards CPR and health classes.

Pulses that resuscitate and training that can save lives. CPR and First Aid plus Health and Safety with Nutrition are two certifications required for child care providers.

“There’s a need because it’s an expensive course to have and our mission is to help people become
licensed and to help people become better prepared to care for children. Being certified in CPR is so important because people who are in need of CPR are never in a hospital and they are usually at their own home,” said MCOE Provider Specialist Mary Baumann.

She said the vouchers are one way MCOE helps support teachers and child care providers.

“When you think of children and the business of children health and safety is number one. You can have the best environment in the world but if you’re not educated in health and how to save a life maybe you wouldn’t want your child there. That has to be number one. Safety is a priority,” said Baumann.

The more the provider is supported, the more providers there are, the more encouraged they are, and the better the environment is for a child.

“None of that matters if they’re not in a safe and healthy environment. What happens now, especially the younger the child they are, it goes with them for a lifetime. Whether it’s their nutrition habits or the language they were exposed to, all of that goes into play later in life,” said Baumann.

To apply for these vouchers head to the Merced County Office of education or click here.