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Two toddler-aged children on the floor with toys

As Hawaiʻi faces a desperate shortage of child care options, Windward Community College is helping those interested in providing these critical services. You can sign up for free classes and additional financial support. A new cohort of Windward CC’s Family Child Care Essentials (FCCE) certificate program launches on January 25, 2023.

The Windward CC Office of Career and Community Education program supports new and future family child care providers with their business practices and is available to participants across the state.

FCCE had a big impact on my decision to open a family child care business,” said a former participant. “When I first started the program, I had no confidence in myself. I learned so much from the program and am very grateful. I have faith and confidence in starting up my business. I know, with the knowledge I have now, I will be successful.”

The FCCE program launched in 2021 and was developed to address the critical shortage in child care throughout the state. Current child care capacity in Hawaiʻi for children ages 0–5 years is less than a third of the existing need, according to Early Childhood Action Strategy (a stakeholder group to improve care for Hawaiʻi’s youngest children). This situation increases stress and pressure on working parents, which in turn impacts Hawaiʻi’s employers and economy.

Through the support of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund and the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund, students enrolled in the program receive course books valued at more than $1,100 for free.

Kamehameha Schools recognized the challenges faced by students in the family child care business pathway and is also providing funding. Enrolled students can receive up to a total of $900–$300 for each 10 sessions of the 30-session program they complete. The program includes training from PATCH (People Attentive to Children), non-credit online courses from Windward CC, and group and individual coaching sessions.

Upon completion of the program, students can apply for an additional $1,000 completion grant.

“Becoming more educated adds to the confidence of operating my family child care business. I am so thankful for this program!” said Ashley, a previous participant.

For more information, call (808) 235-7363. Course information, registration and sign ups for information sessions can be found at

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