Sign in or register
for additional privileges

C2C Digital Magazine (Spring / Summer 2015)

Colleague 2 Colleague, Author

You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

KCCTO Improving Statewide Child Care Quality through Online Learning

By Patty Peschel1, Scott Finkeldei2. and Bronwyn Fees3

1Program Director, Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc. 
2 Associate Director, Office of Mediated Education, Kansas State University
3 Professor, Family Studies and Human Services, Early Childhood Education, Kansas State University

Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc. (KCCTO) was established in July 1986 as an incorporated 501(c) 3 organization. KCCTO is a state-wide training office dedicated to providing quality, accessible, professional development opportunities for the Kansas early education workforce. 

The mission of KCCTO is to impact the quality of child care in Kansas with a comprehensive approach that includes qualified trainers, relevant course content, and additional services to provide ongoing support in professional development and early education career growth. This includes supporting, promoting, advancing and facilitating the development and coordination of community, state, and federal resources for the provision of accessible and low cost in-service training for child care professionals. KCCTO is a sponsored project of Kansas State University.

KCCTO was initially known for their cadre of qualified trainers statewide to work in communities and provide training hours for the early childhood workforce in Kansas. As time went on and technology advanced, KCCTO recognized the need for increased training opportunities due to upcoming changes in child care licensing in-service regulations and began the process of developing and offering online courses that were interactive and instructor moderated. Feedback from participants was positive and full of appreciation for the ability to take the courses online while at home without travel and time to on-site trainings that were often infrequent, held at inconvenient locations during evenings or Saturdays after an already busy day working with young children.

KCCTO provides direct training to child care providers through instructor-monitored on-line learning options that require asynchronous participant input and discussion throughout the course period. Currently, the KCCTO adult education curriculum library includes over 40 courses on topics specific to child development and health and safety issues. Over the past two and a half years KCCTO has offered over 900 on-line learning sessions, over 3,100 clock hours, with over 21,000 participants.

These online learning sessions are offered through a systematic schedule to allow child care providers access to trainings at times that are convenient for them. Typically, on-line learning sessions are open for five days for participants to complete. Each week, KCCTO serves an average of 300 to 400 early care participants in 9-12 courses which encompasses several groups within these courses to ensure course sizes that are easily moderated by the 5 online trainers.

KCCTO is experienced in providing distance education and knows the value of making the on-line and face-to-face learning experience user friendly for adults with various learning styles. The participants are diverse in age, education level, and comfort level with the use of technology. For the majority of the course participants, the KCCTO on-line learning courses are their first experience taking on-line courses. In order to effectively deliver distance education across Kansas for a large number of participants in a short time period, KCCTO has taken advantage of the existing learning management system that Kansas State University utilizes, Canvas, by Instructure. For the participants, they see what they should be completing when they should be completing it and how to successfully complete the course and assessment. The courses are offered asynchronously, allowing the participant to access the course content at any time during the open course dates. Instructors monitor the course discussions and provide feedback throughout the on-line learning session. 

Canvas provides some key features that allow for a simple approach and have made this successful for a high volume impact. KCCTO uses the ability to provide sub-account administrative access to the staff of KCCTO who are then able to manage and engage individual participants. With their sub-account access, KCCTO staff can manage the users and courses in their program without overlapping into any other users or courses. This allows staff to support people effectively without a technical admin. 

KCCTO staff create simple spreadsheets (CSV files) to create the new set of user accounts and passwords each week. They can then easily distribute the appropriate info to each participant. A subset of this data allow KCCTO to populate the course rosters quickly as well. The data can then be used to review and answer questions about the user accounts or enrollments, make corrections and import again to fix issues. 

Using the advantages of Canvas and the ability to develop a course down to a very simple interface and provide only the needed links for participant interaction and allows KCCTO to create a simple professional development course that provides a clear learning path participants. The participant knows what to do, when and there is little opportunity to go astray. KCCTO reflects the mission of engagement and outreach to the early childhood workforce of Kansas.

About the Co-authors

Patty Peschel is Program Director at Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc.  She may be reached at  

Scott Finkeldei is Associate Director of the Office of Mediated Education (OME).  He may be reached at 

Bronwyn Fees, Ph.D., has been involved in KCCTO for nearly 16 years.  As a professor and researcher in early childhood education and child development, Fees has worked to provide an academic home for KCCTO and to support its evidence-based practice.  Dr. Fees may be reached at

Comment on this page

Discussion of "KCCTO Improving Statewide Child Care Quality through Online Learning"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Cover, page 6 of 21 Next page on path