Child Care

Education and Training

Out-of-School Time (OST) Training Program

SD OST Credential

The purpose of this training program is to enhance the availability of school-age specific training and mentorship for individuals who work with children in afterschool and summer school-age care programs, child care centers as well as other youth development programs.   

The OST Training Program delivers OST-specific training in three different phases: 

  • Phase One:
    Provides 10 ‘core’ or basic-level classes, based on topic areas required by licensing regulations. 
  • Phase Two:
    Provides four series of six workshops each of enhanced school-age specific training. Individuals who complete both Phase One and Two training programs may earn the SD OST Certificate. 
  • Phase Three:
    Provides the final ‘credential’ phase of the training program.  This level is even more advanced and those who successfully complete all three phases of the training and project requirements may earn the SD OST Credential. 
  • Course Requirements for the OST Credential 

While successful completion of all three phases is required to earn the SD OST Credential, all classes are available to be taken as ‘stand-alone’ classes. The Division of Child Care Services encourages students to enroll in a full series of classes whenever possible to enhance their learning and networking experience with fellow students. 

The SD OST Credential is a state-administered professional credential, modeled after the Child Development Associate (CDA).  The CDA is a nationally recognized early childhood professional credential administered by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition based in Washington, D.C. The Council operates the CDA Credentialing program as a major national effort to improve the quality of care children receive in early childhood programs. Currently, there is no national credential specifically tailored for school-age care, and many states like ours, have developed their own models which may be ‘grandfathered in’ once a national credential is available.   

People who pursue the SD OST Credential learn to demonstrate their ability to nurture school-age children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth. The OST Credential consists of post-secondary training programs geographically distributed throughout the state and offered by the regional ECE sites

The OST Credential curriculum provides formal school-age specific training and professional mentorship assisting each student in the process of meeting the requirements necessary to complete the
SD’s OST assessment process, including:

  • 120 clock hours of formal education
  • Professional Resource File and other documentation of competence
  • Formal observation completed by trained OST Credential advisors

The OST Credential classes are offered during hours convenient for people who work with children and youth during the day. Most training is available weekday evenings or on Saturdays. The Certificate and Credential series are also approved for Teacher Renewal Credit through the Department of Education.

Annual Statewide OST Directors Retreat 

This state-sponsored conference is held annually and open to OST and child care directors from South Dakota. The conference is usually held in March or early April and provides an opportunity for directors to receive leadership and management training specific to their unique roles as directors of afterschool and summer school-age programs.