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The key is education and certification!

 Top 5 Caregiver Education Programs

If you are smart enough to be looking for a good caregiver certification training program then you will probably do a Google search just for that. We hoped to save you time by doing the research for you and identifying the most popular and well regarded programs that come up on Google’s search page. 

The following rankings are based upon accessibility, variety of subject matter covered, price and overall value for both family caregivers and professional care aides who desire  credentials for career growth. The results are ranked based on best overall.

1) CertifiedCare.orgThis is the best overall value for standardized; comprehensive caregiver certification credentials and is the only program on our list that offers a Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiving certification and a Special Needs Caregiving certification. This membership organization also supports community service programs and has received awards for innovation in geriatric caregiving and eLearning. You can only get the programs if you area member of the organization, but the programs are included in membership.

Pros: One complete online certification program for caregiver certification and Personal Care Aide certification.  CertifiedCare offers the only caregiver – personal care aide certification program we reviewed that is comprehensive and accredited. The personal care aide certification program  includes 4 modules (Family Caregiver Certification, Personal Care Aide Certification, Special Needs Certification which includes caring for chronic illnesses, and Alzheimer’s & Dementia Certification).  CertifiedCare also offers an advanced caregiver career certification, Senior Care Auditor, which is the first and to date the only comprehensive Senior Care Auditing certification program in the world. Along with the lowest overall price for certification programs, programs are refundable under certain conditions; graduates can receive both emailed and frame worthy certificates; students study at their own pace- there are no deadlines for completion; immediate test retakes are allowed; modules are well organized and build upon previous information covered in the prerequisite module; accredited curriculum; all tests are included in cost; no extra books to buy; payment plans available – one with no credit-zero interest terms.  Also included (for free) is an eText about death and funeral planning.  At around 80 hours, the entire program meets or exceeds most state and national education requirements for personal care aides; no quizzes or assignments; program is tax deductible. CertifiedCare maintains a free public registry for credential verification for their members for job placement assistance and higher wage floor.  Students who complete the professional certification program are eligible to take RN clinic test so as to be able to apply for a medicare/medicaid payor number.

Cons: Only available online; only available in English at this time.

2) CactusWrenHomeCare.com: This is a great traditional classroom style caregiver training option and they also provide consulting for home care start ups.

Pros: Robust 62 hour training program, offers bundle program packages, reasonable prices for bricks and mortar classroom training, CPR/First Aid, fingerprinting and TB testing services and continuing education are offered. Live instruction format, so no need for tech support.

Cons: No distance learning training option- you must be able to get to Mesa or Phoenix  Arizona for 2-3 days; course offerings are calendar controlled; programs are non-refundable; no option to receive frame worthy certificate and no Alzheimer’s-Dementia or disability-special needs training and certification.

3) Ipced.com: Offers education for caregivers and administrators of assisted living facilities as well as a nice business success program. 

Pros: Online format, Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin) language options, good 40 hour program for family or professional caregivers, quizzes control progress through different course topics, DVDs for certain topics, individual state training packages and continuing education opportunities.

Cons: Most expensive program on our list, uses third-party company for training materials (good luck with tech support questions), family and professional programs are combined so not much variety in the curriculum, must wait at least 24 hours to start programs and no option to receive frame worthy certificate.  No disability/special needs caregiving program, textbooks not included and add to overall cost; strict 90 days to complete program deadline; technical support is only available Mon-Fri 8am -5pm and program requires a $50 set up fee plus costs of the program(s).

4) CaregiverList.com: This company has a very large website with a lot of resources. They offer a very affordable program, you can buy a background check and  apply for a job from their website. They also offer resume writing assistance and a nice career center.

Pros: 10 hour online certification course,  is among least expensive and the program meets some state minimum orientation requirements, they offer a practice Nurses Aide test, and test retakes are allowed. 

Cons: Their minimum 10 hour orientation program is only introductory and does not include many important subjects; certification programs are not packaged or comprehensive; no refunds; test fees are extra; specialty education and certification programs are not offered.

5) CaringforMom.comOffers small a la cart education courses reasonably priced and only suitable for part-time family caregivers, but no true testing and certification program for professionals.

Pros: Online courses that allow you to buy education snippets rather than complete programs and offers Washington state continuing education.

Cons: Lacks fully comprehensive curriculum, uses third party company for its training programs (good luck with tech support questions), must buy many courses to have somewhat complete training, no standardized educational material, can quickly become expensive (buying a la cart programs end up costing more than buying one fully comprehensive program),  no test centered certification for verification of education achievement, and no frame worthy certificate offered (not best choice for professional care aides).