Frequently Asked Questions
About Early Start Institute

Questions about Early Start online courses

How long is each course? Ten weeks. Participants will complete one lesson every two weeks over the course of the 10-week period.

How often are courses offered? Three sessions are offered annually. All courses run concurrently – that means, all courses run during the same 10-week period.

How much time will each participant need to commit to participation? Approximately one hour per week (two hours per lesson). This is an estimate and, of course, each individual’s experience will be unique. Participants may access lesson activities at their convenience.

What is a lesson like? Each lesson consists of narrated presentations, assignments, and a discussion forum. Participants complete two assignments that are posted and monitored by facilitators.

What if I miss a lesson or a deadline? Lessons are available for two weeks at a time. Deadline reminders for both assignments and quizzes are sent frequently by instructors. No deadline extensions are provided as the timeframe for completion of required components is generous. If a lesson, assignment or quiz deadline is missed, you will not receive a certificate of completion. You may download your course responses and re-enroll for the same course during a later session.

Is there a test? There are Pre- and Post-Course Quizzes. The quizzes are intended to provide information about the effectiveness of content delivery — not individual participant performance. Participants must complete the quizzes to have completed the course and to receive a certificate of completion.

What equipment is needed to participate? Individuals need a computer with an Internet connection. Download times for presentations and videos will be faster with hard-wired and broadband connections.

What software is needed to participate? No specific software is needed as most content plays within the learning management system. However, the narrated presentations will not play without Flash so they currently cannot be viewed, for instance, on an iPad or iPhone. Some agency computers or Internet networks may require agency technology support to adjust security protocols for access.

Questions about Early Start Institute activities, in general

How much does participation cost?

  • Early Start Foundations and Skill Base online courses: There is no cost to California residents to register or participate in Early Start courses online. Registration is currently available only to California residents.
  • Early Start Foundations Practicum and Partners Symposia: Costs for participation in in-person training activities vary. Past registration fees for the Early Start Practicum and for the Early Start Partners Symposium were $90 each. Information about current registration fees is available in event registration forms. Additional costs may include travel, lodging and per diem expenses and vary by individual and agency.

Are continuing education units available? Continuing education units are available, as well as LCSW and MFT hours. In addition, the provider is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing and the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board. Units differ between online and in-person courses, and costs differ among approving institutions. Refer to the Earn Continuing Education Credit section on this website for more information.

Where can I get more information? This website has current information on training content, registration, and continuing education units. The information is also available on the Early Start Neighborhood. The Early Start Neighborhood is an online community housing interactive groups, news and discussion forums, links to resources, and archives of training materials. Interactions in the Neighborhood support staff participation and integration of new knowledge into daily work through private, networked learning, and practice cohorts.