Car Seat Tech Classes

rin2809

Active member
Are CPST certificates nationally recognized?

I hate that this is a factor, but classes around here have what I think is a super high local chapter fee ($150-175). I just can't justify over $200 total for a certification that I would be using for volunteering. So, I checked out classes where my parents live, which is a rural part of another state. The classes there seem much more reasonable and justifiable to me (and DH). I am assuming that the certificate would still be valid back home, right?

I had a fleeting though of "maybe my work education reimbursement program would cover this" but sadly don't think it will :(
 
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Carrie_R

Ambassador - CPS Technician
It is a national program, but I will caution you - going out of area can make it tough to "break into" your local tech community & culture. I say this only because when I got certified, there was an attitude on the board of, "Oh, go out of area, no big deal." But for me, it made life very challenging. Took quite some time to get on the proper mailing lists and make it to an event - and then I was an "unknown" in terms of skills, ability, strengths, weaknesses etc. It's been six years and I've been fortunate to have tons of doors open (I know the local team well and am working full-time in the field) but some days I still feel the repercussions of my choice.

Like you, I opted to travel to a course with no fee over a hefty local fee. If I knew then what I know now, I think I would have waited a few extra months, tried harder to save up, etc. If that's not an option, you might consider reaching out to your local SafeKids Coalition to see if they could offer a scholarship. Ours might do it, particularly if the person offers to commit x hours to volunteering (or to come to x events.)

That said... if the local fee is truly an insurmountable barrier, and you have the opportunity to avoid it, GO. It IS possible to link up with your local network after the fact, just be aware it presents with its own set of challenges. But I'd rather see someone certify out of area than not see them certify at all.

I hope that helps!
 

laurengt

Active member
I went out of area for my tech course and had none of the issues that Carrie mentions. My situation is reverse in that I actually paid more to do the class near my parents in the Chicagoland area because they could watch my son for me while I attended. In my more rural area of Illinois, I had no issues at all getting involved with the CPST world.

The important part, I believe, is being proactive. I sought out the local Safe Kids chapter and got involved, made myself available for their check events and regular weekly services, when I could. I inquired about the mailing lists I should be on and made sure I was on them.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
I went out of my area, too--not horribly far, but an hour or so farther than my local coalition. My local coalition had closed courses and wouldn't allow "regular old people" into classes. Of course I was worried about working with them later, but it wasn't an issue at all. I showed up to one of their meetings, got on the mailing list, and they embraced me.

Then I moved across the country and easily incorporated myself into my new SafeKids chapter. They were thrilled to have me.

So it's really going to vary. I'd take the course wherever it makes the most sense to.
 

jjordan

Moderator
We don't have a local SafeKids, but the techs who have funding to plan events are always desperate for help, so the kind of situation Carrie described is foreign to me. For someone who plans to do CPST work as a volunteer, I would probably still take whichever course is most convenient for you personally.
 

NVMBR02

New member
It is a national program, but I will caution you - going out of area can make it tough to "break into" your local tech community & culture. I say this only because when I got certified, there was an attitude on the board of, "Oh, go out of area, no big deal." But for me, it made life very challenging. Took quite some time to get on the proper mailing lists and make it to an event - and then I was an "unknown" in terms of skills, ability, strengths, weaknesses etc. It's been six years and I've been fortunate to have tons of doors open (I know the local team well and am working full-time in the field) but some days I still feel the repercussions of my choice.

I found it near impossible to get on the mailing lists and events and I did my class in the local area. By the time I finally was being notified ahead of time I had a child with some medical needs and needed to take a step back, but that was 18+ months after I was certified. I am guessing this varies widely by area.
 

cookie123

New member
I want to let you know the only events I've found to participate in have been at Regions hospital in St. Paul and a car dealership in the north suburbs, can't recall exactly. Occasionally there has been one at the Richfield fire station. It hasn't been easy to get my seat checks taken care of. The Regions ones usually interfere with my work schedule. If there have been events in the southern suburbs I haven't found out about them.
 

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
I want to let you know the only events I've found to participate in have been at Regions hospital in St. Paul and a car dealership in the north suburbs, can't recall exactly. Occasionally there has been one at the Richfield fire station. It hasn't been easy to get my seat checks taken care of. The Regions ones usually interfere with my work schedule. If there have been events in the southern suburbs I haven't found out about them.

The ones in our area that I have seen are all through HealthPartners/Regions Hospital, but they are located in more areas than just at the hospital itself. https://www.healthpartners.com/ucm/groups/public/@hp/@public/documents/documents/dev_015495.pdf

I believe the person who runs the Regions program is Diana Van Wormer, who is the lead instructor for the Oakdale course that I am taking in April. Part of the reason I wanted to do that course was to make sure that I was connected with her. In the emails I have exchanged with her so far, she has been awesome.
 

rin2809

Active member
Honestly, there are basically two reasons I want to do the certification. One would be to get more involved in the Car Seat community and find like-minded people to participate in events and volunteer with.

And two: Unintentionally I have gained a reputation of being a bit of a car seat expert with friends and around my office, so in the last year, I have had tons of people come to me with questions or asking for recommendations. And I have helped probably 5 or 6 of them learn how to use and install their seats. I want to be able to actually help my friends, family and coworkers with advice and installs without saying "You will still need to get all of this checked out with a tech."
 

laurengt

Active member
Honestly, there are basically two reasons I want to do the certification. One would be to get more involved in the Car Seat community and find like-minded people to participate in events and volunteer with. And two: Unintentionally I have gained a reputation of being a bit of a car seat expert with friends and around my office, so in the last year, I have had tons of people come to me with questions or asking for recommendations. And I have helped probably 5 or 6 of them learn how to use and install their seats. I want to be able to actually help my friends, family and coworkers with advice and installs without saying "You will still need to get all of this checked out with a tech."
Those were my exact reasons for getting certified too.
 

NVMBR02

New member
I want to let you know the only events I've found to participate in have been at Regions hospital in St. Paul and a car dealership in the north suburbs, can't recall exactly. Occasionally there has been one at the Richfield fire station. It hasn't been easy to get my seat checks taken care of. The Regions ones usually interfere with my work schedule. If there have been events in the southern suburbs I haven't found out about them.

I was never able to find much in the south suburbs, but it has been 3+ years now. The Richfield Babies R Us was the place that I went to the most. There was one at a Lakeville car dealership, but that was only once. When I was certified I did a few checks at the Lakeville Police station (that is where my class was at) by appt. 90% of the seats I checked though were people in my neighborhood.
 

cookie123

New member
I was never able to find much in the south suburbs, but it has been 3+ years now. The Richfield Babies R Us was the place that I went to the most. There was one at a Lakeville car dealership, but that was only once. When I was certified I did a few checks at the Lakeville Police station (that is where my class was at) by appt. 90% of the seats I checked though were people in my neighborhood.

Oh yeah. I did go there a couple of times, but that was in the beginning of my tech-hood lol.
 

cookie123

New member
The ones in our area that I have seen are all through HealthPartners/Regions Hospital, but they are located in more areas than just at the hospital itself. https://www.healthpartners.com/ucm/groups/public/@hp/@public/documents/documents/dev_015495.pdf

I believe the person who runs the Regions program is Diana Van Wormer, who is the lead instructor for the Oakdale course that I am taking in April. Part of the reason I wanted to do that course was to make sure that I was connected with her. In the emails I have exchanged with her so far, she has been awesome.

It looks like they've changed things up a bit. No car dealerships!
 

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
Another reason to deal with the local fee is that it might be pretty worth it. I am taking the course right now and found out that the local fee is what is paying for all the amazing food (and the LATCH manual!) that we all get. We get a continental breakfast and a huge lunch provided every day. Plus fruit and snacks and candy and soda available whenever we want it. Could I make myself 4 days of food at home that would be less than $175? Absolutely, but it makes me more comfortable about dealing with the local fee to know that it is what's making this experience so luxurious.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cookie123

New member
Glad you're enjoying your class Nedra. Is it over?

I took mine at the Burnsville AAA. The fee was high and they provided no food. Oh well. The convenience was worth it. Now if I could get a local recent class.
 

Kobain's Mommy

Well-known member
I'm doing mine right now. It was a $30 fee but that was the whole state. We just need lunch. They supply drinks, snacks, treats, pens, notebooks, clipboards, etc. Although this summer we will be moving to Texas so I have to figure out what to do to get in there. I had signed up and paid for this before we found out we were being relocated.
 

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