ChildCare Education Institute April Newsletter
Earth Day in the Early Childhood Setting 
In This Issue...
Developing Environmental Awareness
New Study Shows that Parents Worldwide Agree: Our Kids Need More Nature
Earth Day Preschool Activities
Children's Health
Classroom Management Strategies Outlined in CCEI Online Training Course
Learn the Importance of Math Skills in Preschool with CCEI Online Training
Alumni Profile: Jodie Beltran
Annual Training Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA, Director, & Early Childhood Credential Coursework

Developing Environmental Awareness  


On April 22 of each year we celebrate Earth Day in order to raise awareness and demonstrate support for environmental protection. Whether or not your early childhood program is planning Earth Day events this year, it is important for all early childhood professionals to take some time to reflect on environmental issues as they pertain to young children. Earth Day comes once a year, but those who respect the environment and accept the responsibility of environmental stewardship know that the principles and values of Earth Day must be present every day.  


Take this opportunity to evaluate your curriculum and determine what more you can do to raise environmental awareness among young children. Let's be clear here that the goal is definitely NOT to instill fear in young children. Of all the people in the world, young children have the least control over what happens to the environment. So, first and foremost, be sure to keep things in terms that young children can understand, and keep it positive!  


Early childhood is the time to begin developing basic awareness of the environment and its components, such as air, water, soil, and other living things. Is it not necessary to make preschoolers aware (and possibly fearful) of concepts such as air and water pollution or destruction of animal habitats? That choice is left to each educator, but in truth, children age five and under typically are not ready to learn about environmental problems.  


Instead, why not stick to simply helping them develop awareness and understanding of this basic yet complex question: What is the environment?


No matter where we see ourselves in political, religious, or financial terms, all people share in the responsibility of protecting and maintaining a clean, healthy environment. Our actions, or lack thereof, can affect not only human health but the health of all living things. In order to understand and embrace this responsibility, we must first develop awareness and respect for the environment. That's a great place to start with young children!


Many science-based activities in an effective early childhood curriculum focus on developing basic awareness through observation and exploration. Children can learn about their own bodies and the basics of what they need from the environment in order to survive: air, water, and food. They can learn about plants and animals in their immediate surroundings and what those living things need in order to survive. They can learn about various types of habitats and how all living things, no matter where they live on earth, are part of an ecosystem. Nature walks, books, educational videos, and various other developmentally appropriate activities are perfect for introducing and cultivating these basic concepts.  


Beyond that, there are certainly some practical actions children can take in order to begin developing that sense of responsibility without being fearful. Again, it should begin with their immediate surroundings, the things they see and interact with every day. Trash and litter are things that young children can certainly see and understand. They should know that the things they put in the trashcan do not magically disappear; rather, they go into the earth. The less trash we produce, the less we have to bury in the earth, so recycling and reusing are concepts that children can embrace.  


Please check out the links to activities in this newsletter and do set aside some time, whether on Earth Day or some other day in the near future, to lay down some basic goals and values that you wish to impart to the young children in your care.

Volume 9, Issue 4

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New Study Shows that Parents Worldwide Agree: Our Kids Need More Nature!

As a parent, worrying about our kids is part of our everyday - it goes hand in hand with parenthood. My worry list gets long, but my top two are their health and their happiness, and I bet it's the same for you.


When it comes to your kids and nature, what worries you? If you're like 65% of U.S. parents, it's the fact that kids aren't getting enough time outside.


View Article

Article Courtesy of
Earth Day Preschool Activities  

A simple Internet search for "Earth Day activities for preschoolers" will yield hundreds of fun, helpful results. Teachers need to choose activities that are developmentally appropriate, safe, and worthwhile for the children in their care. Here is one site that provides tons of fun, easy, creative ideas. These are activities are suitable for any time of year, not necessarily just on Earth Day. Choose activities that are relevant to other topics or themes you are exploring in your curriculum.


View Article

Article Courtesy of
Children's Health

Information on how to protect children from toxins, the sun, lead, and other potential environmental health threats. Find out about children's health protection and read what you can do to protect children from environmental risks.

  • The Air They Breath
  • The Water They Drink
  • Toxins/Poisons
  • From the Sun
  • At School  
View Article
Article Courtesy of
Classroom Management Strategies Outlined in CCEI Online Training Course     

CCEI is proud to introduce GUI101: Classroom Management Strategies to the online child care training course catalog.


The goal of this course is to provide teachers with systems and strategies to manage the classroom effectively, and optimize student learning. Effective classroom management requires use of many tools and methods, including positive guidance strategies for promoting appropriate individual behavior and a range of methods for maintaining a good group-learning environment. Course participants will learn to define mutual interaction as it pertains to children's behavior in the classroom, identify aspects of effective praise and encouragement, and demonstrate an understanding of the importance of routines for early childhood development.

Learn the Importance of Math Skills in Preschool with CCEI Online Training   

CCEI offers CCEI430: Math Madnessas an online no-cost trial child care training course to new CCEI users during the month of April in recognition of Math Awareness Month.


Given adequate materials, time, and a teacher to facilitate activities, children can develop the early cognitive skills necessary for learning and applying complex mathematical concepts. Developing these skills at an early age helps to develop the foundation for abstract and logical thought. Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to identify the activities that help children develop math skills such as classifying, patterning, sequencing, comparing, ordering, and one-to-one correspondence. In addition, participants will be able to identify materials that belong in a well-stocked math/manipulative center and activities that strengthen early math skills for children in the preschool classroom. Upon successful completion of the course exam, participants will receive 0.1 IACET CEU and immediate, unrestricted access to their certificate of completion.


Jodie Beltran  

Miami Springs, FL  


Congratulations to Jodie for successfully completing the Florida's Director's Credential Renewal Certificate Program of Study!


Jodie began her career in early childhood education 28 years ago teaching four-year-olds. She started working as a Director in 1999 and has loved every minute of it. Jodie enjoys spending time with the children in her care during outdoor play time and says the kids love when she pops her head into rooms to say hello throughout the day. Jodie is motivated by seeing the children in her center grow and blossom into young adults. She explains, "My motivation is seeing those precious children smile at me and tell me they love me!"


In her free time, Jodie enjoys going for long walks. She plans on taking more classes with CCEI in the future and continuing her commitment to early childhood education. Jodie highly recommends CCEI to everyone and says, "I was so thrilled to see that CCEI was offering the Florida Director's Credential Renewal Certificate online! What a great program and wonderful staff!"


Congratulations, Jodie! CCEI is proud to call you a graduate!

Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for only $99 per year!  
CCEI offers over 100 IACET CEU-awarded online child care training courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has professional development offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.

Center-Based Subscriptions 
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for small and large centers, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
Online CDA Coursework
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs of study meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Goals established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas.

Online Director Programs
CCEI offers several online programs for directors including the Online Director's Certificate and
Director's Certificate Renewal, Georgia Director's Certificate, Texas Director's Certificate and Texas Director's Certificate Renewal, and Florida Director's Certificate Renewal. These programs provide the professional development required for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. Each student receives support from an Education Coach (EC) and CCEI's Customer Support Help Desk.

CCEI Early Childhood Credential

The CCEI Early Childhood Credential (ECC) is designed to give a basic framework of early childhood theory and application through online content-based coursework, reading assignments, practical application exercises, essays, parent interviews, classroom observation and oral and written exams. The instructional units and the 180 hours of coursework cover major topics in early childhood education including the Principles of Child Growth and Development; Safe, Healthy Environments; Social and Emotional Development; Motor, Language, and Cognitive Development; Principles of Child Assessment; Program Management, Families, and Professionalism. The credential awards 18 IACET CEUs, and is recognized by NAEYC to meet a part of the Alternative Pathways for directors to achieve educational qualifications. The ECC is a clear pathway toward higher education and raising the knowledge and skills of the early education workforce. Holders of the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can be considered qualified for Head Start positions that require a minimum of a CDA or other certificate. Graduates of CCEI's Early Childhood Credential (ECC) will have met all training, portfolio, and observation requirements of the national CDA Credential and only need to complete the Council's exam at a PearsonVue testing center to finalize the CDA Credential application process.The ECC is an expanded program that incorporates the other CDA required elements such as the formal observation and portfolio creation.


CCEI coursework is eligible for college credit through articulation with one of CCEI's articulation partners, and has received college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), which has more than 1,500 schools willing to consider college credit recommendations. Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit the ChildCare Education Institute website for more information or to enroll online.

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