Volume 10, Issue 4

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Related Articles  Playground Safety 



In This Issue...
Active Supervision is Key to Playground Safety      

Over 200,000 children end up in emergency rooms across the United States each year as a result of playground injuries. We can only guess at the number of additional children who get bumps, cuts, bruises, and broken bones-not to mention the countless "close calls"-that simply do not end up in emergency room statistics. The vast majority of those injuries occur with children ages 2-9, and all in spite of decades of efforts by child care providers, regulators, and manufacturers to improve playground safety.  

 

It is safe to say that there will always be some playground injuries no matter what child care providers do, for as long as young children are encouraged to play outdoors (as they should be nearly every single day!), they will test and exceed the limits of their physical and cognitive abilities. That's what young children do, and in the process they sometimes fall or bump into things! Falls are normal, but serious injuries should not be. And the fact remains that nearly all playground injuries COULD be prevented, particularly if more caregivers applied these two words in practice: active supervision.  

 

Your state licensing standards include detailed playground safety rules and regulations and your program may have policies and rules that exceed those state requirements. If you have any doubts whatsoever as to whether your policies are the latest and greatest, there are many fine resources available, including some in additional content of this newsletter. All those rules and regulations are critical, even if they seem tedious at times. But beyond all the details about fall zones and equipment specifications, supervision continues to be the most important element of playground safety. And, remember, we are NOT talking about passive supervision. Be active!  

 

There is more to effective supervision than simply watching children and warning them when they are exceeding limits. Ideally, early childhood professionals should approach playground supervision as an opportunity to actively engage with children, not only for safety's sake but also for the sake of learning. After all, the benefits of outdoor play extend far beyond the physical domain and can include essential opportunities for development of a wide range of social, emotional, and cognitive skills, but only with some positive guidance from adults.  

 

Children need their freedom, so the point of active supervision is NOT to control their behavior, and the caregiver does not need to be the center of attention. From the child's perspective on the playground, the caregiver should be a source of positive guidance and fun, rather than an authority figure or enforcer. An actively involved caregiver is far more likely to notice safety hazards, which are usually associated with inappropriate behavior rather than equipment malfunctions.  


This Month's Trial Course: Outdoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), offers CCEI110B: Outdoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting as an online no-cost trial child care training course to new CCEI users during the month of April.

 

This course identifies common outdoor injuries and appropriate ways to prevent them. Student will learn about the various components of playground safety and hazards, as well as the steps that must be taken to prevent accidental poisoning. Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to identify common outdoor-related injuries to children and describe appropriate ways to prevent these injuries, list the four basic components of playground safety, identify playground problems and potential hazards and more.  

Laura Szurczynski
Tonawanda, NY 

Congratulations to Laura for successfully completing the Online Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate Program of Study!

Laura began her career in childcare when her daughters were 2 and 4 years old. She enjoys spending time with the children during free time and loves listening to their imaginations, while the children's favorite time of day is story time! Laura is motivated by seeing the children smile. She says, "I love to see the smiles on their faces when they accomplish a new task and the smiles on their faces when I greet them in the morning."

 

In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, her two daughters, and her four grandchildren. She plans to take more courses with CCEI and continue to further her education in the early childcare field. Laura recommends CCEI to everyone and exclaims, "I encourage anyone seeking to further their education in early childhood to look into CCEI. The course work is explained very well and the coaches are available to speak to you in a timely manner."

  

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

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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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