Early Childhood Developmental Assessments
ChildCare Education Institute January Newsletter
Early Childhood Developmental Assessments
In This Issue...
Will Common Core Change Everything?
All Work, No Play? What Common Core Means for the Pre-K Crowd
Where we Stand: NAEYC & NAECS/SDE on Curriculum, Assessment, & Program Evaluation
Introduction to the ITERS-R Course Now Available
Early Childhood Assessment Online Training Supports Developmental Wellness in Youth
Alumni Profile: Heidi Beaudette
Annual Training Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA, Director, & Early Childhood Credential Coursework
Will Common Core Change Everything?


There is a lot of talk out there in Education World these days about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which most states (46 at last count) have adopted and incorporated into existing state standards.


According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, "the standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers." In developing the standards, they essentially started with the knowledge and skills students should have at the end of the road-grade 12 graduation, -and they worked their way down from there.


Standards are nothing new. Early childhood experts-including NAEYC through its official position statements-are in favor of using standards in early childhood education. Research shows that standards lead to meaningful assessments, measurable outcomes, and well-planned curriculum. In general, standards are good.


The rollout of CCSS has been somewhat bumpy and uneven from place to place, as can be expected with such an ambitious and sweeping initiative. Most educators agree that the CCSS do provide consistency and clarity, and they set the achievement bar high, which is a good thing. However, the "how" part of the equation still makes many people nervous, particularly within the early childhood community.

Standards and assessments really go hand in hand. One cannot be effective without the other. However, standards can also bring a real "teach to the test" mentality because, in many places, teachers' jobs and pay are tied directly to student test scores. So, it is no mystery as to why teachers are motivated to focus on test prep first and foremost. (To be sure, most teachers don't favor this approach but often feel they have little choice or flexibility because so much is riding on the tests.)


More and more states are now reviewing and revamping their early childhood (especially pre-K) standards to bring them more in line with early Common Core Standards. This tendency has many early childhood professionals rightly worried, because we all know that early childhood development is not a "top down" process.


The current CCSS only provide standards for Language Arts and Mathematics, with some social studies and science sprinkled in. The CCSS does not purport to be a one-stop shop for all standards and curriculum needs. However, the CCSS also present a high-stakes strategy, whereby student and teacher performance will be measured according to strictly defined benchmarks. Therefore, the fear is that focus on CCSS-related testing will supersede other key areas of the curriculum.


Early childhood lasts from birth through age 8, so this issue is not just for pre-K teachers. Fortunately, advocates for research-based practices in early childhood education are deeply involved in the current transition toward the CCSS in the various states, and many updated state standards (including New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and many others) reflect not only the new CCSS expectations but also research-based, time-tested strategies for developing high-quality, developmentally appropriate, effective curriculum.


So, things are changing in early childhood education, gradually, with the rollout and refinement of the Common Core Standards. On the other hand, things are still the same in many ways. The CCSS will hopefully help educators focus on specific, rigorous benchmarks in literacy and math without neglecting social-emotional development, self-regulation and executive functions (reasoning and problem solving), creative arts and free play, motor and physical development, and other major areas of early development. In the meantime, don't tear up the environment rating scales and assessment systems you've been using for years. Help ensure the new standards are a step in the right direction by promoting and advocating for the use of proven, developmentally appropriate practices.


Volume 9, Issue 1

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All Work, No Play? What Common Core Means for the Pre-K Crowd

By: Karen Nemeth, Ed.M

The debate over whether Common Core standards will support how the youngest students learn.
On my daughter's first day of kindergarten 25 years ago, I was thrilled to see a door from the classroom that led straight to a sunny playground. But as the days passed, that door seldom opened: her teacher said the class would not be able to go outside during the school day because their academic reading program took too much time. By the end of the year, not many of the kindergartners had made much progress in reading. The goals were grossly out of step with the cognitive development of five-year olds. What they had lost were golden opportunities to stretch their minds in the ways that we know work well for young children, namely through pretend play, curiosity, creativity, and conversation.


 View Article

Article Courtesy of EdSerge
Where we Stand: NAEYC & NAECS/SDE on Curriculum, Assessment, & Program Evaluation

What should children be taught in the years from birth through age 8? How would we know if they are developing well and learning what we want them to learn? And how could we decide whether programs for children from infancy through the primary grades are doing a good job?

Answers to these questions-questions about early childhood curriculum, child assessment, and program evaluation-are the foundation of a joint position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE). 

View Position Statement
Position Statement courtesy of NAEYC
Introduction to the ITERS-R Now Available through CCEI Online Training Course

CCEI is proud to announce the introduction of CUR107: Introduction to Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scales (ITERS-R) to the catalog of online professional development courses. This intermediate-level course provides an introduction to the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) and is intended primarily for childcare practitioners (teachers and administrators) whose programs are or may be subject to quality ratings by program monitors, regulatory agencies, researchers, or other formal observers, as well as anyone considering the use of ITERS or other rating scales to evaluate their own program or classroom. Students will receive immediate, unrestricted access to course documentation once the course exam is finalized with a score of 70% or better. This two-hour training course is available for online enrollment now, and awards 0.2 IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon successful completion.

Early Childhood Assessment Online Training Supports Developmental Wellness in Youth

Online child care training course CCEI1200: Assessing Young Children: Part 1 - Introduction to Assessment is available as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users during the month of January. This introductory course is the first in a three-part series dealing with the assessment of young children. Students completing this course will have an understanding of the importance of assessing young children and creating a narrative summary for the assessment of each child. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to define assessment, list why it is important for teachers to assess young children, list the four basic areas addressed by developmental milestones, and define "performance-based assessment". Upon successful completion of the course exam, students will receive 0.1 IACET CEU and immediate, unrestricted access to course documentation.

This beginner-level training course is available as a trial course to new users for CCEI account creation in January. Current students with active, unlimited subscriptions can enroll in professional development courses at no additional cost when logged in to their CCEI account.

Heidi Beaudette

Hudson, NH


Congratulations to Heidi for successfully completing the Online Infant-Toddler Orientation Certificate Program of Study!

Heidi initiated her child care career after high school by working in the infant room of a child care facility. After two years, she became a full-time nanny and continues to work with infants and toddlers. The child Heidi currently nannies for is a 15-month-old who loves to dance. Heidi especially enjoys the time period between naptime and lunch because she feels children are the most creative and playful during that time. She's motivated to work with children by the bonding that occurs on a daily basis and by seeing infants figure things out on their own.


Heidi loves spending her spare time with her husband, cooking, and seeing live music. She hopes to operate her own home child care program once she has children, and to complete CCEI's Online Family Child Care Certificate in the future. Heidi looks forward to continuing her education with CCEI and explains, "I recommend CCEI to anyone looking to further their education in the childcare field, and I would also recommend courses like the infant/toddler orientation to new parents. There is so much information in there that would really benefit parents."


Congratulations, Heidi! 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 Online 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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