ChildCare Education Institute September Newsletter
Essentials of Child Food Allergies 
In This Issue...
Child Food Allergies
CDC's National Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools
Oh, Nuts!
Basic Guidelines for a High-Quality Out-of-School Program Outlined in New Course
Online Mini-Certificates from CCEI Offer Unique Training Opportunities
Annual Training Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA, Director, & Early Childhood Credential Coursework

Child Food Allergies        


About one out of fifty young children has a food allergy. So, if you are a childcare provider or teacher, it is almost certain that some children in your school have food allergies, and very likely that you have one or more in your classroom. Food allergies are serious and common enough that all childcare providers and teachers need to have some basic education on the topic.  


While most allergic reactions cause discomfort with symptoms such as hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing, some reactions can be deadly serious. Furthermore, you never know when that deadly serious reaction will strike. For example, a child's first allergic response is often more mild than the next one. An allergy occurs when your body's defense systems overreact to something, and since your body's defense systems adapt and "learn" with each exposure, it is common for the subsequent reactions to be stronger.  


Unfortunately, many young children have undiagnosed allergies, meaning that their parents and medical providers are not yet aware of the child's allergy. Therefore, it is necessary to take certain precautions. It is for this reason that peanut butter is banned in many childcare environments, because peanut allergies are more dangerous than most other food allergies.  


Read on to learn more essential facts about food allergies in the childcare environment...


  • Most people inherit their food allergies from parents. If you care for young children, it is a good idea to survey all parents to see if they have any food allergies, even if children haven't been diagnosed yet.
  • Peanuts and tree nuts are not the same. In fact, peanuts are legumes (beans). However, this does not mean that it is okay to feed a handful of cashews or almonds to a peanut-allergic child. First and foremost, cross-contamination is common in nut-processing facilities, and even a little bit of peanut dust can sneak into that can of cashews and cause a serious, potentially deadly, reaction. Secondly, many people with peanut allergies are allergic to some but not all tree nuts (including coconuts!). Families need to work closely with a professional allergist to determine if it is safe to eat that chocolate brownie with walnuts or not, but it's best not to let any tree nuts into the childcare environment.
  • About 10-15 percent of children outgrow their food allergies. The rest will have them for life.
  • Milk, eggs, and shellfish are also common allergens.
  • Don't assume that a child is allergic to milk just because he or she happens to get hives one day after snack time. For all you know, the hives could be from some other food or one of countless other allergens in the environment. Only a trained medical professional can make the diagnosis!

Lastly, remember that it is NEVER okay to tease or otherwise exclude young children (or anyone else for that matter) who have food allergies. Have respect and remember that these children did not choose to be allergic. Please read the additional links in this letter for more information.

Volume 9, Issue 9

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on PinterestVisit our blogFind us on Google+
40+ hands-on activities for children to explore the wonders of science with easy-to-find material & step-by-step instructions

Subscriptions allow one year of access to 100+ CCEI Online Child Care Training Courses! 

CCEI newsletters & announcements send weekly to over 150,000 child care professionals. 

CDC's National Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools

On October 30, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) published "Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs" - the first national comprehensive guidelines for school food allergy management.


These guidelines were prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, with conceptual, technical, and editorial help from other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Justice; other operating divisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH).  


View Article

Article Courtesy of
Oh, Nuts! 
By: Beth Puliti
Why are parents bagging the PB&J when packing their child's school lunch nowadays? The answer is nuts - peanuts, that is.

In recent years, nut allergies have increased in prevalence. Today, a growing number of children - an estimated 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. population - are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

View Article

Article Courtesy of

Basic Guidelines for a High-Quality Out-of-School Program Outlined in New Course      
ChildCare Education Institute is is proud to introduce CUR109: The School-Age Child Care Environment: General Guidelines for a High-Quality Out-of-School Program to the online child care training course catalog.

This course provides basic information about school-age child care. This includes recommended practices and guidelines for any type of care for children ages 5-15 outside the regular school setting, but for the most part it focuses on the afterschool environment. This course is designed with early childhood professionals in mind, i.e., people who spend most of their time working with young children but also work with school-age children in the afterschool environment.
Online Mini-Certificates from CCEI Offer Unique Training Opportunities      
CCEI is proud to offer a wide selection of Online Mini-Certificate Programs of Study in the Online Certificate Catalog in order to support the dynamic needs of the early care and education industry.

Online Mini Certificate Programs are unique in that they offer deep information on one topic, instead of top level information on many topics. These Mini Certificate Programs are designed to give educators a variety of options to fulfill their professional development needs. Certificate topics include Staff Leadership, Communication, Inclusion, Mandated Reporting, Fitness, Marketing, Curriculum Development, and more! 

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.

Miss an issue? Visit our newsletter archives!