New Course from ChildCare Education Institute on Understanding and Promoting Infant Development

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, is proud to introduce CHD106: Understanding and Promoting Infant Development to the online child care training course catalog.

Early childhood is the most active stage of human development and more growth occurs in the first year of life than any other period.  Caregivers who understand the progression of development are more prepared to respond to needs and create appropriate learning environments.  In this course, caregivers will discover the characteristics of infant development.  In addition, the course provides strategies caregivers can use to promote growth and learning across all areas of development.

“It is important for child care professionals to have a deeper understanding of the physical, cognitive, social, emotional and educational development that occurs in infants from birth to one year of age,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “After taking this course, teachers should be better able to provide quality care for children and implement developmentally appropriate activities in the childcare setting.”

CHD106: Understanding and Promoting Infant Development is a two-hour, beginner-level course and grants 0.2 IACET CEU upon successful completion. Current CCEI users with active, unlimited annual subscriptions can register for professional development courses at no additional cost when logged in to their CCEI account. Users without subscriptions can purchase child care training courses as block hours through CCEI online enrollment.

For more information, visit or call 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

ChildCare Education Institute, LLC

ChildCare Education Institute® provides high-quality, distance education certificates and child care training programs in an array of child care settings, including preschool centers, family child care, prekindergarten classrooms, nanny care, online daycare training and more. Over 150 English and Spanish child care training courses are available online to meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start Requirements. CCEI also has online certification programs that provide the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials.  CCEI, a Council for Professional Recognition CDA Gold Standard™ training provider, is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), and is authorized under the Nonpublic Postsecondary Educational Institutions Act of 1990, license number 837.

11 Critical MegaSkills© a Child Needs to Succeed

This month, CCEI Radio features an interview with Rae Pica and Dorothy Rich, Ed. D., ’11 Critical MegaSkills® a Child Needs to Succeed’. This interview defines MegaSkills® and the long term effects they have on the success of a child. MegaSkills® are the catalysts for building motivation and achievement in school and in life. Listen today to learn how you can develop a child’s MegaSkills® and create successful learning experiences that last a lifetime.

Rae Pica, Executive Director – Moving & Learning, is an internationally recognized educational consultant specializing in early childhood physical activity. Rae is also a contributing author of CCEI professional development coursework. Dr. Dorothy Rich is founder and president of Home and School Institute (HSI), a non-profit organization dedicated to building achievement in school and beyond. Dr. Rich is the author of the original MegaSkills® publications and the creator of the MegaSkills® training programs, used by more than four thousand schools across the United States and abroad.

Listening to CCEI Radio Is Easy!
Go to and click the CCEI Radio button on the right hand side of the website.

Make sure to check CCEI’s website every month for a new interview that is relevant to your career in the early childhood industry.

Advance Optimal Development with Child Care Training Course on Play

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an industry-leading distance training provider, announces CHD104: The Importance of Play! as the newest addition to the CCEI catalog of 100+ online child care training courses.

Research shows that young children often do not have enough time during the day to play. Many factors contribute to the loss of playtime, but one thing is certain: play is essential for optimal development. Play promotes nearly everything developmental across physical, cognitive, social, and emotion domains. It helps with memory retention, vocabulary, motor skills, processing visual stimuli, and much more!

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how play develops executive brain functions, promotes problem-solving, and encourages cognitive development. Other topics covered include Parten’s Six Stages of Play, early infant play, passive entertainment, play structure, and defining different types of play.

“Playtime is necessary to promote creative, explorative, and innovative thought,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “This new course provides a thorough explanation on why play is so important and ways in which more play can be incorporated across the curriculum.”

This course is a two-hour, beginner-level training, available for purchase through online enrollment now. CCEI students with active, unlimited individual or center-based subscriptions can enroll in this course anytime at no additional cost when logged in to their account. Once the course is concluded successfully, students will receive 0.2 IACET CEUs and have access to the certificate of completion.

All CCEI training coursework is self-paced, which allows CCEI students the ability to resume courses at the exact point where they signed off previously. For more information on ChildCare Education Institute, visit or call 1.800.499.9907, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm EST.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time! A Time to Consider Community

August is a busy month for many people in early care and education. You may find yourself busy ordering materials for the upcoming year, rearranging furniture, changing decorations, and learning about new children who will soon be entering your program. All of this on top of preparing for a new school year at home if you happen to be in school or have a family of your own. It is a good idea to set aside some time this month to consider the back-to-school environment you want to create for the children in your care.

There are many things to consider when preparing for a new school year. Some ECE professionals reflect on the curriculum to identify what worked last year and opportunities for improvement. Some teachers meet with colleagues to discuss the abilities and needs of the students who will be transitioning into their classrooms. Many providers freshen up the environment with new shelf labels and creative bulletin boards. You probably have your own favorite get-to-know-you activities that you use at the start of a new year.

These are all very valuable elements that contribute to quality care for young children. However, there is often so much to do that our efforts can become a little disjointed. Perhaps a central theme would help to focus our work? Take a moment to consider the theme classroom community.

Here are a few important messages children receive when they are part of a classroom community:

  • You are valuable and your contributions are important.
  • We take care of each other and you are safe here.
  • This is your space and you belong here.
  • These materials belong to everyone.
  • You have a voice and your opinion matters.
  • You have choices here and I respect your choices.

Using this frame of mind, can you think of ways to focus your back to school efforts?

We would love to hear how you create a classroom community: tell us on Facebook!

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community Director’s Corner

While teachers are hard at work creating community in the classroom, take time to reflect on the culture of community you have created with your staff.

    • Survey the staff to see how they feel about the level of community between their coworkers. Include space for teachers to share community building ideas they would like to explore with coworkers.
    • Use this information to alter the agenda of your staff meetings. Instead of bringing staff together to talk about the things they are doing wrong, use that time to build community. It might even be possible to use some of the issues you need to address as a brainstorming/community-building activity during a staff meeting. Otherwise, address issues with individual staff directly.
    • Create an appreciation program that allows coworkers to acknowledge each other for the strengths they contribute to the team. This could be in the form of a bullet board, newsletter article, or verbal recognition during staff meetings.
    • Plan a pot luck or a night out at a community ballpark. This will allow coworkers to meet and interact with their coworkers’ families.
    • Participate as a team in a fundraising walk-a-thon. This is great marketing for your program, promotes healthy living, and contributes to a good cause.
    • Create a professional book club. Meet once a month to discuss the assigned chapter and ways to incorporate the ideas in the chapter into the program. You could also use professional articles, which might be more manageable and time efficient. Check out for excellent, short articles you could use.
    • Encourage employees to take the lead in planning an annual professional development calendar. Give staff the responsibility for picking relevant topics and planning events.
    • Delegate other roles whenever possible so that each employee feels like a contributing member of the team. Encourage employees to lead staff meetings, share information from a recently attended training, facilitate family committee meetings, etc.

On that note, also consider how well you have been able to create a sense of community between the families enrolled in your program. Do they all have a sense of belonging and value? Do they all feel safe and that they have a voice? Stay tuned for more on family involvement strategies in upcoming newsletters or sign up for one of the CCEI courses on this topic.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community Infants & Toddlers

Infants and toddlers are very egocentric. Because of their developmental level, they have not yet built strong relationships with peers. Nevertheless, there are ways that caregivers can begin to instill a sense of community in infant and toddler environments:

  • Respond gently to their cues of sleepiness, hunger, engagement, disinterest, etc.
  • Model strong communication skills by responding when they speak/vocalize, using active listening, asking meaningful questions, etc.
  • Provide children choices of materials to play with. Model how to use materials in new ways and how to clean up materials.
  • Talk with children about gentle touches and using “nice hands”. Model on baby dolls, coworkers, and children.
  • Read or tell stories about taking care of animals or other people.
  • Display children’s work, including pictures of the children completing the work.
  • Create group murals, collages, or other art projects.
  • Hang pictures of children and their families where children can see them. Use contact paper to attach pictures to floor tiles so crawlers can discover the pictures when they are on the move.
  • Acknowledge caring behaviors. Complement children on their ability to be helpful and cooperative, rather than their cute shoes.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community Preschoolers

What is circle time and how can it benefit the classroom environment? Well, during the preschool years, children begin to shift their focus from self to others. They will begin to form bonds of friendship with peers. These relationships are sometimes challenged by conflicting ideas and competition for materials. This is an excellent time to introduce the concept of community, and how to be a successful community member:

    • Use whole group time (circle time) to build community. Move academic lessons into small groups where you will be better able to customize activities to meet the different ability levels of the children in your group.
    • Read stories about communities. Help children identify elements of a community. Have discussions about what it means to be a member of a community. Use this language with children when solving disagreements.
    • Work with children to come up with a community commitment statement. This statement should use simple language and capture an agreement that children make to one another and classroom community. You may find that these agreements or commitments compliment your classroom rules:

– We believe that everyone belongs here.
– We agree to take care of one another.
– We promise to listen when others speak.

  • Teach children problem solving strategies. When reading a book, stop at the point of conflict in the book to have a discussion about possible solutions. Return to the book the next day to see if the characters used their problem solving skills successfully.
  • Show children how valuable works of art are displayed in frames. Show children that their work is valuable by displaying it in frames. Inexpensive frames can be found at discount stores in most communities. You can also create frames using construction paper.
  • Identify opportunities for children to have autonomy. Permit children to choose where to play, where to sit for meals, what their art looks like, how they move their bodies, etc. Is it possible for children to decide whether to sit on the floor or to sit on chairs during group time? Reflect on your routine to identify as many chances for children to make decisions for themselves as possible.
  • Strive to have a short, personal conversation with each child, every day. Acknowledge children’s attempts and successes with community interactions.
  • Highlight a different child/family each week. Encourage children to share elements of their family culture and traditions. Discuss similarities and differences, and the value of each child and family in the classroom community.
  • Share newspaper stories about members of your community who have done good deeds. If possible, invite these individuals in to the classroom to discuss their experiences. Think of ways that your classroom community can contribute to the larger community.

Now that you know what circle time is and how to effectively build a sense of community, try incorporating these suggestions in your preschool classroom today.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community School-Agers

School-agers have a general understanding of what it means to be a member of a community. They are able to engage in deeper conversations about how communities work. In some cases, they have many external pressures that influence the decisions that they make about their interactions within a community.

  • Work with children to create a community contract. The contract should outline the behaviors that are expected in the classroom community. Have each child sign the contract showing their commitment to being a positive member of the community.
  • Consider creating community leadership positions. These leaders can change each month to give everyone a chance to hold a position. These leaders should take an active role in decision making and problem solving in the classroom. Use titles such as Problem Solver, Class Listener, or Solution Finder, rather than president or vice president.
  • Check in with each student when they enter the program. Gauge how they are feeling after a long day at school. Ask them to give a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-sideways to let you know how their day went. This will help you make decisions about how to respond to their needs. If most children had a thumbs-down day, you might alter your plan to give them a bit more time to wind down before asking them to meet the demands of your program.
  • Incorporate meditation or deep breathing as a transition from school to the after school program. Use guided imagery to encourage children to reflect on their day, let go of negative feelings, and prepare to participate in the program.
  • Use literature and appropriate pop culture references to explore the importance of being a positive community member.
  • Engage in community service projects together. Create and sell art to raise money for a cause. Plant a garden and donate food to a shelter. Gather donations to send to soldiers overseas. Coordinate a park clean-up day.
  • Encourage children to create a play or talent show to promote cooperation, communication, and collaboration. These productions allow children to participate in different ways, so children who don’t want to preform, can still take a role in set design or costuming.

August 2017 Newsletter: Student Spotlight – John Krantz

I began my career in early childhood at the age of 12, working as a counselor in training at a church camp during the summer. I left the field until about the age of 21 when I started cooking in the kitchen for a medium-sized childcare facility. After about 5 months, I was asked to work in the classrooms after my time in the kitchen and I agreed. After about 2 months of that, I was asked to work all day in the classrooms and I made the switch. I have worked ever since in the classrooms until recently when I moved over to a managerial role.

The smiles, laughs and hugs motivates me to work with children. Those moments when you can literally see the light bulb go off in their head as they grasp a new idea or concept. The times when they take what you’ve given/planned for them and go off on a completely random and wonderful direction.

Being around them and seeing them learn is what I enjoy most about my job and educating young children. The questions, the mistakes, the accomplishments. Seeing them succeed because of who and what they are and knowing I helped give them the tools they needed to succeed. For most of my groups they seem to enjoy free choice and story time the most from my perspective.

I currently reside in Pensacola, Florida. In my free time, I read when I get a chance or surf the web, watch TV with my kids and hang out with my wife.

I plan on eventually being a Director and encouraging more teachers to grow to their full potential. Teachers are my kids now and I hope to eventually be as good a teacher for them as I was for the little gals and guys in my classroom. I have received my CDA and renewed it twice. I’m currently working on my AA and want to get at least my BS and maybe go higher.

I have taken about 30 or so professional development courses from CCEI. CCEI has some of the more interesting online coursework available while at the same time being challenging enough that you have to take notes and pay attention. I recommend CCEI to all my staff when they are looking for a specific type of training.

For every male ECE teacher out there, keep working hard and never take the negative attitudes to heart. As for everybody, remember every day you make a memory for a child, please make it a happy one!

CCEI Adds New Professional Development Course Authored by Dr. Pam Schiller

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) has added to it’s catalog of online professional development courses, SPN100: Inclusive Literacy Lessons, written by author and consultant, Dr. Pam Schiller. Dr. Schiller is a freelance early childhood consultant and author who shares her extensive knowledge in workshops, radio and television interviews, and as a popular keynote speaker and author. She has published several childrens books, music CDs, DVDs, and more than thirty teacher resource books.

Register for this intermediate level course today and learn how to introduce, develop, and help children with special needs practice literacy skills and concepts. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to list the building blocks of literacy development, list the guidelines for working with children with special needs, define functional or self-help skills, identify the sequence of normal speech development and identify the signs of behavioral or social-emotional issues.

Through an articulation agreement with Ashford University, CCEI students can articulate completed professional development courses to Ashford University. Under the terms of the Ashford University transfer credit policy, fifteen (15) clock hours of completed CCEI professional development coursework translates to one (1) unit of elective credit at Ashford University.

Register Online for Professional Development Courses by selecting online enrollment now!

Courses are $15 each and individual professional development subscriptions are just $99.