February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development: Interactions with Adults

Consider how the following interactions with adults can promote children’s development:

  • Day to day family conversations – Brief conversations with families help you build trust with parents, which will be useful when challenging conversations arise.
  • Family/teacher conferences – Conferences promote collaboration on goals for children’s future development, which will help parents promote development at home.
  • Email or paper communication with families- Teachers can share a wide variety of activity ideas via family communication tools. In addition, teacher can share positive guidance strategies that families can use to create a consistent approach to helping children learn self-regulation skills.
  • Staff meetings – Staff meetings provide an opportunity for staff members to learn from one another, brainstorm solutions to challenging situations, and address quality improvement efforts that will benefit children and families.
  • Disagreements with coworkers – When differences arise between coworkers, teachers have the opportunity to model compromise and problem solving skills. It is also an opportunity to consider solutions that will be best for children’s development.
  • Providing feedback on performance – Coaching or providing feedback on performance can help teachers improve teaching strategies, reduce stress, and develop deeper relationships with children.
  • Interactions with visitors and perspective families – These interactions provide children with examples of greetings, manners, and turn-taking conversations.

For the main article Supporting Child Development, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Physical Environment, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Daily RoutineCLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Children, CLICK HERE

February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development: Interactions with Children

Consider how the following interactions with children promote development:

  • Greetings and departures – Welcoming children warmly sets the tone for the child’s entire day. It creates a sense of belonging, which children need to settle in and focus on learning. A sincere ‘good-bye’ lets children know they are valued and it models good manners.
  • Responding to behaviors/emotions – Caregivers can help children develop self-regulation skills and language skills during interactions related to challenging behaviors.
  • Conflict resolution – When teachers coach children through conflicts, they promote cooperation and problem solving skills.
  • Bottle feedings – Holding an infant during bottle feeding is a great time to make eye contact and talk with infants. You can sing songs and strengthen your bond with individual children, which is important to help them development attachments to others.
  • One-on-one conversations – Making time to have personal discussions with children is a great way to model patterns of language and rules of conversations. Teachers can introduce new vocabulary words and build relationships with children.
  • Planning and reviewing play- When teachers talk with children about their play, both their plans for play and reviewing accomplishments, it is a great way to build focus, self-confidence, and goal-setting skills.
  • Small groups- Small group times are usually used to explore math and early literacy concepts. Using small group instruction also allows children to learn from one another, practice cooperation skills, and communicate with each other.

For the main article Supporting Child Development, CLICK HERE 
For the article Tasks within the Physical Environment, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Daily Routine, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Adults, CLICK HERE 

February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development: Tasks within the Daily Routine

Consider how the following elements of the daily routine can promote children’s development:

  • Meals and snacks – Children learn healthy eating habits when caregivers provide healthy meals and snacks. They also learn about the characteristics of a variety of food items.
  • Setting up for naptime – Getting children involved in setting up for naptime promotes independence, communication skills, and physical development.
  • Diapering – Diapering is a time for you to engage in one-on-one conversations with young children. These moments help you establishing a trusting and supportive relationship with each child. You can sing songs that introduce new language or discuss body parts and characteristics of items within the child’s line of sight.
  • Handwashing – In addition to reducing the spread of disease, handwashing promotes independence, direction following skills, and establishes a healthy self-care habit for life.
  • Completing daily reports – Daily reports are tools for building relationships with families and sharing ways they can extend learning at home.
  • Cleaning toys – Clean toys decrease the number of illnesses in the environment. When children are included in the toy cleaning process, they have the chance to practice skills across all areas of development.
  • Large group times – Group meetings are a great time for children to develop a sense of belonging and build language and communication skills.

For the main article Supporting Child Development, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Physical Environment, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Adults, CLICK HERE

February 2020 Student Spotlight – Donna Montemarano

This past month, I earned my Infant/Toddler CDA credential. It is quite an accomplishment and I am very proud. I completed the on-line coursework from CCEI. I learned valuable information to use in and out of the classroom. I highly recommend the program! I could go on the computer anytime to do my work. I liked the flexibility, materials, videos and quality of the courses. I had an excellent education coach who was so supportive, informative and guided me through the start of my program till the end of my course. I am very inspired to continue my work in early childhood development.  I will continue to do my Professional Development courses from CCEI.

I live in Edison, New Jersey. I have an Associate Degree in Applied Science. I am married and have joyous memories of raising my children. As a family, we celebrated the seasons, art, literature, nature, and music. I volunteered to read to my children’s classes, participated in multicultural nights, chaperoned class trips, and enjoyed these activities very much. Watching my children learn, discover, and explore motivated me to work with children. I loved their questions, curiosity, and laughter. I work as a Head Teacher for mobile infants ages 12-18 months. It is an amazing stage of development that I am fascinated with. I really enjoy my connection with the families. They share special stories of their child at home and I share my stories of their child in the classroom. This feedback is so important as I am an active listener. Parents appreciate this very much.

My science background trained me to develop my attention to detail and observation skills. My parenting years have led me to my career path. My years of raising my children inspired me and motivated me to appreciate and recognize all the wonderful and critical stages of early childhood development.  I read books to my children starting in infancy and I strongly believe this is so important for child development. Spoken words connected with visual images, voices, holding the child, eye-contact and tactile all contribute to a child’s development.  In the future, I would love to write a children’s book.

Supporting the Development of the Whole Child

In the February Newsletter, we discuss several ways that common elements of the daily routine promote children’s development. When promoting children’s development it is helpful to think about the whole child as a learner. This means, that in addition to planning academic lessons, it is also important to intentionally plan activities that target social emotional and physical development skills. In many cases, you won’t need to create separate lessons to address these skills. Instead, create a plan for academic lessons that include opportunities for children to practice additional skills.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Look for ways to add fine motor movement to literacy lessons.
  • Explore math concepts using gross motor movements.
  • When reviewing weekly lesson plans, look for opportunities for children to work in small groups or pairs to accomplish tasks.
  • Think about elements of the daily routine that lend themselves to the practice of social skills.
  • Consider how your interactions with children model and promote appropriate language and conversation skills.
  • Identify lessons that help children develop emotional regulation skills.

In addition to planning where to integrate different areas of development in to the lesson plan, make notes of how you will assess the skills children are learning. Be prepared with your camera and sticky notes so that you can capture all of the learning that is happening as children explore.

February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development: Tasks within the Physical Environment

Consider how the following tasks can promote children’s development:

  • Rearranging furniture – Room arrangement should evolve with the needs and interests of the children. Proper room arrangement supports child engagement and the development of independence. Well organized classrooms help children focus on tasks and encourage children to make choices.
  • Cleaning the bathrooms – Clean bathrooms cut down on the spread of germs and prevent injury so that children remain healthy and able to participate in the program on a consistent basis.
  • Taking out the trash – In addition to the sanitary benefits, taking out the trash creates a pleasant learning environment that shows respect for children.
  • Wiping tables – Cleaning surfaces is a good way to teach children about germs. They can also participate in the daily chore of wiping the tables with soapy water (not sanitizer), which promotes responsibility.
  • Conducting an inventory of materials – Taking inventory will alert you to any materials that may be missing or broken. You can then determine the best way to replace those materials so that children can take advantage of the learning opportunities the materials provide.
  • Inspecting the playground – Playground inspections keep everyone safe so that children can establish healthy physical activity habits at an early age.
  • Creating displays and bulletin boards – Displays showcase children’s work and promote a sense of community spirit and pride.

For the main article Supporting Child Development, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Daily Routine, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Adults, CLICK HERE

February 2020 Newsletter – Supporting Child Development

As an early learning professional, it is your ultimate goal to support the development of each and every child in your care. That is no small order.  There are many factors to consider and influences at play when you think about supporting individual children within a group of 6-30 children.

With everything that’s on your plate – from diapering and daily reports to mealtimes and medication administration – it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. Every action you take is designed to support child development, even when things seem like menial tasks.  Even tasks specifically designed to help you, like conducting assessments and compiling portfolios, can seem more like paperwork that pulls you away from your ultimate goal of supporting the development of children.

If you start to feel frustrated with all of the job responsibilities, the first steps is to realize how you are feeling.  Notice the sensations in your body and the thoughts that are running through your mind.  Make note of them, so you can recognize them in the future. Then make the intentional decision to shift your thinking. Make a connection between the task and your ultimate goal of supporting the development of every child in your care.

Use the ideas shared in this newsletter to remind you of the benefits of how to incorporate learning opportunities that promote development throughout the day.

For the article Tasks within the Physical Environment, CLICK HERE
For the article Tasks within the Daily Routine, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Interactions with Adults, CLICK HERE

ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course on Supporting Spiritual Development in Early Learning Environments

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers CHD109: Supporting Spiritual Development in Early Learning Environments as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users February 1-29, 2020.

Research on infant brain development shows that the first few years of life are a time when seeds of trust, hope, and love are planted by positive interactions with caregivers.  This research can help us understand the important role that early childhood educators play in promoting the development of spirituality.  Spiritual development begins when love ignites a child’s spirit. At this point, the infant becomes capable of forming deep connections and meaningful relationships with family members and caregivers. These relationships help the child develop a strong and powerful sense of self.  Meeting infants’ basic needs is a primary way to help them strengthen their self-awareness. The manner in which adults respond to infants’ signals sends a powerful message about their place in the world.

To deepen our understanding of spiritual development, especially outside of the context of religion, it is important to be aware of other theories and concepts that have been studied that are complementary in nature.  There are a number of theories and research studies that support the connection between spiritual development, well-being, and academic success.  Researchers past and present have studied the role of moral development, resilience, and plasticity. Even more recently, educators are using words such as thriving, grit, and flow.  With this deeper understanding, caregivers will be prepared to create experiences in the learning environment that contribute to children’s spiritual development.

Spiritual development can lead to a more socially just world – meaning opportunity and equality for all. By promoting spiritual development, in addition to traditional domains of learning such as literacy and STEM, we are creating a more peaceful and just society while raising children who are prepared to participate in society in positive ways.  Through spiritual development, children learn to be aware of and comfortable with qualities such as respect, responsibility, and reverence for self and others. They learn to be capable of acknowledging differences between people without feeling fear. They develop a love for the earth and take action to protect it.

This course is based upon the work of Deborah Schein, author of the book titled Inspiring Wonder, Awe, and Empathy – Spiritual Development in Young Children. The course explores what spiritual development is and why it is important to overall development. Participants will also learn how to create moments within their learning environments that promote spiritual development in young children.

“A lens on spiritual development is a helpful tool in today’s complex, diverse and sometimes unkind world,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “This knowledge will prepare caregivers to create environments that nurture children spiritually thus offering children opportunity to develop a kinder self.”

CHD109: Supporting Spiritual Development in Early Learning Environments is a two-hour, intermediate-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 www.cceionline.edu or call 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

ChildCare Education Institute, LLC

ChildCare Education Institute®, a division of Excelligence Learning Corporation, 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 accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).