March 2020 Student Spotlight – Matt Rogers

My career began as an accident at first.  My sister was working with school-aged children when she asked if I wanted to work at the YMCA here in Santa Clarita, CA. When I started working with the school-age children, the preschool also needed help.  My site director sent me to assist and I impressed the director so much with the way I cared for the children that she wanted me to work for her.  After working there, I wanted to explore preschool more and ended up working at another preschool for 13 years where I grew to love not only the kids but my staff I worked with as well.  It felt like family and to this day I would still do anything for the providers I worked with.  Now some of my kids have grown and are in high school.  A few weeks ago something happened that shook our town to its core.  Even though kids I have cared for are bigger now, they are still in my heart and I am #SaugusStrong.

My favorite activity during the school day is the children’s choice time and whenever they are exploring. At that point, I’m learning from them, seeing who they are as individuals.  My heart motivates me to work with children.  Kids are kind and caring and don’t pass judgement and everyday when a kid smiles at you its genuine, not forced.  When you see a child whose day would be crushed if you weren’t there it becomes the same when the kids aren’t there for me as well.

What I enjoy most about my job and educating children is seeing who they grow up to be.  They don’t remember you as they grow, but their parents do and knowing that you were a small building block to their development makes it the most rewarding to me.

In my free time I draw and write children’s stories and I self published as a downloadable book.  I also enjoy spending time with my son whom has been teaching me the fine aspects of jazz on his saxophone and clarinet.  I don’t play but I enjoy watching and listening to him, and I am in awe of his talent.

I would love to continue my education and I feel like I’m never going to stop.  As a teacher, you learn something new everyday.  I have participated in three CCEI courses thus far:  GUI103: Understanding Aggressive and Defiant Behaviors, CUR125: Loose Parts: Incorporating Found Objects and Open-Ended Materials into the Classroom, and CUR124: Active Learning Experiences in Early Childhood so far but I am still actively taking courses.  I plan on taking and completing as many trainings with CCEI as I can.  I would recommend CCEI to anyone because the courses are so detailed and the handouts allow me to have the information I learned after taking the course even to share with my students’ parents.  I am very thankful the current owner I work for provided training for us through CCEI.  The training offered truly helps to create a resource for staff to go to when there is information we need or want to learn something new that we haven’t seen or heard about and it helps make us more prepared for issues that might arise from day to day.

March 2020 Newsletter – Self-Care: How Can I Support Self-Care in My Program?

It is important for directors and program administrators to lead the way when it comes to incorporating self-care. “Burn out” is a huge issue in the education field and leads to high turnover rates among teachers. Encouraging staff members, children, and even parents to practice self-care can benefit everyone. That being said, being responsible for a program full of staff and students can be incredibly stressful, so it is just as important for directors and program administrators to practice self-care.

We highly recommend using a variety of methods to encourage self-care.  You can share articles, books, videos, or professional development courses, such as the one offered by CCEI (PROF100: Stress Management for Child Care Providers).  Once employees have had the chance to review the materials, hold discussions about the benefits that self-care would bring to the program, obstacles to the practice of self-care, and what you can do to support self-care practices. Some of the ways you can encourage and support self-care are:

  • Consider guided meditation or yoga before opening for the day
  • Incentivize teachers for self-care practices
  • Provide bonuses or gifts that are self-care related
  • Track self-care activities on a bulletin board on the staff lounge (here is a staff Self-Care Bingo to try)
  • Share self-care reminders and strategies via social media or email
  • When time allows offer a duty free lunch or recess time
  • Encourage teachers to recognize the good in each other
  • Give teachers the opportunity to journal about the school day for themselves not to be turned in or evaluated
  • Handle issues with compassion

These are just a couple of suggestions of how directors and school administrators could support their staff and encourage their self-care practices. Again it is important to keep in mind that self-care is important for everyone, so take a moment to evaluate your self-care practices, and even consider encouraging the parents to do the same.

For the main article Self-Care, CLICK HERE

For the article What is Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article How Can I Practice More Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article How Can I Help My Students Practice Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

March 2020 Newsletter – Self-Care: How Can I Help My Students Practice Self-Care?

We’ve shown you just how important self-care is for teachers as it helps them cope with daily stressors, therefore, it is logical to assume that benefits of self-care would also be good for children. While self-care becomes increasingly more important as children begin attending school, practicing these activities from a young age can help children create positive, life-long habits. Here are some examples of activities teachers can do to promote self-care in the early learning environment:

  • Kinesthetic brain breaks or movement (here is just one example)
  • Healthy snacks and lunches – talk to children about how the foods are helping their bodies and minds
  • Encourage children to drink water
  • Celebrate small moments
  • Recognize effort as well as success
  • Take a walk outside
  • Quiet time/Meditation
  • Read aloud
  • Let children acknowledge and talk about their feelings
  • Reflective prompts
  • Classroom yoga
  • Sing and dance
  • Provide opportunities to create

What do you do to help your students practice self-care? Tell us on Facebook!

For the main article Self-Care, CLICK HERE

For the article What is Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article How Can I Practice More Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article Director’s Corner – How Can I Support Self-Care in My Program?, CLICK HERE

March 2020 Newsletter – Self-Care: How Can I Practice More Self-Care?

It is important to understand that everyone has different lives with different needs and different schedules, so self-care will look different for everyone. Self-care is so much more than taking a bath or visiting a spa. While making time to pamper yourself does count, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.  Here are some suggestions of ways you could include self-care into your daily routine:

  • Going for a walk
  • Exercising
  • Listening to music
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating health food
  • Meditation/Mindfulness
  • Aromatherapy
  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Creating or engaging in a hobby
  • Learning something new
  • Doing a digital detox
  • Saying “No”
  • Practicing self-compassion
  • Setting firm boundaries
  • Taking 10 to 20 minutes a day to decompress
  • Joining social groups or communities
  • Asking for help
  • Meeting new people
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Seeking a support system at work
  • Taking professional development classes
  • Decluttering
  • Tidying up
  • Volunteering

While all of these are great self-care activities, it is important to remember that this is just a snapshot as the possibilities are endless. The bolded ones are especially recommended for teachers. Check out some other ideas on our Pinterest page!

For the main article Self-Care, CLICK HERE

For the article What is Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article How Can I Help My Students Practice Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article Director’s Corner – How Can I Support Self-Care in My Program?, CLICK HERE

March 2020 Newsletter – Self-Care: What is Self-Care?

Let’s start by saying the one thing everyone needs to hear, self-care IS NOT selfish! Many people have come to view self-care as an excuse to be selfish with the guilt, but really self-care is about taking the time to put your health and well-being first. This is often a foreign concept for people in the education field as they spend most of their day putting others first, which is one of the big reasons why the education field has such a high rate of burnout. When teachers constantly put their health and well-being as the last priority, it is easy to understand how stress builds up, how they could start to enjoy their jobs less and less, and how they could want to quit all together. In the end, teachers need to care as much about their health and happiness as they care about the health and happiness of their students. Here are some of the signs of burnout:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Frequent illness
  • Depression
  • Irritability with coworkers, friends, and family
  • Forgetfulness
  • General lack of interest/feeling of apathy
  • Working hard and feeling drained without signs of higher production

Self-care is any action that you use to improve your health and well-being. That being said, it should also be something you enjoy, so even though going for a run is good for your health, if you hate running, then it shouldn’t necessarily be considered self-care. Self-care should also be practiced daily, even for just a few minutes. It is not something to be put off for the weekend or for vacation. The six elements of self-care, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), are:

  • Physical Self-Care: involves movement of the body, health, nutrition, sleep, rest, and physical touch.
  • Psychological Self-Care: involves learning new things, applying consequential thinking, engaging intrinsic motivation, and practicing mindfulness and creativity.
  • Emotional Self-Care: involves enhancing emotional literacy, navigating emotions, increasing empathy, managing stress effectively, and developing compassion for self and others.
  • Spiritual Self-Care: involves the beliefs and values that are important to you and guide your life. This includes pursuing your noble goals and the practices that support you developing spiritual awareness.
  • Social Self-Care: involves having a supportive group and network of relationships around you whom you trust and turn to when required. Having caring and supportive people around you builds a sense of belonging and connectedness.
  • Professional Self-Care: involves sharing your strengths and gifts, and having clear professional boundaries, whilst living your purpose.

Try this self-care inventory to see what areas you might need to adjust your self-care routine.

For the main article Self-Care, CLICK HERE

For the article What is Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article How Can I Help My Students Practice Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article Director’s Corner – How Can I Support Self-Care in My Program?, CLICK HERE

March 2020 Newsletter – Self-Care

During these difficult and uncertain times, it can be incredibly beneficial to focus on self-care.  At this point, many have forgotten all about that New Year’s Resolution, and reverted back to old habits especially with the added stressors within our current environment. Take this time to reflect upon how well you are taking care of your own needs.

In this newsletter, we will explore the benefits of self-care for the health and wellness of everyone, but especially teachers. In this busy day and age, where we are connected twenty-four/seven, it is important to stop and take stock of individual needs. If you are feeling stressed and you are interested in finding ways to reduce your mental load, check out one of CCEI’s courses, PROF100: Stress Management for Child Care. This course is the free trial course of the month for individuals who are new to CCEI, so be sure to share with your colleagues!

“Self-care is not about self-indulgence, it’s about self-preservation.”

-Audrey Lorde

For the article What is Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article How Can I Practice More Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article How Can I Help My Students Practice Self-Care?, CLICK HERE

For the article Director’s Corner – How Can I Support Self-Care in My Program?, CLICK HERE

The Importance of Self-Care

The March edition of the CCEI newsletter focuses on ways to include self-care into the daily routine among teachers, administrators, and parents, as well as how to build these habits with students. Most people get into the child care industry because they care so much about the health and well-being of the children in their care, which means that their needs often come last. However, this mentality is leading to high turnover and burnout. Have you ever felt so tired from a day that you could barely make it to the couch that night? Do you find it hard to find the motivation to accomplish tasks in your everyday life? Are you regularly sick? Or do you often feel exhausted and overwhelmed? These are just a couple of reasons why it has become increasingly important to practice self-care.

When you fly on an airplane, have you ever wondered why you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, before you help anyone else? This is because you cannot help anyone if you do not help yourself first. This same concept can be applied to teaching. In order to give students the best possible education, it is important for teachers to be happy and healthy. Notice that happiness is listed first as mental happiness often leads to physical healthiness, and vice versa. Self-care comes in many different forms for everyone depending on their schedule and needs, but it is important to do something daily to help fill your bucket. A teacher can’t give something they do not have, so if they do not refill their bucket, they will lose their caring, compassion, and patience.

“By taking care of myself, I have so much more to offer the world than I do when I am running on empty.”

-Ali Washington

As important as self-care is for adults, it can also be beneficial for children, as it often gives them to time to recharge and reflect. Young children often have trouble slowing down long enough to evaluate how they are feeling and process their surroundings. Encouraging times of stillness and reflection can help children learn how to handle their emotions. Instituting moments of self-care in the classroom can help students build up the tools they will need to be successful members of the community.

New Course from ChildCare Education Institute on an Introduction to Inclusion and Children with Special Needs

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, is proud to introduce SPN106: An Introduction to Inclusion and Children with Special Needs to the online child care training course catalog.

According to the American Heritage dictionary, the term to include means “to take in as a part, element, or member; to 13 of 44 consider with or place into a group or class.” In education, inclusion is the practice of placing children with disabilities, or special needs, into educational environments with “typically developing” peers. But inclusion is much more than just the physical placement of children into typical, or mainstream, learning environments.

According to the inclusion statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), there are three important features of high-quality inclusion:

  1. Access refers to simple modifications like rearranging furniture, adjusting learning opportunities so that all children can participate, and removing physical or structural barriers.
  2. Participation refers to using individualized supports and accommodations so that all children can fully play and interact within the environment. It is important for the providers to promote participation and engagement in an inclusive setting in very intentional ways.
  3. Support refers to the collaboration of all of the professionals who are working with a child with special needs. It is important that everyone working with the child use the same strategies and information to help the child develop and make progress.

Inclusion can be seen as a value that educators hold dear. It is a belief that all children belong, regardless of gender, ability, race or ethnic background. Planning needs to be done to make sure that all children are successful. No one can predict every adaptation that will be required to support children′s needs. However, with a belief in inclusion, teachers make an effort to reflect on the typical day to figure out which adaptations could help children to succeed.

There are many children enrolled in child care facilities with undiagnosed disabilities. Because children enter child care at such a young age, it is quite common for child care providers to be the first people to notice the possible signs of a disability. For this reason, it is extremely important to create an inclusive environment regardless of whether a child with a diagnosed disability is enrolled in the program. The inclusive practices listed in this course are beneficial to all students and should be present in all learning environments.

“After completing this course, ECE professionals will be able to identify important laws and current “best practices” regarding the inclusion of children with special needs in the classroom,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “Participants will also become familiar with different types of special needs and begin to formulate a “vision for inclusion” to support children of all abilities and their families.”

SPN106: An Introduction to Inclusion and Children with Special Needs 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 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 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.

ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course on Stress Management for Child Care Providers

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers PROF100: Stress Management for Child Care Providers as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users March 1-31, 2020.

Caring for young children can be an extremely fascinating, gratifying career. Child care providers help children grow and develop at a critical time in their lives. They help children master new skills and turn tears to giggles. At the end of the day, they go home knowing they are needed and have made a difference.  On the other hand, the stress associated with this career can be overwhelming and detrimental to one′s health and the well−being of the children, too.

Stress can be defined as the universal human response to the perception of an intense or distressing experience. With all types of stress your body reacts with a release of adrenaline, your heart starts pumping harder and your muscles prepare for immediate action. Your digestive system slows so that all available energy can move to the heart and your breathing speeds up and becomes shallow. Your body works over and above its normal level to allow you to be ready for action.

Unrecognized and unrelieved stress can cause a caregiver to be unresponsive and insensitive to the needs of the children. A lack of enthusiasm can affect the quality and variety of experiences available to the children. It is easy to become distracted and careless about supervision and may bring about safety problems.  This course provides an overview of the effects of stress in the lives of child care professionals and to understand coping techniques to manage stress. Participants will be able to define stress, identify four sources of stress, identify four symptoms of stress, and identify techniques for stress management in four categories.

“Child care quality is affected by the training, skill and experience of providers as well as the continuity of children’s care,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “Identifying and developing stress management techniques will decreases worker burn out and turnover rate, and create childcare environments that are calm, relaxed and pleasant for both children and providers.”

PROF100: Stress Management for Child Care Providers is a one-hour, beginner-level course and grants 0.1 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).