ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course on Trouble-Free Transitions that Teach

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers CUR120: Trouble-Free Transitions that Teach as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users February 1-28, 2021.

No matter how early childhood professionals structure the day, transitions are an inevitable part of working with young children. There is always somewhere to get to next, another activity to begin, or an activity to clean up.  Typical transitions in an early childhood setting include arrival, moving to snacks and lunch, cleanup, rest or naptime, moving to outside the classroom, and departure. Any time the class moves from one activity to another, there is a transition. And with each transition, there is a valuable learning opportunity that can be benefited from.

Brain research tells us that there are things that young children aren’t suited (or developmentally ready) to do. Near the top of that list would be being still and being quiet. Yet those are the two requirements traditionally imposed on young children during transitions.  Imaginative and developmentally appropriate transitions provide the children practice with following directions. Because they will be engaging and fun – two components that foster intrinsic motivation in children – the directions early childhood professionals offer will be those that the children want to follow.  These are important teaching opportunities that create situations where children practice following fun directions as a means of introducing and reinforcing the skill. They will feel more successful and confident, which fosters further practice of the skill in other areas of their lives.

The author of this course, Rae Pica, has been an education consultant, specializing in the development and education of the whole child and children’s physical activity, since 1980. Rae is one of the foremost child development experts in education. She is the founder and director of Moving & Learning (now Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting) and the author of 19 books, including Teachable Transitions, which is the foundation for this course.

This course is designed to help early childhood professionals create realistic expectations for transitions. It will also provide a variety of developmentally appropriate transition activities that can be used in early learning environments. This course presents practical and fun methods for reducing the stress of daily classroom transitions. It explores effective transition strategies that ensure smooth progression through the daily schedule. The course also promotes the use of transitions as valuable learning opportunities that exist throughout the day.

“When teachers have a clear understanding of child development, they can create realistic expectations for children’s abilities and behaviors,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “Applying this knowledge directly to the planning of transition activities is the first step to addressing the challenges of transitions in the classroom.”

CUR120: Trouble-Free Transitions that Teach is a two-hour, beginner-level course and grants 0.2 IACET CEU upon successful completion. This course is also offered in Spanish as ESP_CUR120.  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).

January 2021 Newsletter – Stress Reduction in the New Year: Supporting Children during the New Year

January is usually a challenging month in child care programs as children get back into the flow of the routine after the holidays.  It remains to be seen if the effects of the stress of 2020 will add to the challenges of the New Year transition.

It may be your intention to get right back to work and jump right into curriculum planning. Be sure to consider the needs of the children in your care before leaping back into your daily routine. Help children ease into the expectations and demands of the classroom.  Adjust your expectations, as children may have regressed in their skills and behaviors over the winter break or while at home for the holidays.

Here are a few ways you can continue to reach your academic standards while supporting children’s needs:

  • Allow more time for play. Give children extra time to play with materials of their choice that may or may not be related to the curriculum. Use this time to observe their skills and actions. Collect data on how children are functioning as individuals and as a group. This information can be used to make decisions about any skills you need to revisit or work to strengthen.
  • Give more time for daily routines. Allow children a little extra time for cleaning up, eating, putting on their coats, and other stressful times of day. While they may have spent August-December becoming more efficient at these tasks, they may need a bit more time to readjust to the routine.
  • Patiently review expectations. You may think that children have been with you for a few months now, they should know what is expected of them. This may be true; cognitively they can tell you the class rules, but emotionally, they need to readjust to the stress of being with a large group, competing for materials and attention, and managing their emotional reactions.
  • Teach self-calming strategies the same way you teach academic skills. Dedicate portions of large group time to practicing deep breathing, guided visualizations, yoga/stretching, and problem-solving. Recognize that these skills are just as important as academic skills in early childhood. In fact, the lack of these skills can impede academic development in some children. Remember you are there to teach the whole child- in all areas of development.

Let us know if any of these ideas make a difference for you on our Facebook page here.

For the main article Stress Reduction in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Self-Care in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Offer Family Support, CLICK HERE

For the article Committing to Positivity with Your Team, CLICK HERE

January 2021 Student Spotlight – Brooke Collick

I began my career right after I graduated High School in 2014. I immediately went to help my mom’s friend run her home daycare while she was on maternity leave, and it progressed from there. I am now the assistant in a Head Start classroom of preschoolers 3-4 years old and in the transition of going to assist in the GSRP classroom.

My favorite time of the day with the kids is when we sit down and do family style meals and talk about our day. In the morning, we talk about what they did at home the night before and anything else they want to discuss. During lunch time, we often talk about what they did during work time, outside, small group, etc. and I love having conversations with them. Not only does it work on their language and communication skills, but they say the funniest things. It’s like talking to a big group of friends, and I love it.  Their favorite activity right now is definitely going to the climber room we have. We go every afternoon, but sometimes in the morning if it’s too cold or rainy out. They love getting all their energy out by running, climbing, and jumping. Otherwise the class we have this year really enjoys work time because they are free to explore the classroom and materials how they want, and they all love playing with each other.

I’m motivated to work with children because I think early childhood education is one of the most important jobs out there. Teaching future generations to dream big, work hard, and be good, responsible, and happy people is so rewarding, and needed. I’m motivated to make a difference in young children’s lives and be a positive role model for them to look forward to seeing at school every day.  I enjoy the bonds that I make with the children the most. Over the past almost seven years, I’ve met so many children, parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. and the amount of them that I still talk to, even if I don’t work at that center anymore, warms my heart. I’ve taken care of children since they were six weeks old and watched them grow into strong and independent Kindergarteners.  I’ve been so privileged to be a part of the childhoods of so many, and what happens in childhood, especially in education, really shapes how a person will turn out.

I currently live in New Hudson, Michigan.  My favorite thing to do is read!  If you see me, I’m either reading or writing something. English has always been my favorite subject, and as much as I love being able to physically hold a book, the fact that I can take my phone out at any moment and get lost in a virtual library is amazing.  I see myself staying in the school system that I’m in right now and eventually becoming the lead teacher of the classroom. I’d like to decide if I want to stay teaching the younger children or possibly move into teaching high school English, because as I said before, that’s my favorite subject and a true passion of mine.

I plan on finishing my associates degree that I started after I graduated. It’s a slow process going to school and working full time, but I’d like to eventually have my bachelors.  I love getting my training hours through CCEI! I currently just finished the CCEI Self-Study CDA coursework portion and I am now scheduling my test and verification visit. Hopefully by this month, I will officially have my CDA! I recommend CCEI to everyone in the early childhood education field. Now that I’ve taken my CDA coursework, I’ve started recommending CCEI even more. For people that thrive in an online environment, working at their own pace, it’s perfect. Everything is easy to understand, quick, but informative, and all organized within a personalized profile. It really makes training so easy!

CCEI is a wonderful establishment dedicated to the education of those in the early childhood development field. It’s a simple, effective, and quite quick way to gain the knowledge and experience needed to further your career. I loved not having to go to a weekly college class lecture to obtain my CDA. Being able to log on and do up to six classes a day allowed me to work through the program in a little over two months. I had quick and easy access to my extremely helpful Education Coach, and all directions were easy to follow. Something as daunting as earning the CDA Certification quickly became just part of my routine because of how easy it was to accomplish the tasks and assignments needed. As much as I say it was simple, I still feel like I gained valuable knowledge and put in a lot of hard work and effort to graduate. It’s great to fit into a busy schedule, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to earn their CDA. Otherwise, it’s also a wonderful place to gain yearly training credit with a large online course library full of different topics for various ECE age groups.

January 2021 Newsletter – Stress Reduction in the New Year: Committing to Positivity with Your Team

A positive work environment can make a world of difference when it comes to effectively managing stress and successfully transitioning into the New Year. A positive work environment is the responsibility of each person on the team. You are all in it together, as they say.

Make a commitment to your team members to only express positivity when interacting with one another.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t address problems or concerns, we will talk about that in a minute.  What we mean is, refrain from complaining. Refrain from engaging in gossip. Refrain from passing the buck.  Commit to building each other up. Commit to recognizing a job well done. Commit to taking responsibility when you make a mistake.  These are all behaviors that contribute to a positive work environment. Your commitments to one another may be a little different as each program has a different team dynamic, but these examples should start a healthy conversation.

When problems do arise, treat them as opportunities to improve skills and practices. Rather than complaining that something isn’t working, ask, “How can we fix it?”  Instead of burying your frustrations, bring them to light and ask for support from your team. Become solution-oriented rather than problem-focused.

Create a support system at work that utilizes each coworker’s unique strengths.  This means that each teacher will need to reflect and work with teaching teams to create a list of strengths that can be shared with the team. Perhaps there are two or three teachers that are skilled at incorporating mathematical language into the daily routine. Anyone who is challenged by that task can reach out to those individuals for advice and coaching.

Once again, you are not an island, you are part of a team. These team members live in your community they are going through many of the same challenges that you are experiencing.  Commit to creating a positive work environment – even if it is not a team-wide initiative, you can at least commit to not add to others’ stress levels.

For the main article Stress Reduction in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Self-Care in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Supporting Children during the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Offer Family Support, CLICK HERE

January 2021 Newsletter – Stress Reduction in the New Year: Offer Family Support

Many of you likely have children in addition to working in a child care program. Even if you are not a parent, take some time this month the reconsider your relationship with the families enrolled in your program. Identify the stress you are feeling. Identify the causes of stress for you or within your community. Recognize that if these factors are stressful to you, they are probably stressful for others, as well. Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have to manage stress. Taking time to empathize with families and identify shared struggle can help you open up to the possibility of working with families in new ways.

Consider sharing stress reduction strategies with families in your newsletters, daily reports, text messages, or on social media. Some people do not have the time to research effective ways to reduce family stress at home. Your efforts could make a big difference for parents and children.

Share the self-calming strategies you are practicing with the children. Offer a video demonstration of the practices in action for parents to watch.  Identify keywords and phrases that you use in the classroom to help children tune into their bodies and initiate self-calming tools.  Doing so not only introduces new skills to families, but it also creates consistency for the children.

Limit demands as much as possible. 2020 has been demanding, the holidays in a “normal” year are demanding. Interactions with your program don’t have to add extra demands to families. For example, it is common for family/teacher conferences to be held in January, but can they wait a few weeks until things calm down for families? Most interactions with families are limited now anyway due to COVID restrictions. Communication is so important, but maybe this year, we can structure things a little differently. Gather with your team and brainstorm out-of-the-box ways to share interact with families that don’t add more stress to their lives.

For the main article Stress Reduction in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Self-Care in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Supporting Children during the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Committing to Positivity with Your Team, CLICK HERE

January 2021 Newsletter – Stress Reduction in the New Year

The past year has been challenging – both professionally and personally, for those of us in the field of early childhood education. 2020 brought us the COVID-19 pandemic, instances of racial injustice, and political theater unlike any other year in recent memory.  As always, we have adapted, learned, and found different ways to persevere in the face of unprecedented circumstances.  Throughout the year, we at CCEI have endeavored to provide the child care workforce with strategies and resources to ensure that you were able to maintain high-quality standards of care for the children and families enrolled in your programs. Looking back, we have covered many topics that were not necessarily part of our original plan for the 2020 newsletter publications. These topics included:

In this New Year, we can look back on the many opportunities that 2020 provided with a sense of optimism and a positive outlook. We made it through 2020! And while 2021 will continue to test us, we are better prepared to meet these challenges with the tools we have learned.

In this month’s newsletter, we will examine ways that we can create calm, nurturing, and safe spaces for the children and adults we work with on a daily basis.  Be sure to check out the past issues of the CCEI newsletter for any information you may have missed during the past year.

For the article Self-Care in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Supporting Children during the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Offer Family Support, CLICK HERE

For the article Committing to Positivity with Your Team, CLICK HERE

January 2021 Newsletter – Stress Reduction in the New Year: Self-Care in the New Year

Some of you may be familiar with the question, “What have you done for me lately?” most notably asked by Janet Jackson. Let’s take some time to reflect on the question, “What have you done for you lately?”

2020 was the kind of year that caused many people to go into self-preservation mode, whether for financial, physical, social, or emotional reasons. There were just too many stressful situations to ignore and even if you were not directly impacted by the events of 2020, you likely felt the indirect effects of what was happening in your community. This means that our normal support systems may not have been readily available to us. When cafes and restaurants are shut down, it is difficult to catch up with dear friends. Zoom meetings with mentors and colleagues might not have the same rejuvenating effect. Everyone is just trying to get by!

In these difficult times, we just cannot afford to wait for others to take care of us – we have to take care of ourselves. Until we are fulfilled, we will not be able to effectively care for others.  Sure, we may be able to give others what they need for a short period of time, but as soon as that reservoir of care runs dry, we will face a serious case of burn-out.

To prevent burn-out and continue to be an effective caregiver and collaborator, we must adopt self-care practices that fill our unique reservoir.

Take some time this month to identify one or two things you can do each day that are rejuvenating and meaningful to you. The things that work for you may not necessarily work for others. You could try:

  • Mindful transitions – before transitioning from one part of your day to the next, you can take three deep breaths to clear your mind and get you ready for what is to come. You could wake up and take breaths before getting out of bed, before getting in the shower, before leaving your house for work, before exiting the vehicle to go to work, before entering your classroom, etc.
  • Goal-driven decisions – What are the practices or habits that add joy to your life? Which are the ones that add very little value to your life, but you still find yourself doing them more than you would like? If you would really like to read more or get more exercise, or watch less television, examine your daily routine and make realistic decisions about changes that will align your actions to your wishes.  Perhaps limit yourself to half the amount of television that you normally consume and fill that extra time with things that bring you joy.
  • Manage social time – Make it a point to reach out to loved ones, even if it is just on social media for now. Positively engage with others; avoid negativity. Recognize when you are engaged in a negative interaction and remove yourself from the situation – especially if it is on social media!
  • Stress reduction – Read about how stress impacts the body and mind. Take time to identify how you respond to stress. Look for clues that you are stressed, which can vary from person to person. Perhaps you feel tightening in a particular part of your body, or turn to food when stressed.  Some people distract themselves with their phones or engage in habitual practices that calm them down. Knowing your signs of stress can help you identify your triggers so that you can begin to reduce or eliminate them.

You don’t have to make big changes. Avoid adding more stress to your life by thinking that you have to completely reinvent yourself in the New Year. This is why resolutions fail; change is hard. Pick small practices that are meaningful and joyful to help keep you motivated.

For the main article Stress Reduction in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Supporting Children during the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Offer Family Support, CLICK HERE

For the article Committing to Positivity with Your Team, CLICK HERE

Reducing Stress in the Classroom

The CCEI January Newsletter explores ways to reduce stress during the transition into the New Year. There are a number of things that caregivers can do to reduce the level of stress children experience in the learning environment. These practices should be implemented throughout the year to ensure that children have an optimal early learning experience:

  • Establish a consistent schedule that allows children to know what to expect next and to prepare for transitions. This consistency helps children feel comfortable and secure.
  • Set up a routine for daily events like naptime, washing hands, and cleaning up.
  • Concentrate daily on building and nurturing your relationship with each child.
  • Accept, acknowledge, and celebrate individual differences in interests, abilities, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Include plenty of time for self-directed play. This is when children practice social and communication skills and learn to control the objects in their environment. The sense of competence derived from play fosters a positive self-image.
  • Offer choices to children in activities, materials, and directing their own behavior. This helps children learn that they have some control over what they do.
  • Emphasize cooperation and minimize competition. Fostering cooperation helps everyone feel like they have something to contribute and that they are an important part of the group.
  • Display photos of the children in the group and pictures they have drawn.
  • Greet children warmly as they arrive.
  • Listen when children share their ideas. Reflect back what was said in your response.
  • Recognize when children master a skill they have been working on. Be specific about the praise you give. “It used to be hard for you to zip your coat. Now you can do it every time.”
  • Provide activities that are developmentally appropriate and that are open-ended. Use more activities that focus on the process rather than the product. Children will feel more successful.
  • Keep your expectations realistic and convey your confidence by saying, “I know you can do it.”
  • Identify all the things you like about the children and talk about those characteristics often!

 

ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course on Managing Stress in the Classroom

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers SOC102: From Chaotic to Calm: Managing Stress in the Classroom as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users January 1-31, 2021.

Stress is a natural, normal part of everyone′s lives, including young children. Moreover, stress can be contagious. If one infant or toddler is having a stressful day, the symptoms can spread to other children and caregivers, making everyone′s day tough. This course is designed to help teachers understand the sources and symptoms of childhood stresses and to provide tools for helping children cope.

Stress is a function of the demands placed on a child and his or her ability to meet those demands. The more the child′s abilities cannot meet those demands, the greater potential there is for stress. Pressure can come from outside sources, such as family, friends, or school, or it can come from within, such as feeling frustrated by an inability to communicate or accomplish something.

For most children the holidays are happy, fun, and exciting. There may be special food, music, and family traditions. At the school you may have additional activities and events planned. However, for some children, the holidays can be stressful and confusing. Family plans and celebrations may be complicated by divorce, separation, or remarriage. The holidays can be an even more difficult time for children who have lost a parent, sibling, or close relative.

The seeds of adult anxiety are sown in childhood. Parents and teachers have a window of opportunity to help children learn to recover from their stress factors. Early recognition and intervention can reduce anxiety and increase self−confidence, optimism, and the chances for children to reach their highest potential.

The environment is a powerful contributor to children’s learning. By developing a nurturing and supportive environment you can make your classroom as stress−free as possible. With a calming environment and appropriate activities and materials, you and your children can use techniques proactively to release stress and emotions.

This course will provide an understanding of childhood stress and will give information, activity ideas, and tools for easing children’s anxieties and worries in the classroom. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to define various sources of stress, identify symptoms, and various methods to help children cope.

“The goal of this course is to provide tools and techniques to manage the inevitable stresses in children’s lives, to help children so that they may be more resilient, and ultimately to create a more positive atmosphere in the classroom,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “Teachers may benefit personally by using these techniques throughout the day to manage their own stress.”

SOC102: From Chaotic to Calm: Managing Stress in the Classroom is a one-hour, beginner-level course and grants 0.1 IACET CEU upon successful completion.  This course is also offered in Spanish as ESP_SOC102.  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).