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 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).