ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course on Establishing Trauma Informed Practices in Early Learning Environments

This course introduces the concept of trauma in the lives of young children and focus on ways to incorporate trauma informed practices into the environment and interactions with children.

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers SOC108: Establishing Trauma Informed Practices in Early Learning Environments, as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users May 1-31, 2024.

Early care and education providers work with diverse groups of students from all walks of life. Statistics show that 26% percent of children living in America will experience some sort of trauma in their life prior to the age of four. Given this fact, adults need to acknowledge that children pick up on positive, enriching experiences as well as experiences that are frightening or threatening. Too often, adults think that children are too young to understand traumatic scenarios that are playing out around them. To a degree, this is true. An infant won’t understand what an earthquake is, but the child will pick up on the fear of others in the environment, in addition to noises and the sight of the damage caused by the event. A preschooler may not fully understand the concept of homelessness, but they will absorb the stress of the situation. A school age child may not understand substance abuse, but will be greatly impacted by the inconsistency of care from a family member who is struggling with addiction. In each case, the children will feel the effects of the breakdown in safety and security. Trauma can be caused by a variety of situations, and each child internalizes and reacts differently to traumatic events.

This course introduces the concept of trauma in the lives of young children and focus on ways to incorporate trauma informed practices into the environment and interactions with children. Teachers will benefit from a greater understanding of trauma, its impact on young children’s development, and ways they can create an environment in which all children can thrive. Families will receive the added benefit of consistent and responsive care for their children. Children will feel supported and secure in their early learning environment, which can lead to better outcomes in the areas of school success and social interactions.

“It is clear that trauma and stress are powerful forces that can greatly affect a young child’s development,” says Dr. Chrystine Mitchell, Director of Early Childhood Education Operations. “Because all areas of development are intertwined, no area goes untouched by the effects of trauma. It is important that caregivers create environments and provide interactions that are sensitive to the trauma children may have experienced.”

SOC108: Establishing Trauma Informed Practices in Early Learning Environments 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

About ChildCare Education Institute, a StraighterLine Company

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI) 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. CCEI offers 200+ online child care training courses in English and Spanish 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, an approved partner of the Council for Professional Recognition, 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 Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). For more information, visit: cceionline.com.

Use of Trauma-Informed Practices in Your Classroom Will Benefit All of Your Students

As an early childhood educator, it is challenging to be aware of all of the possible scenarios that could cause trauma in a child’s life. A traumatic experience is one that threatens one’s physical safety or sense of safety. We cannot be aware of how every experience is perceived by the children in our care. Also, not every experience will cause trauma in every case. For example, each child whose parents divorce will experience the situation differently; with different degrees of trauma.

Using trauma-informed practices will benefit all children because it is impossible to know or predict how individual children will experience trauma. These practices focus on social and emotional supports that help children learn to self-calm, regulate their emotions, and communicate their needs. Strategies are rooted in relationships and trust.  They emphasize safety, predictability, and consistency. These are important social and emotional supports for every young child, so using a trauma-informed approach serves everyone in the program.

Providing the same social-emotional guidance and approach to all children will help ensure that no child who has experienced trauma slips through the cracks. Using a strengths-based approach to teaching will benefit all children. Strengths-based strategies help children assess what they do well and then use these strengths and talents to build knowledge. Drawing on children’s strengths and capacities builds resilience and helps them develop the skills, competencies, and confidence they need to become active learners and critical thinkers. It also leads to improved educational outcomes, more success, and increased engagement.

We should aim to strengthen every child’s skills and mindset to successfully navigate stressful situations. Children can be very resilient, and helping them develop greater resiliency should be a common goal. Even children who have not been exposed to trauma will benefit from activities that strengthen resiliency. These strategies will prepare them for whatever challenges come their way.

The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is having at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. As a teacher and caregiver, you should aim to be one of those people for the children in your care.

Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, offers the following 7 C’s of Resilience:

  1. Competence – Through trying, failing, and succeeding, children begin to develop trust in their abilities.
  2. Confidence – As skills strengthen, children begin to feel more sure of themselves.
  3. Connection – The bonds that children build with others will support them in times of need.
  4. Character – Having a clear sense of right and wrong will guide children’s choices in challenging situations.
  5. Contribution – Being part of and participating in something larger than themselves helps children move through challenging situations.
  6. Coping – Tools for managing emotions and communicating their needs give children positive outlets in overwhelming situations.
  7. Control – Feeling as if they have a say in what happens can help children navigate difficult times.

Children’s resilience skills need to be nurtured and supported. In addition to building strong relationships with the children and families, educators should create situations that strengthen the 7 C’s of resilience.  Identify ways for children to practice the skills associated with resilience in safe situations so the skills are there before they are needed.  Embed elements of the 7 C’s into daily routines, curriculum activities, outdoor play, and personal interactions with all of the children in your care.