ChildCare Education Institute Announces Partnership with Association of Childhood Education International

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a nationally accredited and IACET approved distance training institution dedicated exclusively to the child care industry, is proud to announce an agreement with the Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI) to offer online training and certificate programs of study.

The partnership with ACEI recognizes CCEI as the preferred provider of online early childhood development programs. ACEI members will be able to enroll in CCEI courses through a custom-designed ACEI online portal. This co-branded portal provides members with user-friendly enrollment, which allows them to access competency-based, self-paced, online coursework on popular child care training topics.

“Partnerships like this one are implemented to further the common goal of preparing the child care workforce to provide the best educational and developmental opportunities for young children. Educators can continue to broaden their skill set, advance their careers and maintain a life-work balance by enrolling in online professional development or certificate programs with CCEI,” said Maria C. Taylor, ChildCare Education Institute President and CEO.

ChildCare Education Institute Offers No-Cost Online Course Examining The Read Aloud Process: Building the Components of Literacy

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers LIT101: The Read Aloud Process: Building The Components of Literacy as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users February 1-28, 2018.

There are many facts with regard to building literacy and reading skills, and we learn more through research and practice every day. One thing we know for sure is that not all children come to kindergarten with the same skills, experiences, or background knowledge. We know there are social and cultural forces at play, such as the fact that children with highly educated parents tend to develop language and literacy skills more readily, not because of genetic factors but simply because of the kinds of learning experiences and the sheer number of words they are more likely to encounter during early childhood. One of the jobs of an early childhood educator is to teach children the pre-reading and reading skills necessary to succeed in school and life.

During early childhood, it is more important to focus on the characteristics of fluent readers, not just which letters make which sounds. With that in mind, read−alouds provide an essential tool for promoting essential early literacy skills. What do young children need in order to build literacy skills? They need read−alouds! This is true up through preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1–3, at least, if not well beyond. Indeed, students should continue “shared readings” throughout their middle school and into the high school years.

This course is about the preparation and skills a teacher needs in order to ensure that read-alouds in the early childhood environment accomplish the literacy-building goals of a good early childhood curriculum. This course is about the process of conducting effective, meaningful read-alouds in order to build foundational literacy skills that children will use for the rest of their lives.

“While read-alouds are a staple in any effective, high-quality early learning program, teachers do not always take advantage of all the ways in which the read-aloud can build essential early literacy skills,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “A well-planned read-aloud should provide far more than exposure to a good story; through rich, meaningful discussion and related activities, young children should be able to build comprehension and analytical skills as well as background knowledge that will be so important as they develop into independent readers.”

LIT101: The Read Aloud Process: Building The Components of Literacy is a one-hour, intermediate-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 or call 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

11 Critical MegaSkills© a Child Needs to Succeed

This month, CCEI Radio features an interview with Rae Pica and Dorothy Rich, Ed. D., ’11 Critical MegaSkills® a Child Needs to Succeed’. This interview defines MegaSkills® and the long term effects they have on the success of a child. MegaSkills® are the catalysts for building motivation and achievement in school and in life. Listen today to learn how you can develop a child’s MegaSkills® and create successful learning experiences that last a lifetime.

Rae Pica, Executive Director – Moving & Learning, is an internationally recognized educational consultant specializing in early childhood physical activity. Rae is also a contributing author of CCEI professional development coursework. Dr. Dorothy Rich is founder and president of Home and School Institute (HSI), a non-profit organization dedicated to building achievement in school and beyond. Dr. Rich is the author of the original MegaSkills® publications and the creator of the MegaSkills® training programs, used by more than four thousand schools across the United States and abroad.

Listening to CCEI Radio Is Easy!
Go to and click the CCEI Radio button on the right hand side of the website.

Make sure to check CCEI’s website every month for a new interview that is relevant to your career in the early childhood industry.

Advance Optimal Development with Child Care Training Course on Play

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an industry-leading distance training provider, announces CHD104: The Importance of Play! as the newest addition to the CCEI catalog of 100+ online child care training courses.

Research shows that young children often do not have enough time during the day to play. Many factors contribute to the loss of playtime, but one thing is certain: play is essential for optimal development. Play promotes nearly everything developmental across physical, cognitive, social, and emotion domains. It helps with memory retention, vocabulary, motor skills, processing visual stimuli, and much more!

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how play develops executive brain functions, promotes problem-solving, and encourages cognitive development. Other topics covered include Parten’s Six Stages of Play, early infant play, passive entertainment, play structure, and defining different types of play.

“Playtime is necessary to promote creative, explorative, and innovative thought,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “This new course provides a thorough explanation on why play is so important and ways in which more play can be incorporated across the curriculum.”

This course is a two-hour, beginner-level training, available for purchase through online enrollment now. CCEI students with active, unlimited individual or center-based subscriptions can enroll in this course anytime at no additional cost when logged in to their account. Once the course is concluded successfully, students will receive 0.2 IACET CEUs and have access to the certificate of completion.

All CCEI training coursework is self-paced, which allows CCEI students the ability to resume courses at the exact point where they signed off previously. For more information on ChildCare Education Institute, visit or call 1.800.499.9907, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm EST.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time! A Time to Consider Community

August is a busy month for many people in early care and education. You may find yourself busy ordering materials for the upcoming year, rearranging furniture, changing decorations, and learning about new children who will soon be entering your program. All of this on top of preparing for a new school year at home if you happen to be in school or have a family of your own. It is a good idea to set aside some time this month to consider the back-to-school environment you want to create for the children in your care.

There are many things to consider when preparing for a new school year. Some ECE professionals reflect on the curriculum to identify what worked last year and opportunities for improvement. Some teachers meet with colleagues to discuss the abilities and needs of the students who will be transitioning into their classrooms. Many providers freshen up the environment with new shelf labels and creative bulletin boards. You probably have your own favorite get-to-know-you activities that you use at the start of a new year.

These are all very valuable elements that contribute to quality care for young children. However, there is often so much to do that our efforts can become a little disjointed. Perhaps a central theme would help to focus our work? Take a moment to consider the theme classroom community.

Here are a few important messages children receive when they are part of a classroom community:

  • You are valuable and your contributions are important.
  • We take care of each other and you are safe here.
  • This is your space and you belong here.
  • These materials belong to everyone.
  • You have a voice and your opinion matters.
  • You have choices here and I respect your choices.

Using this frame of mind, can you think of ways to focus your back to school efforts?

We would love to hear how you create a classroom community: tell us on Facebook!

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community Director’s Corner

While teachers are hard at work creating community in the classroom, take time to reflect on the culture of community you have created with your staff.

  • Survey the staff to see how they feel about the level of community between their coworkers. Include space for teachers to share community building ideas they would like to explore with coworkers.
  • Use this information to alter the agenda of your staff meetings. Instead of bringing staff together to talk about the things they are doing wrong, use that time to build community. It might even be possible to use some of the issues you need to address as a brainstorming/community-building activity during a staff meeting. Otherwise, address issues with individual staff directly.
  • Create an appreciation program that allows coworkers to acknowledge each other for the strengths they contribute to the team. This could be in the form of a bullet board, newsletter article, or verbal recognition during staff meetings.
  • Plan a pot luck or a night out at a community ballpark. This will allow coworkers to meet and interact with their coworkers’ families.
  • Participate as a team in a fundraising walk-a-thon. This is great marketing for your program, promotes healthy living, and contributes to a good cause.
  • Create a professional book club. Meet once a month to discuss the assigned chapter and ways to incorporate the ideas in the chapter into the program. You could also use professional articles, which might be more manageable and time efficient. Check out for excellent, short articles you could use.
  • Encourage employees to take the lead in planning an annual professional development calendar. Give staff the responsibility for picking relevant topics and planning events.
  • Delegate other roles whenever possible so that each employee feels like a contributing member of the team. Encourage employees to lead staff meetings, share information from a recently attended training, facilitate family committee meetings, etc.
  • On that note, also consider how well you have been able to create a sense of community between the families enrolled in your program. Do they all have a sense of belonging and value? Do they all feel safe and that they have a voice? Stay tuned for more on family involvement strategies in upcoming newsletters or sign up for one of the CCEI courses on this topic.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community Infants & Toddlers

Infants and toddlers are very egocentric. Because of their developmental level, they have not yet built strong relationships with peers. Nevertheless, there are ways that caregivers can begin to instill a sense of community in infant and toddler environments:

  • Respond gently to their cues of sleepiness, hunger, engagement, disinterest, etc.
  • Model strong communication skills by responding when they speak/vocalize, using active listening, asking meaningful questions, etc.
  • Provide children choices of materials to play with. Model how to use materials in new ways and how to clean up materials.
  • Talk with children about gentle touches and using “nice hands”. Model on baby dolls, coworkers, and children.
  • Read or tell stories about taking care of animals or other people.
  • Display children’s work, including pictures of the children completing the work.
  • Create group murals, collages, or other art projects.
  • Hang pictures of children and their families where children can see them. Use contact paper to attach pictures to floor tiles so crawlers can discover the pictures when they are on the move.
  • Acknowledge caring behaviors. Complement children on their ability to be helpful and cooperative, rather than their cute shoes.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community Preschoolers

During the preschool years, children begin to shift their focus from self to others. They will begin to form bonds of friendship with peers. These relationships are sometimes challenged by conflicting ideas and competition for materials. This is an excellent time to introduce the concept of community, and how to be a successful community member:

  • Use whole group time (circle time) to build community. Move academic lessons into small groups where you will be better able to customize activities to meet the different ability levels of the children in your group.
  • Read stories about communities. Help children identify elements of a community. Have discussions about what it means to be a member of a community. Use this language with children when solving disagreements.
  • Work with children to come up with a community commitment statement. This statement should use simple language and capture an agreement that children make to one another and classroom community. You may find that these agreements or commitments compliment your classroom rules:
  • – We believe that everyone belongs here.
    – We agree to take care of one another.
    – We promise to listen when others speak.

  • Teach children problem solving strategies. When reading a book, stop at the point of conflict in the book to have a discussion about possible solutions. Return to the book the next day to see if the characters used their problem solving skills successfully.
  • Show children how valuable works of art are displayed in frames. Show children that their work is valuable by displaying it in frames. Inexpensive frames can be found at discount stores in most communities. You can also create frames using construction paper.
  • Identify opportunities for children to have autonomy. Permit children to choose where to play, where to sit for meals, what their art looks like, how they move their bodies, etc. Is it possible for children to decide whether to sit on the floor or to sit on chairs during group time? Reflect on your routine to identify as many chances for children to make decisions for themselves as possible.
  • Strive to have a short, personal conversation with each child, every day. Acknowledge children’s attempts and successes with community interactions.
  • Highlight a different child/family each week. Encourage children to share elements of their family culture and traditions. Discuss similarities and differences, and the value of each child and family in the classroom community.
  • Share newspaper stories about members of your community who have done good deeds. If possible, invite these individuals in to the classroom to discuss their experiences. Think of ways that your classroom community can contribute to the larger community.

August 2017 Newsletter: It’s Back-to-School Time – A Time to Consider Community School-Agers

School-agers have a general understanding of what it means to be a member of a community. They are able to engage in deeper conversations about how communities work. In some cases, they have many external pressures that influence the decisions that they make about their interactions within a community.

  • Work with children to create a community contract. The contract should outline the behaviors that are expected in the classroom community. Have each child sign the contract showing their commitment to being a positive member of the community.
  • Consider creating community leadership positions. These leaders can change each month to give everyone a chance to hold a position. These leaders should take an active role in decision making and problem solving in the classroom. Use titles such as Problem Solver, Class Listener, or Solution Finder, rather than president or vice president.
  • Check in with each student when they enter the program. Gauge how they are feeling after a long day at school. Ask them to give a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-sideways to let you know how their day went. This will help you make decisions about how to respond to their needs. If most children had a thumbs-down day, you might alter your plan to give them a bit more time to wind down before asking them to meet the demands of your program.
  • Incorporate meditation or deep breathing as a transition from school to the after school program. Use guided imagery to encourage children to reflect on their day, let go of negative feelings, and prepare to participate in the program.
  • Use literature and appropriate pop culture references to explore the importance of being a positive community member.
  • Engage in community service projects together. Create and sell art to raise money for a cause. Plant a garden and donate food to a shelter. Gather donations to send to soldiers overseas. Coordinate a park clean-up day.
  • Encourage children to create a play or talent show to promote cooperation, communication, and collaboration. These productions allow children to participate in different ways, so children who don’t want to preform, can still take a role in set design or costuming.