ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, is proud to introduce SOC108: Establishing Trauma Informed Practices in Early Learning Environments to the online child care training course catalog.

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 Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “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.”