The Preschool track is intended for early childhood professionals serving children ages 3 through 5 years in center based programs. This track offers training and professional development resources, including written narrative, video, skill building activities, and classroom tools. The Preschool track consists of courses that mirror the core Child Development Associate (CDA) competencies plus a course on preventing child abuse and one on recognizing and reporting child abuse.
Promote program excellence by protecting children, families, and staff from injury and minimizing hazardous risks. In this course you will learn about toys and materials, environments, supervision, safety rules, ratios, sleep practices, child abuse, emergency preparedness, injuries, trips away from the program, and vehicle safety.
Healthy environments are critical for preschoolers’ development. In this course you will learn how to create and maintain healthy environments for all preschoolers, and how to implement hygiene practices to prevent disease. You will learn strategies to ensure daily healthy checks, as well as strategies to support children’s and families’ mental health needs. The importance of healthy nutrition and physical activity will also be addressed.
Preschool children thrive in learning environments that are designed with their unique needs and interests in mind. This course will help you plan engaging interest areas and also address how indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to support learning. You will also learn how to select developmentally appropriate materials, and how to create a flexible, but predictable, classroom schedule.
The preschool years are an important time of physical activity and development. In this course you will learn about typical motor skill development and what to do if you are concerned about a child’s development. You will also learn how to plan indoor and outdoor experiences that promote physical development and support families and children as they pursue an active lifestyle.
In this course, you will learn about cognitive development, interactions that promote learning, engagement, what and how children learn in preschool, exploration and problem solving, planning, inclusion, and embracing ethnicity and culture.
Communication skills are vital to the overall learning and development of preschool children. In this course you will learn about communication milestones and what to do if you have concerns about a child’s development. You will also learn strategies to maintain effective communication with families and how to create a communication and language-rich environment.
The preschool years are a time of tremendous growth in creative expression. This course will help you learn to plan indoor and outdoor experiences that promote children’s creativity, as well as how to select culturally responsive materials for all learners. Your role as a creative preschool teacher will also be addressed and help you learn how to promote creativity in your workplace.
Preschool children’s sense of self is shaped as they interact with their families, teachers, and peers. In this course you will learn about how young children develop a sense of self and the importance of resilience in your work as a preschool teacher. You will also learn about the influence of culture and ways to support preschoolers’ sense of self through experiences, activities, and the environment. Self-care practices and stress reduction will also be addressed.
Social-emotional skills are essential in the healthy development of preschool children. In this course you will learn about social-emotional milestones and what to do if you have a concern about a child’s social-emotional development. This course will also address the impact high-quality environments have on social-emotional development, as well as the role you play as a responsive, nurturing preschool teacher.
Positive guidance impacts the healthy development of preschool children. In this course you will learn about typical preschool behaviors and effective strategies for challenging situations. You will also learn how to create a high-quality environment and developmentally appropriate experiences to maximize positive interactions.
Family members are the most important people in young children’s lives. This course will help you view families as a system, implement family-centered practice, and build positive relationships with families. You will learn appropriate ways to share and collect information with and from families. Supporting families of children with special needs, military families, and families facing other challenges will also be addressed.
In this course you will learn about how your roles and responsibilities as a direct care staff member contribute to the quality and organization of your program. Working collaboratively with your colleagues, planning and implementing developmentally appropriate experiences, and aligning curriculum with assessment will also be addressed. You will learn how to use evaluation data to improve program outcomes for children and families and how to be a reflective staff member
In this course you will learn about what it means to be a professional staff member. Traits of professional staff members, ethical practices that reflect professionalism, and the importance of professionalism when working with children and families will be addressed. You will learn how to nurture your own sense of professionalism and the importance of self-care in your practice.
Approximately 600,000 U.S. children are victims of child abuse or neglect each year. As a preschool teacher, you are obligated to recognize, report, and prevent abuse and neglect. This course will help you recognize, report, and prevent child abuse that occurs in the home, in your program, and in other settings. You will learn about your legal and ethical obligation to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect, procedures for making a report, and important steps you can take to build resilience in yourself as well as in children and families.
Your first responsibility as a child development professional is to keep children safe from harm. In this course, you will learn four important strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect. These include learning about typical child development and realistic expectations for preschool children, helping children express their emotions appropriately in order to solve social problems, responding positively to challenging behavior, and ensuring the safety of your program space.