The School-Age track is intended for early childhood professionals serving children ages 5 through 12 years in center based before- and after-school as well as summer-based programs. This track offers training and professional development resources, including written narrative, video, skill building activities, and classroom tools. The School-Age 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.
In this course, you will learn about indoor and outdoor environments, safe games and learning materials, staff to child ratios, supervision indoors and out, internet safety, safe routes to school, child abuse, emergency preparation, responding to injuries, field trips, and vehicle safety.
Healthy environments are essential for school-age children’s development. In this course you will learn how to create and maintain healthy environments for all school-age children, and how to address school-age children’s personal health and emotional wellness. You will learn strategies to ensure daily health, 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.
School-age children thrive in learning environments that are designed with their unique interests and needs in mind. In this course you will learn how to create developmentally appropriate indoor and outdoor spaces and how to select materials that are safe and appealing for school-age children. Schedules and routines that promote safety and independence will also be addressed.
The school-age years are an important time of physical activity and development. In this course you will learn about the benefits of an active lifestyle, developmental milestones, and the importance of “right fit” activities. You will also learn about body image and how to recognize signs that a school-age child may be struggling with his or her body image.
This course will give you a basic understanding of cognitive development in school-age children by highlighting Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence. You will learn about school agers as life-long, analytical, visual and spacial, musically inclined, emotionally skilled, active, language loving, and naturalist learners.
Communication skills play a vital role in school-age children’s development. In this course you will learn how school-age children communicate, as well as how to maintain effective communication with families. This course will also address how to create an environment that supports communication and promotes a love of language among school-age children.
Creative expression is an important part of school-age children’s overall development. In this course you will learn how to plan developmentally appropriate creative experiences and become familiar with process and product-oriented activities. The selection of creative materials and how to promote creativity in your workplace will also be addressed.
Many factors play a role in the development of school-age children’s sense of self. In this course you will learn how to work with families to support the development of a positive self-concept. You will also learn the importance of embracing diversity and positive character development, how to support children’s emerging interests, and the unique opportunities and challenges military families encounter. Self-care practices and stress reduction will also be addressed.
Social-emotional skills are essential in the healthy development of school-age 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 importance of creating a sense of community, recognizing the value of play, and supporting school-age children’s friendships.
Positive guidance impacts the relationships you develop with school-age children and the relationships they develop with each other. In this course you will learn about typical school-age behaviors and positive guidance approaches to use in challenging situations. You will also learn how the use of schedules and routines can increase positive choices and interactions. Working with families in challenging situations will also be addressed.
Family members are the most important people in children’s lives. In this course you will learn how family-centered practice, strong family engagement, and effective communication all contribute to high-quality school-age programs. You will also learn strategies for working with and strengthening families of children with special needs, military families, and families facing other challenges.
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 school-age staff member, 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 school-age staff member is to keep children 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 school-age children, helping children express their emotions appropriately in order to solve conflicts, responding positively to challenging behavior, and ensuring the safety of your program space.