How can I support young children’s social-emotional development?

Posted by Care Courses

Aug 27, 2020 9:37:10 AM

Many childcare providers often wonder how they can best support how young children feel about themselves, how they understand, manage, and express their emotions, how they relate and interact with other people, and how they react to social situations. These relationships and emotions fall within the domain of social-emotional development.

As a caregiver, you have a unique opportunity to positively impact children’s lives and development, particularly through one-to-one interactions and by creating a supportive environment. In this blog, we will explore three techniques from our Care Course, Social Emotional Development in Young Children, for supporting healthy social-emotional development in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

  1. Practice empathetic listening: Slow down and listen to what children are trying to say, watch their facial expressions, and ask questions instead of just giving answers.
  2. Reflect on your own reaction: Your reactions to situations affect the children, both negatively and positively. You model how to handle emotions by what you say, how you say it, your tone of voice, and your body language. Try reflecting with other caregivers on how your responses have helped resolve or intensify challenging situations.
  1. Create a supportive community: When we respond to a child, we often forget that the other children are watching. How we deal with a situation delivers powerful positive or negative messages not just to the child or children involved but also to everyone who is a witness to the interaction.

For example, instead of quickly reprimanding a child who is being disruptive during a group activity, invite the group of children to support the child who is “in trouble.” Ask the children if anyone has an idea how to help the child who is not feeling his or her best today. Someone may offer a toy or a hug. Someone else may volunteer a story of what helped him or her feel better in a similar situation.

Try implementing these techniques into your day-today interactions with the children. Show that you respect the children in your care by granting them their emotions and feelings, and make sure not to ignore, reject, or belittle the children or their emotional responses.

Ready to learn more? Take our course, Social-Emotional Development in Young Children, to learn about young children's social-emotional development and more ways in which adults can support children's development.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: Care Courses Course Content

Is time-out an appropriate discipline technique?

Posted by Care Courses

Jul 20, 2018 9:09:25 AM

Many adults see time-out as a valuable non-violent method of disciplining misbehaving children. Although this is a common view, it is a misguided one.

Time-out can foster hostility, resentment, and even defiance in a child. Children’s behavior that adults consider “bad” is really evidence of some problem the child is experiencing. Instead of banishing the child to time-out, adults should look for the reasons behind children’s inappropriate behavior and use positive strategies to remedy problems.

Early childhood specialist Dr. Maxine Edwards Cornwell has the following to say about time-out:

Many caregivers use the time-out chair today as a non-violent method of disciplining misbehaving children. It has replaced the dunce cap in the corner and the nose in the circle on the blackboard as a generally accepted way of getting children to think about their behavior.

The fact is that the time-out chair is effective in buying some quiet time for a caregiver. That’s about all it does positively. Negatively, it makes children acutely aware of who the “bad kids” are (they’re always in The Chair). Children do not sit there and think about what they did or what they should have or should not have done. If they think about themselves at all, it’s with an “I’m bad; they don’t like me and I don’t like them either so there” attitude.

A better choice is removal from the scene of the battle to spend a few minutes with a caregiver who can lovingly discuss the problem with the child. This does not isolate children or label them “bad” but serves a better purpose—teaching children to get along with each other. We do not learn to get along with each other in the time-out chair.

If you have used time-out as a method of discipline, consider how effective this strategy has been. How often is the same child sent to time-out? Has time-out boosted children’s self-esteem? Made children more cooperative? Resulted in positive changes in children’s behavior? Chances are your answers to these questions do not support the continued use of this technique.

If you ever feel absolutely compelled to send a child to time-out, consider this a red flag. Find positive ways to help this child so that you will never have to resort to using time-out a second time for this child.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings, and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: Care Courses Questions

How do I become Infant and Child (Pediatric) CPR Certified?

Posted by Care Courses

Jun 1, 2018 3:45:11 PM

Virtually all states have requirements regarding infant and child (pediatric) CPR certification for caregivers. Make sure you follow your state’s specific regulations. CDA candidates also need a current CPR and first-aid certificate to obtain or renew their credential.

You will need hands-on training to learn the steps of pediatric CPR. The following sources provide pediatric CPR training:

The American Heart Association
American Red Cross
National Security Council

All adults who care for children should be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first-aid, and injury prevention. You should take a course in CPR and first-aid from a certified instructor before taking responsibility for the care of a child. Be prepared to act quickly, calmly, and appropriately in emergency situations.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: Training For My State

Does my Care Course have an expiration date?

Posted by Care Courses

May 22, 2018 5:12:16 PM

Care Courses is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date information based on new research findings, licensing regulations, and safety protocols. As a caregiver, you need to be equipped with current knowledge and use best practices when working with young children. That’s why we are constantly updating our courses and why we now have a 24-month expiration date for our enrollment codes.

This policy was instituted on January 1, 2018. The enrollment code for any course purchased before this date will expire on January 1, 2020. The enrollment code for any course purchased on or after January 1, 2018 will expire 2 years after the purchase date.

Our distance-learning courses are designed to allow you the freedom to work at your own pace. You should feel no pressure completing a course before the enrollment code expires. The good news is that more than 99% of our students complete a course within this time period!

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: Care Courses Questions

What’s an early childhood professional organization membership?

Posted by Care Courses

May 2, 2018 9:10:17 AM

Renewing your national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential? The CDA Council requires that you submit proof of membership in an early childhood professional organization. Your membership must be current at the time you submit your CDA renewal application.

The CDA Council will accept an individual membership or one that is part of your center’s membership.

Many national and local organizations fulfill this requirement. Additionally, membership in these organizations will support your professional development as an early childhood educator.

There are many organizations to choose from. We have included a few here, and a more comprehensive listing below.

NAEYC

“The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. The association comprises nearly 60,000 individual members of the early childhood community and more than 50 Affiliates, all committed to delivering on the promise of high-quality early learning. Together, we work to achieve a collective vision: that all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.” – from the NAEYC website

Click here for more information and to join: www.naeyc.org

NAFCC

“Started in 1982, the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is the only national professional association dedicated to promoting high-quality early childhood experiences in the unique environment of family child care programs. NAFCC works on behalf of the one million family child care providers operating nationwide.” – from the NAFCC website

Click here for more information and to join: www.nafcc.org

NBCDI

“For more than 40 years, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and their families. We are a trusted partner in delivering culturally relevant resources that respond to the unique strengths and needs of Black children around issues including early childhood education, health, child welfare, literacy, and family engagement. With the support of our Affiliate network in communities across the country, we are committed to our mission ‘to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and their families through education and advocacy.’” – from the NCBDI website

Click here for more information and to join: www.nbcdi.org

ZERO TO THREE

“ZERO TO THREE works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Healthy connections help build babies’ brains. Our mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. At ZERO TO THREE, we envision a society that has the knowledge and will to support all infants and toddlers in reaching their full potential.” – from the ZERO TO THREE website

Click here for more information and to join: www.zerotothree.org

Many other organizations

Not sure which organization is best for you? The Council for Professional Recognition maintains a list of accepted organizations.

What’s not accepted?

The CDA Council does not accept the following memberships for this requirement:

  • State registry organization
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • Teachers’ Union
  • Magazine subscriptions

Need more information regarding your CDA’s renewal? Click here to read the Renewal Procedures Guide for your setting.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

Why do toddlers bite?

Posted by Care Courses

Mar 5, 2018 11:27:00 AM

As we discussed in our post on infants and biting, children bite for different reasons during different periods of development. For toddlers, biting is typically an attempt to communicate desires and feelings. Toddlers are impulsive and lack self-control. They experience intense, sometimes conflicting emotions, often moving quickly from one mood to another. During the toddler period, children become more interested in interacting with other children and feel a strong need for independence and control over their own actions. Toddlers seek challenges, but also experience frustration. Any of the preceding characteristics may trigger biting behavior in toddlers.

Knowledge of each child’s individual personality and needs is an essential element of a biting-prevention strategy. A toddler may be especially affectionate and generous with hugs and kisses for everyone. If these kisses involve more teeth than lips, however, this child needs guidance to learn new and safer ways to express his or her affection.

A child who is shy may have a difficult time joining other children’s play. Overwhelmed by an attempt to do so, a child may instinctively bite the child with whom he or she is trying to play. This toddler needs the guidance of a caring adult who can help him or her learn positive social interaction skills.

Take the Care Course Biting Hurts! to learn more about why young children bite and how to respond effectively. This course will help you develop strategies for preventing and handling biting incidents and communicate with parents about biting.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings, and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Why do infants bite?

Posted by Care Courses

Mar 5, 2018 11:23:57 AM

Incidents of biting in early child care can be alarming for everyone involved: the biter, the bitten, the caregiver, and the parents. Biting can happen without warning, even when a caregiver is nearby. As unpleasant as it is, biting is normal.

Preventing biting is a major challenge. Effective prevention strategies must begin with an understanding of each child and address the reason for biting in each particular case. Whatever the reason for young children’s biting, you must remember the following points:

  • Biting is usually a short-term phase that has no lasting significance in terms of the child’s development.
  • Biting is not an occasion for blame. Do not blame the child, the child’s parents, or yourself.
  • Biting is not a sign that the child is “bad.” It is not cause for punishment.

Children bite for different reasons during different periods of development. Infants learn through their senses—they explore their world by touching, smelling, seeing, hearing, and tasting. An infant may mouth an object to learn more about it much as a toddler would touch or grasp an object with his or her hands. When infants bite, they do not do so with the intention of causing pain.

Infants who are experiencing the pain of teething might try to find comfort in applying pressure to their gums in the only way they know how. Have a supply of suitable objects for chomping ready for teethers. Chilled teething toys or a frozen wet washcloth can do the trick. Stay close to the teether and be prepared to whisk them away (in a kind, playful manner) if you suspect the child may bite.

Infants learn by doing and are learning cause and effect. The infant might push toy buttons to make sounds, knock over a tower of blocks, or splash water with their hands. The infant might also bite another child. While a child’s interest in exploring cause and effect should be encouraged, he or she needs guidance to learn what things are okay to bite (food and toys) and what things are not okay to bite (people and animals). Provide many opportunities for infants to explore cause and effect with a variety of play materials, as well as appropriate opportunities to explore what their teeth can do.

Click here to learn information about toddlers and biting.

Take the Care Course Biting Hurts! to learn more about why young children bite and how to respond effectively. This course will help you develop strategies for preventing and handling biting incidents and communicate with parents about biting.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings, and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: Care Courses Course Content

How do Child Care Providers Deal with Stress?

Posted by Care Courses

Jan 31, 2018 9:28:52 AM

Stress is a part of everyone’s lives. The causes of stress are many—ranging from small, everyday occurrences to large, life-changing events. We often think of stressful events as negative, but even joyful events can produce stress.

In addition to stresses that are part of everyday life, you have many opportunities to encounter stressful situations in the course of a typical workday. Interacting with children, maintaining relationships with their parents, and communicating with your supervisor or coworkers can all lead to stress.

In our Care Course The Early Childhood Professional, we include a stress test so you can calculate how more than 40 stress-causing events may be affecting your stress level. From personal illness, to difficulties at work, to just making it through the holidays, you’ll learn how much stress you have in your life.

Totally avoiding life’s many stressors is impossible, but you can focus on how to cope better when you are feeling stressed. The Early Childhood Professional offers the following recipe for dealing with stress:

  • Respond to it. The amount and degree of anxiety experienced will depend upon the situation.
  • Pinpoint the cause of the stress and the effect the stress has on all concerned.
  • Develop solutions for resolving the stressful situation.
  • Select the best solution to relieve the stress.
  • Carry out the chosen solution. It may be necessary to select another solution if the first is not effective.
  • Master the stress in a reasonable way, which involves taking into account the needs of all concerned.

This course also covers sources, signs, and effects of stress in children and in families and ways to help them cope.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: Care Courses Course Content

Happy New Year and Catalog Request

Posted by Care Courses

Jan 5, 2018 4:26:16 PM

Happy New Year from Care Courses! Don’t forget to request our new 2018 Care Courses Course Catalog on our website. It’s free and has lots of information about our course offerings, state training requirements, and the national CDA.

If you need a large quantity of catalogs, contact our office to place your request. We can be reached by phone at 1-800-685-7610 and we are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

https://www.carecourses.com/Forms/Requestacatalog.aspx

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How can I help children and parents at drop-off time when the child is new to my program?

Posted by Care Courses

Dec 20, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Mornings can be tough, especially for families new to child care or starting a new care arrangement. Saying good-bye can be agonizing for children and their parents. Our course, Parents and Child Care, helps you help families prepare for and overcome the separation anxiety many families experience when starting a new program.

Share the following tips with parents on ways they can help their children prepare for separation and make mornings go more smoothly for everyone:

  1. Find a care arrangement they are comfortable with and project a positive attitude about their choice. Young children are attuned to their parents’ feelings. If parents feel anxious, uneasy, or fearful about leaving their child, the child will feel anxious, uneasy, or fearful about being left by their parents.
  2. Explain the arrangement to the child in a positive way. Point out the advantages the school or care facility has for the child—playmates, interesting activities, age-appropriate toys, and fun equipment.
  3. Listen to their child’s feelings about the arrangement, both before and after the child enters care. Assure the child that these feeling are normal and natural. Never scold or ridicule the child for expressions of separation anxiety.
  4. Answer any questions the child has about the care or school arrangement.
  5. Assure the child that he or she will be in the parent’s thoughts even when they are not together.

Some parents develop special rituals to help their child (and themselves) adjust to being separated. The following is an example from Parents and Child Care:

One mother reported that she talks quietly to her young son each morning before leaving home. She kisses both of his hands and explains that these kisses will stay with him all day until she returns. They cannot be washed off. They are there to remind him that she is thinking of him whatever he is doing and hoping that he is happy and having fun. She tells him that if he misses her, he can just think of these kisses and know that she is thinking of him and will come to pick him up at the end of the day.

Through open communication, parents and caregivers can help children understand the separation and have a more fulfilling and enjoyable day!

In addition to lessons on addressing separation anxiety, Parents and Child Care covers many other topics to help you develop and maintain a positive and productive relationship with parents. Topics include the importance of consistency between the child’s home and child care; how to involve parents in learning activities; how to work well with parents who are non-assertive and parents who are aggressive; and how to plan for and conduct meaningful teacher-parent conferences. Want to learn more? Find this course and others on our website.

Click Here to Contact Care Courses

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: Care Courses Course Content

About Care Courses

Care Courses has been providing distance learning courses for early childhood professionals since 1990. Our courses are delivered to you either via US Mail or on your computer, and can be used for the CDA and many state training requirements. We offer over 60 excellent, convenient courses in a wide variety of interesting, helpful topics, and our courses have no time limits. Do them wherever and whenever you wish. Visit our website to access our course listings.

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