How do I prevent Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke?

Posted by Care Courses

Jul 2, 2018 1:46:18 PM

According to the National Safety Council, 37 children die each year in the United States due to Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH). While rear-facing safety seats installed in the back seat provide young children with optimum protection in a crash, they also take children out of the line of sight of adult drivers. Sleeping children, who make no noise to remind the driver of their presence, are particularly at risk.

Memory is not always as reliable as we believe it to be. If you have ever forgotten a cell phone, purse, or wallet in the car, you are capable of forgetting a child. Children are often forgotten in vehicles on occasions when drivers are stressed, sleep-deprived, or taking an unusual route. These factors disrupt drivers’ routines and allow them to form a false memory of taking the child out of the vehicle. Adults go about their day imagining the child safe and happy wherever he or she is supposed to be.

Child Safety Alarms and Other Reminder Systems

There are several types of alarm systems designed to reduce children’s risk of being left behind in a vehicle. Some use motion or weight sensors to detect a child’s presence; others prompt the driver to check the vehicle thoroughly for children at the end of every trip. Some states require child care providers to install electronic child safety alarms in certain vehicles. These requirements vary depending on the vehicle’s age and seating capacity.

Help Parents Remember Their Children

Many parents and relatives who have forgotten a child in a hot vehicle had intended to drop the child off at child care before driving to work. Make it your policy to contact parents promptly if a child does not arrive at your program when expected. Keep parents’ home, cell, and work numbers on file, as well as the number of at least one alternate contact in case parents are unreachable.

Check Twice After Every Trip

Proper use of a passenger transportation checklist will reduce children’s risk of being forgotten in a child care vehicle. Checking each vehicle twice at the end of every trip will not only ensure your compliance with state regulations, it will help keep children safe.

Always check with your state’s regulations for proper vehicle and transportation procedures. Learn more about transportation and vehicle safety in our Care Course Transportation Safety. After completing Transportation Safety, you will be able to identify legal requirements and best practices for transportation in child care; choose the safest child restraint systems and transportation methods; and explain how to work with parents to ensure their children’s safety in and around vehicles. (Students in Georgia: Our course Georgia Transportation Safety complies with Georgia-specific regulations.)

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 is it so important to read to toddlers?

Posted by Care Courses

Mar 30, 2018 1:13:21 PM

Providing experiences and support that make language and literacy accomplishments possible for young children is one of your most important functions as an early childhood professional. Young children need a lot of exposure to verbal as well as printed language.

Reading aloud to toddlers can expand their listening skills and build their vocabularies. You can help toddlers begin to understand print concepts, such as pictures and print as symbols for real things and that we read words, not pictures.

Your choice of books is important. Toddlers are learning to understand feelings; look for books with characters handling typical emotions and experiences. Toddlers feel competent when they participate; read books with rhymes and predictable words they can remember. Toddlers are doers; read books with flaps to lift and textures to feel. Read the same books again and again, if asked. A toddler will let you know when he or she has had enough of a book.

For an interactive experience, vary your voice to fit the characters and plot or use puppets and other props related to the story. Encourage the toddlers to join in! They can turn pages, name items in pictures, make sounds, repeat rhymes and phrases, and think about what might happen next.

Take the Care Course The Road to Reading to learn more on the importance of language in children’s lives and ways you can help children with their literacy development. Included in the course is a list of picture books young children (and adults) will enjoy, such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Goodnight Moon by Margaret W. Brown.

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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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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Five Ways to Help Lunchtime Go Smoothly in Child Care

Posted by Care Courses

Jan 3, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Children may become restless and irritable when they are hungry—just like adults sometimes do. Many Care Courses students tell us that lunchtime is one of the most difficult parts of the child care day. Cranky children and cranky caregivers do not make for peaceful meals.

That’s why Care Courses offers Transitions and Other Troublesome Times, a training course that helps you conquer lunchtime as well as other challenging periods in your schedule.

Transitions and Other Troublesome Times presents many strategies to make lunchtime an enjoyable experience for you and the children alike. Here are five suggestions from our course to help lunchtime go smoothly:

  1. When planning a schedule, keep the length of time between meals and snacks short enough that children never get too hungry. When children get too hungry, they may become frustrated and exhibit challenging behaviors.
  2. Plan menus that are not too complicated. Meals should not take too much prep time before serving. This allows the children to receive more attention at lunch time. Serving soups, casseroles, sandwiches, or raw fruits and veggies can make lunch time less of a hassle.
  3. Start each child off with a small portion and offer seconds later on. Allow children to serve themselves whenever possible.
  4. Never try to bribe or force a child to eat. Never withhold food or use food as a punishment or reward. Children develop life-long relationships with food early in early childhood, so make sure that the relationship with food is a positive one. Children’s bodies know how much they need. They won’t starve themselves.
  5. Expect spills and messes. Most spills are true accidents and the child who causes the spill will likely be embarrassed and sorry the minute it happens. If a child intentionally pours milk or juice on the table, do not scold them. Use positive guidance techniques instead, saying something like “Let’s wait until after lunch to practice pouring. You may practice pouring later either in the sink or outdoors in a water pan.”

Lunchtime is likely just one of the challenging parts of your day. Transitions of all types can be troublesome—whether it’s the daily transition of moving from free play to circle time, or bigger transitions such as moving to a new classroom. Transitions and Other Troublesome Times can help with all of these times. The information in this course is applicable to toddlers and preschoolers, and the techniques can be applied to many different scenarios. Visit our website to learn more!

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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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.

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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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How to Make a Running Record

Posted by Care Courses

Nov 22, 2017 8:25:23 AM

 

Observing and Recording

As a caregiver or teacher, it is essential for you to have accurate and up-to-date information about each child's level of development. Observing children's normal activities is your most reliable source of this information. Care Courses offers Observing, Recording, and Assessing Children’s Development, which covers the best ways to perform observations and to assess children’s development.


The focus of this blog will be how to make a running record, which is one of the types of observations detailed in the course.

Running records are open-ended, narrative-type records that cover a sequence of behaviors over a period of time. Running records are a good tool to help you discover causes and consequences, for example, finding a pattern to a challenging behavior such biting or hitting. Running records are also useful for planning learning activities for individual children.

Running records include everything that happens during the period of observation. Behaviors are recorded as they happen. Running records provide a rich, complete, and comprehensive account of the child’s behavior.

When writing a running record:

  • Observe only one child at a time.
  • Record only the facts of what you see. Avoid using words that judge or interpret. Don’t record what you believe, suspect, or infer from the child’s actions.
  • Record every detail. Don’t omit anything.
  • Record behaviors in the order in which they occur.

 

Include the date, time, and location of your observation; the name and age of each child involved in any incidents observed; and the context of any these incidents. As with all observation records, keep your comments separate from the running record itself and clearly label these as your comments.

While no single observation method provides you a complete assessment of a child, combining regular running records with other types of observations will give you a more extensive picture of the child’s needs, interests, and skill levels.

In our course, Observing, Recording, and Assessing Children’s Development, we cover many methods to assess children and help you understand when and how to best use these different methods. Want to learn more? Visit the course information page on our website.

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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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What are the Advantages of Distance Learning Courses for Child Care Providers?

Posted by Care Courses

Nov 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Distance learning is a great way to get the training you need without giving up your weekends or evenings to travel to classes. With distance learning from Care Courses you study when, where, and how it’s most convenient for you!

When can you study a Care Course?
Anytime that’s convenient for you. You can save your work at any point and return to it later. You complete Care Courses training at your own pace. 

Where can you study a Care Course?
Anywhere that’s convenient for you. Courses are offered in either a book or online format. Our book format includes an optional online component and our online courses have an optional printable PDF file that you can read away from your computer.  Complete the course on any computer or carry the book with you anywhere—home, work or on the go.

How much does a Care Course cost?
Care Courses are affordable, ranging from $18 for a 2-hour course to $57 for a 20-hour course. Visit our webpage for more complete pricing: www.CareCourses.com

More advantages to using Care Courses to meet your professional development requirements:

  • Excellent, helpful, and relevant content that you can start applying to your work immediately.
  • Unlimited help via phone and email from our friendly, helpful staff of student support specialists and early childhood education trainers. Whether you have a question about course content or about how Care Courses can meet your training needs, we can help.
  • All quizzes are open book and open notes.
  • Course materials are yours to keep and use as a valuable professional reference.

Click Here to Contact Care Courses

These are just a few of the benefits to distance learning through Care Courses. For more information about our courses or to take a free one-hour course, A Joyful Life of Caregiving, visit our website or 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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How can I get parents more involved with my child care program?

Posted by Care Courses

May 25, 2017 10:20:04 AM

 

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Parental involvement is a key component to the success of any child care program. At Care Courses, we have two courses that address the issues involving parents and families in child care programs. The courses are Partnerships with Parents and Parents in Child Care.

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Today we are going to look at a few ideas from our 10-hour course, Partnerships with Parents, which discusses fostering relationships with the parents of the children in your care.

Communication and collaboration between caregivers and parents are vital to children’s success. From classroom volunteers, to project coordinators, to community advocates—parents can fulfill many different roles in your child care program. There are lots of ways parents can provide resources outside the normal daycare staff.

In turn, caregivers should be able to advise parents on ways to nurture their children at home and provide consistency between the home and the care environments. Caregivers are professionals who can help parents navigate the trials and triumphs of parenting. Parents need to see their children’s caregivers as skilled partners who can advise and assist parents in a truly collaborative relationship.

Parents and caregivers will sometimes have misunderstandings and disagreements. Fortunately, there are resources available to help you deal with whatever situation may arise. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a Code of Ethical Conduct that can be used as a great reference when working through problems with parents.

In our course, Partnerships with Parents, we discuss the importance of parental communication and cooperation for the benefit of the children in your care. Do you want to learn more? Visit our website!

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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What are some fun activities to do with children in child care?

Posted by Care Courses

Jul 29, 2016 12:00:00 AM

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Child care providers are always on the lookout for fun activities for kids.  Having fun and engaging activities for the children in your care is part of creating a joyous child care program.  Care Courses offers a free one-hour course called  A Joyful Life of Caregiving, which will give you great ideas for adding more joy to your child care program. 

If you’re looking for fun activities to do with children in your care, try this one from A Joyful Life of Caregiving called “This Ain’t No Piano.”

Directions:

Explain that you want to build an instrument out of the children. One by one, have the children lie on the floor on their backs – side by side or zig-zag with each child’s head on the stomach of the previous child.  As each child is placed, ask, “What is your sound?”  Any Sound that the child can make with his or her mouth is OK.  The child must keep the same sound throughout the activity.

When all are placed, you are ready to play the instrument.  Children make their sound when you touch the foreheads and continue the sound as long as you are touching them.  After children are familiar with the procedure, let them take turns being conductor.

This activity can bring teachers and children together for a simple and fun musical game!

In addition to this activity, students who have taken the course have shared their favorite activities in the comments section of the blog!  Here are some other great examples:

  • “I chose bubbles for the most joyous activity! There are lots of really great homemade bubble recipes on the internet. We store bubble liquid in clean glass spaghetti jars. For maximum fun, we enjoy blowing and chasing bubbles outside with my 3 - 5 year olds. The chasing/bubble blowing will keep children engaged for at least 20 minutes. Adults may have to hold the jars or make certain they are safe and stable. Also, be ready to wipe hands so children do not wipe their eyes with soapy hands.”
  • “We call it "the sleeping game"(pantomime game). I call out to all the children to fall asleep and then sing a small tune. In the song, I tell the children what they will 'be' when they wake up and then the tune ends, telling the children to wake up. Once 'awake', the children act out/move around/make sounds/etc to imitate the thing that they 'are'. This is great for different themes (i.e. ocean theme you could have them wake up as a fish, octopus, shark, etc) and requires no equipment. It can be played indoors or outside so long as there is enough space for the children to move about. Toddlers to School aged enjoy this game and you can make it more or less challenging as appropriate for your group; special considerations would be to make sure all the children in the group know what it is that you're telling them to be (sometimes the children have requests of what they want to be next and it becomes a turn-taking game as well!). No time limit, you can tell when they have lost interest in the game. The children really enjoy the movement aspect and using their imagination in pretending to be something else, they especially enjoy taking turns calling out what they want to 'be' next. I enjoy seeing the different ways the children express their ideas of how to be something different and it is fun and can be challenging thinking of something new for them to 'be'.”
  • “We act out our favorite books. Each student gets to be a different character, they act out the actions as I read the story. They are allowed to interpret them in their own way. We use props made from things we find around the room(blue paper for a river, blocks become a bridge).”

Check out other recommendations from our students and share your own in the comments section!

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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About Care Courses

Care Courses has been providing distance learning courses for early childhood professionals for over 27 years. 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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