What is a Personal Philosophy Statement?

Do you want to learn more about what a per­son­al phi­los­o­phy state­ment is for your CDA Pro­fes­sion­al Port­fo­lio? And what you should include in it?

After you col­lect your resources and reflec­tive state­ments of com­pe­tence, you are ready for the last step in cre­at­ing your CDA pro­fes­sion­al portfolio.

CDA Professional Portfolio Components

image for five components of a professional portfolio

The five com­po­nents of a CDA pro­fes­sion­al port­fo­lio are: 1. cov­er sheet, 2. sum­ma­ry of edu­ca­tion, 3. fam­i­ly ques­tion­naires, 4. reflec­tive state­ments. 5. per­son­al phi­los­o­phy state­ment.

One of the last com­po­nents you will com­plete is your per­son­al phi­los­o­phy state­ment. This state­ment is a reflec­tion of all of your val­ues and beliefs about best prac­tices in ear­ly child­hood education.

As a pro­fes­sion­al, you now have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to share your gained knowl­edge through your edu­ca­tion and expe­ri­ence. Share with the CDA Coun­cil what is impor­tant to you as a teacher, and why your role impacts the lives of young chil­dren and their families.

This state­ment is a reflec­tion of all of your val­ues and beliefs about best prac­tices in ear­ly child­hood education.

- def­i­n­i­tion of a per­son­al phi­los­o­phy statement

The Big Picture

Think about the big pic­ture over­all and reflect on what you have learned about your­self in this process. 

  • What are your beliefs about how young chil­dren learn?
  • Why is your role impor­tant in the learn­ing process?
  • What has shaped your role as a teacher?
  • What has influ­enced you to change the way you do things as an educator?
  • What are your desires or dreams for the ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion field?

How long should your personal philosophy statement be?

Your per­son­al phi­los­o­phy state­ment should be no more than two pages.

You may want to ask a col­league, a friend, or fam­i­ly mem­ber to read your per­son­al phi­los­o­phy state­ment, and ask them if they were able to under­stand your beliefs and val­ues as an educator.

More CDA Certification Components

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about the CDA? Curi­ous about the CDA Exam? Read our blog What is My CDA Exam and Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Vis­it Dead­line?

How to get a CDA Credential

If you haven’t yet start­ed your CDA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion jour­ney, read our blog on get­ting a CDA. You can also find instruc­tions on prepar­ing for a CDA and the train­ing need­ed for it on our web­site: Obtain­ing and Renew­ing a CDA Cre­den­tial.

Care Courses Contact

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!

What is Baby Sign Language?

Baby sign lan­guage (also called baby signs or preschool sign lan­guage) are sim­ple hand ges­tures that cor­re­spond to words. Baby signs allow infants to com­mu­ni­cate long before they can talk. 

Infants’ ver­bal abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate can lag behind their desire to share their thoughts with oth­ers. With­out signs, infants who wish to have their thoughts and desires under­stood by oth­ers must rely on point­ing, cry­ing, or repeat­ing what­ev­er syl­la­bles they can produce.

What Age Should You Start Baby Sign Language?

Between 9 and 13 months of age, infants are typ­i­cal­ly able to begin asso­ci­at­ing par­tic­u­lar ges­tures with objects, events, or needs and using the ges­tures to com­mu­ni­cate with oth­er people. 

Both adults and chil­dren ben­e­fit when they are able to estab­lish a con­sis­tent sys­tem of mutu­al­ly under­stood com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Even when infants begin talk­ing, baby sign lan­guage can con­tin­ue to help them com­mu­ni­cate requests that they are not yet able to com­mu­ni­cate verbally. 

What is the Point of Baby Sign Language?

The improved com­mu­ni­ca­tion that results from using baby sign language

  • strength­ens the bond between chil­dren and the care­givers with whom they can share their thoughts;
  • improves infants’ and tod­dlers’ com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, which fos­ters their feel­ings of com­pe­tence and self-esteem;
  • reduces the frus­tra­tion that comes from not being understood;
  • speeds children’s lan­guage devel­op­ment and increas­es their inter­est in books.

Introducing Baby Sign Language

Start by using a few sim­ple signs dai­ly and con­sis­tent­ly. Intro­duce signs to chil­dren dur­ing dai­ly rou­tines, in songs and games, or by read­ing books and going places—in the con­text of any activ­i­ty that involves the child. 

While teach­ing a spe­cif­ic sign, use the sign along with words until the sign is firm­ly estab­lished in the infant’s vocab­u­lary. Rep­e­ti­tion is the best way for infants to learn a sign. 

Help infants devel­op signs for

  • objects they see often, includ­ing pic­tures in books;
  • activ­i­ties they do, such as eat­ing and drinking; 
  • what they want or need, such as more food or to be held.

Recog­ni­tion that an infant is com­mu­ni­cat­ing is essen­tial to build­ing their self-con­fi­dence and self-esteem, and rein­forces what the infant has learned. Use words to con­firm your under­stand­ing of what the infant is say­ing with signs. Your ver­bal recog­ni­tion will encour­age con­tin­ued use of the signs.

Commonly Used Baby Signs

Some of the most com­mon ges­tures infants and tod­dlers use to com­mu­ni­cate are wav­ing bye-bye and mov­ing their head up and down to mean “yes” or from side to side to mean “no.”

Infants are capa­ble of learn­ing and using many, many more signs. Some com­mon signs include

  • open­ing and clos­ing hands to rep­re­sent a book or reading;
  • hold­ing a fist to the ear to rep­re­sent a telephone;
  • hold­ing and mov­ing an imag­i­nary steer­ing wheel to rep­re­sent a car;
  • mov­ing the index fin­ger hor­i­zon­tal­ly in front of the teeth to rep­re­sent a tooth­brush or brush­ing the teeth;
  • mov­ing the fin­gers as you would while typ­ing to rep­re­sent a computer.

Many infants spon­ta­neous­ly devel­op signs of their own, espe­cial­ly to iden­ti­fy objects. Signs to iden­ti­fy ani­mals tend to be favorites among tod­dlers. They often choose a sign that rep­re­sents a move­ment or typ­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tic of the animal.

Signs for more, up, down, in, and out help com­mu­ni­cate tod­dlers’ fre­quent needs and desires.

Is Baby Sign Language the same as ASL?

Amer­i­can Sign Lan­guage (ASL) is a com­plete lan­guage with its own gram­mar and rules, where­as baby sign lan­guage con­sists of any signs and ges­tures you use to com­mu­ni­cate with chil­dren. You may choose to use signs from ASL in com­bi­na­tion with signs that you or the infants comes up with.

Learn from par­ents what signs infants use at home. Share with par­ents the signs their chil­dren use while in your care. 

While you can sug­gest signs to infants to expand the child’s sign vocab­u­lary, it is essen­tial to allow them to use what­ev­er signs or ges­tures they wish to express their thoughts. Infants will often adapt a sign that an adult has intro­duced, sub­sti­tut­ing a ges­ture that makes sense to the child. It is per­fect­ly accept­able for infants to adapt signs how­ev­er they please. Any ges­ture used to com­mu­ni­cate is an accept­able baby sign. Mutu­al under­stand­ing is what is impor­tant. Care­givers’ enthu­si­asm and encour­age­ment rein­force infants’ inter­est in sign­ing and lead to infants devel­op­ing a more exten­sive sign vocabulary.

Does Baby Sign Language Delay Speech?

In the past it was believed that using baby sign lan­guage at an ear­ly age could delay infan­t’s lan­guage devel­op­ment. Research does not indi­cate that using baby signs delays lan­guage devel­op­ment, and say­ing words out loud while sign­ing to infants is a great way to intro­duce mul­ti­ple forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to infants. Using baby sign lan­guage with infan­t’s is rec­om­mend­ed by the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Pedi­atrics as a great way to sup­port infan­t’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. 

Learn more about early language development!

Look­ing for more ways to help chil­dren feel com­pe­tent? Check out our blog How to help chil­dren suc­ceed. More infor­ma­tion on baby signs and ear­ly lan­guage devel­op­ment can be found in our child­care train­ing cours­es Infants in Child Care and Tod­dlers in Child Care.

Care Courses Support

Please con­tact us and 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!

Top Reasons to Be a Childcare Provider

The oth­er day our team was dis­cussing the chal­lenges of work­ing in child­care (the low pay! the stress! the par­ents!) and also the many rea­sons to be a child­care provider

We start­ed to list all the won­der­ful, mag­i­cal rea­sons to spend days with chil­dren and began review­ing mes­sages from our stu­dents. We found more and more pos­i­tive respons­es and rea­sons to be a child­care pro­fes­sion­al, and our list turned into this blog.

Providers share reasons to be a childcare provider.

“I enjoy their smiles”

“My stu­dents real­ly love get­ting out­side, so we often take walks. They range from 16 months — 3 years. Often we bring chalk so we can stop and scrib­ble. We also col­lect items to add to our nature bas­ket. Acorns, leaves, rocks, sticks, etc. They like hav­ing time to explore, ask ques­tions, and see things they may not see with their fam­i­lies. I enjoy their smiles, their ques­tions, and how much room I have to explore.”

“I enjoy their smiles, their ques­tions, and how much room I have to explore.”

“I enjoy it because I feel like I have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to share some­thing I love with the chil­dren and teach them about nature.”

- Ear­ly child­hood professionals

“An opportunity to share something I love”

“We were talk­ing about plants and seeds, and we went on a field trip around our area. I took the chil­dren to see dif­fer­ent plants and what seeds they pro­duced. We saw seeds pods, “heli­copters” from trees, and oth­ers. We saw some seeds grow­ing into new plants and had a chance to talk about how the seeds might move from one place to grow in anoth­er. It was very mem­o­rable for the chil­dren. I enjoyed it because I felt I could share some­thing I love with the chil­dren and teach them about nature.”

“Modeling positive behavior is so rewarding”

“I encour­age and mod­el pos­i­tive behav­ior. By doing that myself, I ‘catch’ the chil­dren doing the same with their friends. I’ll hear one say to anoth­er, ‘it makes me hap­py when you play with me,’ and the oth­er child replies, ‘me too…want to play with me?’ I have observed this same action many times with chil­dren with dif­fer­ent activ­i­ties we do through­out the day. Mod­el­ing pos­i­tive behav­ior is so reward­ing for everyone.”

“I love knowing they are cared for”

“When a child feels secure, I’ve noticed they will explore and then glance back almost say­ing ‘I’m over here’ or ‘I’m doing this.’ They come to be com­fort­ed when they fall down or get hurt. When a child is dropped off but cries for their par­ent, I see the secure attach­ment in the fam­i­ly unit. I love know­ing they are cared for. Smil­ing and hold­ing a child or help­ing them fig­ure out a sit­u­a­tion that may be dif­fi­cult. Secure attach­ments can be seen in a lot of sit­u­a­tions. Look­ing for them is excit­ing. I also have a tod­dler who likes to be near me a lot. They feel safe, and I like that.”

“Mod­el­ing pos­i­tive behav­ior is so reward­ing for every­one.”

“They feel safe and I like that.”

“I strive to be like my teacher and use a pos­i­tive guid­ance approach every day.”

- Ear­ly child­hood professionals

“I want the children I work with to have this same feeling”

When I was in school, I had a teacher whose approach was pos­i­tive guid­ance. She pulled chil­dren aside indi­vid­u­al­ly when there was a prob­lem. She would talk about how the stu­dent was feel­ing and how the sit­u­a­tion could be han­dled dif­fer­ent­ly next time. This approach made me feel good about myself, and I knew I was in a safe envi­ron­ment with peo­ple who pushed me to be my best. I knew I want­ed the chil­dren I work with to have this feel­ing. I strive to be like my teacher and use a pos­i­tive guid­ance approach every day.

Enjoying children's company

So many won­der­ful rea­sons to spend your days with chil­dren! And now … we have com­piled a list some of the top rea­sons to be a child­care provider. Please add your own rea­sons in the com­ments at the end of this post!

Top reasons to be a childcare provider

  1. Make a dif­fer­ence in children’s lives. The ear­ly years are sig­nif­i­cant for their development. 
  2. Make a dif­fer­ence for par­ents. Par­ents of young chil­dren, espe­cial­ly new par­ents, tend to lean on child­care providers’ support.
  3. Make a dif­fer­ence for chil­dren with spe­cial needs. Help their par­ents rec­og­nize the impor­tance of ear­ly inter­ven­tion, and advo­cate for them.
  4. Enjoy emo­tion­al­ly reward­ing bonds with young chil­dren: infants, tod­dlers, and preschool­ers respond to sen­si­tive care­giv­ing with heart-warm­ing love and affection.
  5. Gain a deep under­stand­ing of child development. 
  6. Apply the under­stand­ing of child devel­op­ment to rais­ing your own children.
  7. Grow and gain respect in the field of ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion by fol­low­ing a defined career path. There are many resources avail­able to child­care providers to earn cre­den­tials while working.

As a family childcare provider, in addition to all of the above

  • Be home with your own young chil­dren (or old­er ones when they come home from school) while earn­ing a living.
  • Cre­ate a nur­tur­ing, home-away-from-home envi­ron­ment for young chil­dren and their families.
  • Enjoy the inde­pen­dence of run­ning your own business. 

Professional Development Training

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about being a child­care provider? Read our blog about activ­i­ties from our course, A Joy­ful Life of Care­giv­ing.

Or, take the course itself! A Joy­ful Life of Care­giv­ing We have great intro­duc­to­ry cours­es, First Steps in Child Care and Great Begin­nings: An Intro­duc­tion to Child Care. Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about being a pro­fes­sion­al child­care provider? Take our course, The Ear­ly Child­hood Pro­fes­sion­al.

While you’re learn­ing, we also rec­om­mend our free child­care train­ing course Play­ing Out­doors!

Care Courses Support 

Please con­tact us and 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!

Finger-Painting Ideas

Fin­ger paint­ing is a fun, open-end­ed activ­i­ty appro­pri­ate for chil­dren at any stage of motor devel­op­ment. There is no right or wrong way to fin­ger paint. Every child is a suc­cess­ful fin­ger painter!

All that is need­ed is space, time, paint, a com­fort­able place to sit, and no one to tell you how to do it. Avoid giv­ing advice. Let chil­dren dis­cov­er for them­selves what they can cre­ate with fin­ger paint at their own pace.

Finger painting can’t start too early.

Have you noticed how infants love smear­ing food all over their high­chairs? Chil­dren love the feel­ing and free­dom of being messy and uninhibited. 

Supporting Finger Painting

Intro­duce chil­dren to fin­ger paint­ing ear­ly. By age two, many can man­age fin­ger paint well. Expe­ri­ence has taught them where the paint goes and where it does not go. They can even wash up pret­ty well after­ward. Large cafe­te­ria-style trays help con­trol the area in which the paint can spread and work very well, espe­cial­ly for younger chil­dren. Large trays allow chil­dren to ful­ly extend their arms. Lim­it­ed space to paint can feel inhibiting.

Table­tops that are smooth and wash­able are ide­al for fin­ger paint­ing. Occa­sion­al­ly wipe the edge fac­ing the child where paint over­flow can become a nui­sance. A spat­u­la will pick up most of the paint when the child is fin­ished, and a soapy sponge will quick­ly get the rest. Clean­ing the table is just as edu­ca­tion­al as fin­ger paint­ing and to chil­dren, it is not work at all. Allow plen­ty of time and pro­vide plen­ty of sponges, warm water, and clean, dry tow­els. Adding col­or to basic fin­ger paint (what­ev­er your base) is best done with tem­pera paint. Although non-tox­ic, food col­or­ing stains and it is hard to wash out. 

Finger Painting Tips

Vary the type of paper used by adding the option of parch­ment paper. Wet the table, then put the paper down with a wet sponge. Fin­ger paint­ing on wet paper is fun. The paper isn’t ready until it’s smooth and wet. Hang on dry­ing racks to dry. Take pho­tos to show par­ents their children’s work.

Chil­dren of all ages can cre­ate prints by lay­ing paper over their art­work, smooth­ing the sur­face light­ly with dry hands, and pulling up the paper.

Adding back­ground music to fin­ger paint­ing or any cre­ative art activ­i­ty adds anoth­er lay­er to a mul­ti-sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. Clas­si­cal music pro­vides an ide­al accom­pa­ni­ment. The pure, clear tones of clas­si­cal music can be par­tic­u­lar­ly calming.

Image of Abstract Musical Notes

Background Music

Any clas­si­cal music can add enjoy­ment to learn­ing with fin­ger paint­ing. Select works by com­posers such as Antonin Dvo­rak, Claude Debussy, Mau­rice Rav­el, W. A. Mozart, J. S. Bach, Franz Joseph Haydn, or Vival­di. Chil­dren are espe­cial­ly fond of flute, clas­si­cal gui­tar, and harp­si­chord music. Notice how faster or slow­er music affects the way the chil­dren paint.

Homemade Finger Paint

“Com­bine 1 cup of water and ½ cup of flour in a pot over medi­um heat. Keep stir­ring until the mix­ture thick­ens and you can pull it away from the sides of the pot. Take it off the heat, sprin­kle a pinch of salt, and start adding cold water until it reach­es the con­sis­ten­cy you want. Divide it in small bowls and add a small amount of dif­fer­ent food col­or­ing to each bowl. Keep it in sealed con­tain­ers until you are ready to use it.”

“Use 1 cup corn flour and ½ cup of tap water at room tem­per­a­ture and whisk togeth­er in a saucepan until there aren’t any lumps. Then place the saucepan over low heat and kept whisk­ing until it thick­ens. Take it off the heat and add a lit­tle tap water until it reach­es the right con­sis­ten­cy. If you get it too thin, put it back on the heat for a bit. After it cools off, add food col­or­ing. If you want to use nat­ur­al food col­or­ing, you can use blue­ber­ries, spinach, beetroot…”

“I use about 1½ cups of soap flakes and 1 cup of hot water, and I whipped the mix­ture with an egg­beat­er until it stiffens.”

Have fun! Share your fin­ger paint­ing ideas and recipes in the com­ments section.

Inter­est­ed in oth­er activ­i­ties to do with chil­dren? Read our blogs, Cre­ative Art Activ­i­ties for Chil­dren and Fun Indoor Activ­i­ties.

Professional Development Training

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about cre­ative art in ear­ly child­hood? Take our cours­es Mak­ing Learn­ing Fun, Play and Learn­ing, or The Ear­ly Child­hood Envi­ron­ment: Learn­ing Cen­ters!

Care Courses Support 

Please con­tact us and 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!

Creative Art Activities for Children

In this blog we dis­cuss how to pro­vide cre­ative art activ­i­ties for chil­dren that ben­e­fit their learn­ing and devel­op­ment and the impor­tance of hav­ing a des­ig­nat­ed art center. 

Product-Focused or Process-Focused?

Art activ­i­ties can be prod­uct-focused or process-focused.

When you think of art activ­i­ties for young chil­dren, do you think of col­or­ing books with print­ed images? Or projects where chil­dren attempt to copy a sam­ple cre­at­ed by an adult? Often in these sit­u­a­tions, an adult instructs chil­dren in cre­at­ing a desired out­come or prod­uctThese types of activ­i­ties are prod­uct-focused. They do not encour­age children’s cre­ativ­i­ty or exploration. 

On the oth­er hand, process-focused activ­i­ties are those that do encour­age chil­dren’s cre­ativ­i­ty. Process-focused activ­i­ties are unstruc­tured. There is no pre­de­ter­mined way to engage with the mate­ri­als, and chil­dren can experiment. 

Process-focused art activ­i­ties encour­age children’s cre­ativ­i­ty instead of putting pres­sure on them to fol­low spe­cif­ic steps and instruc­tions. Each child’s final prod­uct is unique. An art activ­i­ty is cre­ative when it allows chil­dren to make choic­es for them­selves and con­trol the process as much as possible.

Cre­ative art activ­i­ties are a won­der­ful way for chil­dren to chan­nel their nat­ur­al curios­i­ty and moti­va­tion to explore their world and dis­cov­er how things work. Freely manip­u­lat­ing and exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent art mate­ri­als makes learn­ing fun and address­es mul­ti­ple areas of development.

Creative Art Activities for Children

Finger painting

Fin­ger paint­ing is a fun, open-end­ed activ­i­ty appro­pri­ate for chil­dren at any stage of devel­op­ment. All you need is space, time, a sub­stance to paint with, and a com­fort­able chair. 

Let chil­dren dis­cov­er for them­selves what they can do at their own pace. Avoid giv­ing advice. There is no right or wrong way to fin­ger paint. Chil­dren love to mix col­ors, make pat­terns, and have the free­dom to cre­ate what­ev­er they want. 

Every child is suc­cess­ful when they fin­ger paint!

Three-dimensional projects

Three-dimen­sion­al projects are a great way for chil­dren to prac­tice fine motor skills while hav­ing fun. Pro­vide box­es in a vari­ety of sizes and shapes. Chil­dren often enjoy stack­ing them up to cre­ate stat­ues. When they decide on a shape, they can tape the box­es togeth­er. Pro­vide sup­port at this stage as needed. 

The chil­dren can use their imag­i­na­tion to dec­o­rate their stat­ues with mark­ers, paint, glue, felt, paper scraps, pipe clean­ers, etc. Chil­dren may enjoy incor­po­rat­ing the stat­ues into their pre­tend play. As a small-group activ­i­ty, this can help chil­dren learn about coop­er­a­tion and work­ing as a team. 

Mixed-media collage

Open-end­ed col­lage projects pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for chil­dren to expe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent tex­tures and sen­sa­tions. As far as mate­ri­als for col­lage activ­i­ties, the options are limitless! 

Allow chil­dren over three to cut or tear mate­ri­als into small pieces. This presents an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty for devel­op­ing fine motor skills. (Keep small pieces away from infants and tod­dlers since these can present chok­ing hazards.) 

The chil­dren can lay­er mate­ri­als and col­ors, or paint on top of their col­lages to cre­ate a vari­ety of tex­tures and visu­al effects.

Have fun exper­i­ment­ing with the chil­dren in your care!

More Creative Activities for Young Children

Inter­est­ed in more activ­i­ties for chil­dren? Read our blogs on Music and Move­ment Activ­i­ties and Indoor Activ­i­ties for Kids.

The Early Childhood Environment: Learning Centers

Care Cours­es’ 10-clock-hour course, The Ear­ly Child­hood Envi­ron­ment: Learn­ing Cen­ters, offers many cre­ative art activ­i­ty ideas, and sug­ges­tions for tai­lor­ing your art cen­ter to suit children’s needs and inter­ests. Take this course to learn about fun and func­tion­al learn­ing cen­ters ded­i­cat­ed to lit­er­a­cy, music, block play, pre­tend play, and more! 

Care Courses Support 

Please con­tact us and 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!

How to become a PD Specialist

Ever won­der how to become a PD Spe­cial­ist™ for CDA Cre­den­tial can­di­dates? We often hear from our stu­dents that they can­not find a PD Spe­cial­ist in their area. 

The term PD Spe­cial­ist stands for “Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment Spe­cial­ist,” a trade­mark of the Coun­cil for Pro­fes­sion­al Recog­ni­tion (also called the CDA Coun­cil). PD Spe­cial­ists are ear­ly child­hood pro­fes­sion­als who use their ECE exper­tise to assess CDA Cre­den­tial can­di­dates’ competencies. 

PD Spe­cial­ists facil­i­tate reflec­tive con­ver­sa­tions with the can­di­dates dur­ing their Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Vis­its. After the vis­it, they sub­mit their scor­ing rec­om­men­da­tions to the CDA Council.

Not inter­est­ed in becom­ing a CDA PD Spe­cial­ist, but need to find one for your own Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Vis­it? Read our blog: Who is my PD Spe­cial­ist?

An important job

Accord­ing to the CDA Coun­cil, the integri­ty of the CDA assess­ment process rests pri­mar­i­ly on PD Spe­cial­ists. The Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment Spe­cial­ist is a crit­i­cal job!

Are PD Specialists paid?

Yes! Accord­ing to the CDA Coun­cil, after each Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Vis­it you com­plete, you will receive a $100 honorarium. 

The integri­ty of the CDA assess­ment process rests pri­mar­i­ly on PD Spe­cial­ists.

- The cda council

How to become a PD Specialist

First, deter­mine if you are eli­gi­ble. Read the list* of require­ments below to deter­mine your eligibility. .

To be eligible, you must …

  • have a work­ing email address and access to the internet
  • be flu­ent in the language(s) of the assess­ments you plant to conduct
  • be avail­able to con­duct ver­i­fi­ca­tion vis­its dur­ing reg­u­lar busi­ness hours
  • know state and nation­al licens­ing reg­u­la­tions for ear­ly child­hood programs
  • hold a min­i­mum of a BA** or AA*** degree from an accred­it­ed col­lege or uni­ver­si­ty in 
    • ear­ly child­hood education/child devel­op­ment, or
    • home economics/child devel­op­ment, or
    • ele­men­tary education/early child­hood edu­ca­tion, or
    • a degree in a close­ly relat­ed field or major + a min­i­mum of 18-semes­ter or 24-quar­ter hours of course­work in ECE/CD cov­er­ing chil­dren from birth through five.

*For a more detailed list, vis­it the CDA Coun­cil’s website

**If you have a BA, you must also have at least two years work­ing in a child­care set­ting with chil­dren birth to five. At least one year must have been work­ing direct­ly with chil­dren and one year facil­i­tat­ing the pro­fes­sion­al growth of adults.

***If you have an AA, you must also have a min­i­mum of four years work­ing in a child­care set­ting work­ing with chil­dren birth to five. At least two years must have been work­ing direct­ly with chil­dren and two years facil­i­tat­ing the pro­fes­sion­al growth of adults. 

So, you’ve determined that you are eligible! 

If you qual­i­fy, the next step is to com­plete and sub­mit an online PD Spe­cial­ist appli­ca­tion.

The Coun­cil reviews every appli­ca­tion. Once they approve your appli­ca­tion, you will receive an email fur­ther explain­ing the process.

All PD Specialist applicants must

  • Com­plete the Coun­cil’s appli­ca­tion. Don’t miss any­thing! The Coun­cil will reject an incom­plete application.

PDS online training

Appli­ca­tion approved? Awesome! 

On to the next step: PDS online train­ing though the Coun­cil’s web­site. The train­ing will give you all the resources and infor­ma­tion you will need to be a suc­cess­ful PD Specialist. 

Next you must … pass the exam!

How long does it take?

After you take the exam, allow for the CDA Coun­cil to fin­ish pro­cess­ing your appli­ca­tion. This can take about 45 days. 

And then … you’ll be a PD Specialist! 

Care Courses and the CDA Council 

In July 2017, the CDA Coun­cil for Pro­fes­sion­al Recog­ni­tion award­ed Care Cours­es the new CDA Gold Stan­dard cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in recog­ni­tion of the qual­i­ty of our cours­es, the unlim­it­ed, free sup­port ser­vices we pro­vide our stu­dents, and our effec­tive online and book train­ing options. In 2022, Care Cours­es became an offi­cial part­ner of the CDA Council. 

Care Cours­es offers CDA Cre­den­tial train­ing and sup­port. Click to view blogs about prepar­ing the Pro­fes­sion­al Port­fo­lio and the Top five rea­sons to get a CDA!

CDA Council Official Partner Logo
Offi­cial Part­ner of the CDA Council

Care Courses Support

Please con­tact us and 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!

Fun Indoor Activities to Do with Kids

Are you look­ing for fun indoor activ­i­ties for kids and young chil­dren in child­care or at home? We know that care­givers are always look­ing for new activ­i­ties that will spark chil­dren’s imag­i­na­tions. Try out some of the below art activ­i­ties and phys­i­cal activ­i­ties for kids, and let us know how they go!

Making Learning Fun!

Once you have tried these out, try out one of our Care Cours­es. Mak­ing Learn­ing Fun, Play and Learn­ing, Ear­ly Child­hood Envi­ron­ments: Learn­ing Cen­ters, and Music and Move­ment all have great ideas about the ben­e­fits of cre­at­ing ter­rif­ic learn­ing envi­ron­ments for young children.

Box Art Activity for Kids

Fun activ­i­ties for kids!

Do you have left­over card­board box­es? Our first indoor activ­i­ty for kids will help you use up those old card­board box­es you have lying around. Card­board box­es of all sizes can be a source of end­less fun for young chil­dren. Chil­dren can stack box­es up in any way they desire! One idea for cre­at­ing box art is for every­one to make “box peo­ple.” Let the chil­dren decide how they will cre­ate their “box peo­ple.” After they have cre­at­ed the shapes of peo­ple out of the box­es, help the chil­dren tape the box­es togeth­er so they do not fall apart. The chil­dren can then paint fea­tures and clothes on their box peo­ple using their imag­i­na­tion. Big­ger box­es can rep­re­sent hous­es, or they can serve as mul­ti­ple-sided easels. Small groups of chil­dren can work togeth­er and paint dif­fer­ent sides of the same box.

Tissue Paper Extravaganza Activity for Kids 

Our sec­ond indoor activ­i­ty for kids is a blast. Pro­vide tis­sue paper of dif­fer­ent col­ors to the chil­dren in your care. Invite the chil­dren to tear the paper up or cut it in small pieces to use for their art­work. Many chil­dren will enjoy an adult’s per­mis­sion to tear up paper (and make a small mess)! Pro­vide train­ing and safe­ty scis­sors for chil­dren who pre­fer to prac­tice their cut­ting skills. The chil­dren can then squeeze school glue on a piece of card­board (assist as need­ed) and sprin­kle their tis­sue paper cutouts on the glued sur­face. After the glue has dried, their cre­ations can be post­ed around the room as indi­vid­ual dis­plays or con­nect­ed togeth­er in a whole-group display.

Instant Indoor Gym Activity for Kids

Indoor activ­i­ties for kids

A roll of mask­ing tape is all you need to get the chil­dren mov­ing indoors! Tape a long line on the car­pet and invite the chil­dren to prac­tice their bal­anc­ing skills by walk­ing on the line. Tape a cir­cle for the chil­dren to jump in and out of.  Place a bas­ket or open box in the mid­dle of the cir­cle for them to try and throw a ball in. Use the tape to cre­ate num­bers or let­ters with the tape and attach them to the car­pet in sequence for the chil­dren to step in and hop from one to the next. 

Traffic Light Game for Kids

This group game helps kids learn about traf­fic lights. First, cut out three big cir­cles of paper: one red, one green, and one yel­low. Choose one child to be the traf­fic light. This child can decide which col­or to hold up, and the rest of the group has to move accord­ing to the col­or. Move fast on green, move slow­ly on yel­low, and stop on red. Let the chil­dren take turns being the traf­fic light and let them decide how to move. This one can be an indoor activ­i­ty for kids or an out­door activ­i­ty for kids!

Look­ing for more activ­i­ties for chil­dren? Read our What are some fun activ­i­ties to do with chil­dren in child care? blog.

Want EVEN MORE indoor or out­door activ­i­ties for kids? Look­ing for activ­i­ties for tod­dlers and preschool­ers? Take our course, Mak­ing Learn­ing Fun. This course presents a wealth of test­ed and suc­cess­ful tech­niques for pro­vid­ing ter­rif­ic learn­ing envi­ron­ments for young chil­dren. From cook­ing projects to clay, music and art activ­i­ties to obsta­cle cours­es, dra­mat­ic play to inter-gen­er­a­tional pro­gram­ming, you will find entic­ing ideas for both indoor and out­door excite­ment. This child care course dis­cuss­es how chil­dren learn, explains adults’ role in chil­dren’s learn­ing process, and explores ways to use projects for fun learn experiences. 

Want to share some of your own chil­dren’s games and activ­i­ties? Post your own ideas for indoor activ­i­ties for kids in the com­ment sec­tion below!

Contact Care Courses

Please con­tact us and 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!

Free Online Child Care Training Course: Playing Outdoors

Enroll in our free online child care train­ing course Play­ing Out­doors now!

Free Online Care Course

In our free 1‑clock-hour course, Play­ing Out­doors, we dis­cuss the impor­tance of out­door play for young children. 

Play­ing Out­doors cov­ers many strate­gies to help sup­port young children’s out­door exploration.

In this blog we’ll dis­cuss a few ways you can pre­pare for out­door play even when the weath­er isn’t perfect.

The importance of outdoor play

 So just how impor­tant is play­ing out­doors year-‘round?

Play offers many ben­e­fits for young chil­dren, and the out­doors offers lim­it­less pos­si­bil­i­ties for children’s play.

As a result, out­door play is impor­tant even when the weath­er isn’t perfect.

Twelve months of play

Cold, snowy, rainy, and hot weath­er may present an obsta­cle to out­door play, but in many cas­es it need not pre­vent it.

Cold-weather play

Here are some ideas to pre­pare for out­door play in cold weather.

Prepare: the children

  • keep each child’s coats, mit­tens, hats, scarves, and oth­er cold-weath­er gear in a des­ig­nat­ed spot for easy access
  • ensure that each child has their own sup­ply of sunscreen
  • ask the children’s fam­i­lies to dress their chil­dren in mul­ti­ple thin lay­ers. When chil­dren play out­side (even in cold weath­er) they may become sweaty. Tak­ing off one lay­er at a time can be help­ful as chil­dren warm up as they play.
  • before you take the chil­dren out, check your area’s UV Index here: www.epa.gov
  • before you take the chil­dren out, check your area’s air qual­i­ty here: airnow.gov
  • choose the time you go out­side based on the weath­er, the UV index, and the air quality.

Con­sid­er set­ting up a dona­tion box for fam­i­lies to drop off win­ter clothes as their chil­dren out­grow them. 

Col­lect, laun­der, and store spare coats (rain and win­ter), mittens/gloves, hats, scarves, and boots to ensure that all chil­dren can enjoy the out­doors even if they don’t have appro­pri­ate attire.

Prepare: the space

  • check for ice in all areas
  • look for water from melt­ed ice
  • check for icicles

Place an absorbent rug in your entrance area where the chil­dren can leave their snow and rain boots to dry after they are fin­ished outdoors. 

Ask fam­i­lies to sup­ply a pair of indoor shoes for their chil­dren to change into. Tox­ins and chem­i­cals such as pes­ti­cides, ani­mal excre­ment, antifreeze, ice melt, and motor oil are eas­i­ly tracked inside on shoes. Infants crawl on the floor, put their hands in their mouths, and will ingest these con­t­a­m­i­nants if they have been tracked inside.

Although cold weath­er does not cause or spread ill­ness, cold tem­per­a­tures and dry air can make peo­ple more sus­cep­ti­ble to cer­tain ill­ness­es. How­ev­er, germs spread more eas­i­ly indoors dur­ing win­ter months and spend­ing time out­doors strength­ens children’s immune sys­tems.

Hot-weather play

Here are some ideas to pre­pare for out­door play when it’s hot.

Prepare: the space and the children

  • ensure that there are shady areas for the children
  • before going out­side, apply sun­screen to the chil­dren fol­low­ing your state’s reg­u­la­tions (nev­er use sun­screen on infants under 6 months). Don’t for­get lips and ears!
  • ensure chil­dren are wear­ing cloth­ing that pro­tects them from the sun’s rays. Long-sleeved shirts, hats and sun­glass­es are all important. 
  • make sure chil­dren are well-hydrat­ed before they engage in out­door phys­i­cal activ­i­ty. This is impor­tant at any time of the year, but par­tic­u­lar­ly so when it’s hot. 
  • choose the time you go out­side based on the weath­er, the UV index, and the air quality.

Dur­ing messy out­door play on hot days, chil­dren may enjoy using a hose to wash their mud­dy hands and feet before com­ing indoors.

Remem­ber that infants are par­tic­u­lar­ly vul­ner­a­ble to sun­burn. Keep them in the shade and out of the sun. 

Take pre­cau­tions to pro­tect all chil­dren from sun­burn by sched­ul­ing out­door time in the ear­ly morn­ing or late after­noon to avoid the sun’s most intense rays. 

Lim­it direct sun expo­sure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant in the sum­mer months. A good rule of thumb is to seek shade when­ev­er your shad­ow is short­er than you. This means that the sun is over­head and UV radi­a­tion is the strongest. For more infor­ma­tion on the impor­tance of pro­tect­ing chil­dren from the dan­gers of UV radi­a­tion, take our 2‑clock-hour course, Sun Safe­ty.

Limit outdoor time when it’s not safe

Keep chil­dren inside dur­ing extreme heat or cold and inclement weather—blizzards, thun­der­storms, light­ning, and so forth. In addi­tion, mon­i­tor out­door air qual­i­ty for haz­ardous conditions.

How much time should children spend outdoors?

Strive to incor­po­rate ample out­door time all year long.

As few as 5 or 10 min­utes per day can help pre­vent ill­ness and pro­vide chil­dren with stim­u­lat­ing sen­so­ry experiences. 

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about the ben­e­fits of out­door play? Look­ing for inter­est­ing out­door activ­i­ties? Enroll in our free online child care train­ing course Play­ing Out­doors now!

Care Courses

View Care Cours­es’ full course cat­a­log here.

Care Courses Support

Have ques­tions? 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!

How to Manage Stress in Childcare

The importance of managing stress

Childcare Responsibilities

Do you ever won­der how to man­age stress in child­care? As an ear­ly child­hood pro­fes­sion­al, you are respon­si­ble for meet­ing the needs of chil­dren, assist­ing par­ents and answer­ing their ques­tions, and work­ing effi­cient­ly with col­leagues. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, you must take care of your fam­i­ly, your own needs, and pur­sue your own per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al goals. 

Alto­geth­er, this is a lot of responsibility! 

As a result, when a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion aris­es, it can feel over­whelm­ing to man­age it on top of your reg­u­lar day-to-day respon­si­bil­i­ties. By iden­ti­fy­ing the stress’s source and being strate­gic with solv­ing the prob­lem, you can become more effi­cient at man­ag­ing stress and help avoid oth­er stress­ful sit­u­a­tions in the future.

Stress-Management Strategies

There are sev­er­al strate­gies to man­age stress. By iden­ti­fy­ing the source of stress, you can deter­mine the best strat­e­gy to mit­i­gate it.

Stress-man­age­ment strate­gies can be cat­e­go­rized as

  • imme­di­ate and personal, 
  • long-term and personal,
  • imme­di­ate and environmental,
  • long-term and environmental.

Immediate Personal Stress-Management Strategies

The goal of imme­di­ate per­son­al stress-man­age­ment strate­gies is to help over­come stress and gain con­trol over imme­di­ate phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal well-being. Ben­e­fi­cial strate­gies are those that help over­come stress but do not cause addi­tion­al problems.

Ben­e­fi­cial imme­di­ate per­son­al stress-man­age­ment strate­gies include

  • cor­rect breathing,
  • deep mus­cle relaxation,
  • phys­i­cal exercise,
  • use of imag­i­na­tion (such as envi­sion­ing a peace­ful place or time),
  • use of cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties (such as rec­og­niz­ing and redi­rect­ing neg­a­tive thoughts).

Addi­tion­al­ly, there are some strate­gies that may reduce stress in the moment, but because they cause addi­tion­al prob­lems they are not con­sid­ered ben­e­fi­cial. Strate­gies that are not ben­e­fi­cial include eat­ing, using alco­hol and tobac­co, and tak­ing drugs.

Long-Term Personal Stress-Management Strategies

Long-term per­son­al stress-man­age­ment strate­gies can help devel­op per­son­al resources. As a result, they can func­tion as buffers against the neg­a­tive effects of stress.

For exam­ple, effec­tive long-term per­son­al stress-man­age­ment strate­gies include

  • main­tain­ing a healthy body through a sen­si­ble diet, ade­quate sleep, and reg­u­lar exercise;
  • devel­op­ing a high sense of aware­ness of thoughts, feel­ings, atti­tudes, and values;
  • devel­op­ing a vari­ety of inter­ests, activ­i­ties, and per­son­al relationships;
  • find­ing a bal­ance between work, leisure, and per­son­al relationships;
  • devel­op­ing a reli­gious or philo­soph­i­cal out­look that gives per­spec­tive and pur­pose to the fun­da­men­tal dimen­sions of your life;
  • devel­op­ing a sense of humor about life that can both allow you to laugh at your­self and with others.

Immediate Environmental Stress-Management Strategies

The goal of imme­di­ate envi­ron­men­tal stress-man­age­ment strate­gies is to remove the source of stress and quick­ly imple­ment a solu­tion. The first step is to iden­ti­fy the source of the envi­ron­men­tal stress. As as result, many times this action alone will reduce the lev­el of stress and allow you to solve the problem.

For exam­ple, if you are pre­oc­cu­pied with a task and not giv­ing the chil­dren your undi­vid­ed atten­tion, the chil­dren are more like­ly to engage in inap­pro­pri­ate behav­ior. They are telling you with their behav­ior that their needs are not being met. By iden­ti­fy­ing the source of stress (your lack of atten­tion) and solv­ing the prob­lem (redi­rect­ing your atten­tion to the chil­dren), you can quick­ly restore a peace­ful environment.

Long-Term Environmental Stress-Management Strategies

The goal of long-term envi­ron­men­tal stress-man­age­ment strate­gies is to pre­vent and man­age stress with long-term solutions. 

A long-term envi­ron­men­tal stress man­age­ment strat­e­gy iden­ti­fies the source of stress and takes long-term steps to pre­vent and elim­i­nate. Long-term steps include cre­at­ing a new or mod­i­fied envi­ron­ment that is free of the stress­ful elements. 

For exam­ple, you can try man­ag­ing your time more effec­tive­ly, adjust­ing your room’s arrange­ment, and pro­vid­ing enough pop­u­lar toys to avoid con­flicts. You can also try chang­ing your own atti­tudes or values. 

Again, first iden­ti­fy the source of the envi­ron­men­tal stress. Take a step back from the stress­ful sit­u­a­tion and con­sid­er how you can change the envi­ron­ment to elim­i­nate and/or man­age the stress’s source. 

Con­sid­er the exam­ple giv­en above: you were pre­oc­cu­pied and the children’s behav­ior was inap­pro­pri­ate. While the short-term solu­tion is to give them your atten­tion, a long-term fix might be to sched­ule time for your task before the chil­dren arrive or dur­ing naptime. 

Or, you can rearrange the room so that you can com­plete your task while still inter­act­ing with the chil­dren. Anoth­er solu­tion might be to ask anoth­er care­giv­er to do the task. If appro­pri­ate, you could engage the chil­dren in the task with you or make up a sil­ly song for them to sing when­ev­er you must do the task. 

Looking to learn more about how to manage stress in childcare? Take Care Courses’ Caring for Yourself and Achieving Your Goals Training!

More strate­gies for man­ag­ing stress, build­ing resilience, and incor­po­rat­ing self-care into your rou­tine are cov­ered in detail in our three clock-hour course, Car­ing for Your­self and Achiev­ing Your Goals.

Addi­tion­al­ly, you will learn about avoid­ing job burnout and grow­ing both per­son­al­ly and professionally!

Care Courses Support

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!

How to Manage Stress in Childcare

The Benefits of Play in Early Childhood

In today’s blog we will dis­cuss the role of play in children’s devel­op­ment and how you can facil­i­tate children’s learn­ing through play. 

Top­ics for pro­mot­ing play in ear­ly child­hood are cov­ered in detail in our course, Play and Learn­ing in Ear­ly Childhood.

The role of play in children’s development

Play can be defined as children’s spon­ta­neous, self-direct­ed, self-cho­sen, and self-paced activ­i­ties. Play inte­grates children’s expe­ri­ences in mul­ti­ple areas of learn­ing. For exam­ple, while play­ing “restau­rant” young chil­dren may scrib­ble orders, set prices, pre­tend to read menus, count play mon­ey, or apply the con­cept of quan­ti­ty to serve meals to a spe­cif­ic num­ber of “cus­tomers,” learn­ing a lot more than they would have by com­plet­ing a work­sheet, while hav­ing fun. 

Dur­ing play, chil­dren make deci­sions, are moti­vat­ed by their nat­ur­al desire to explore and under­stand the world around them, and become ful­ly immersed in the process. Dur­ing play, chil­dren fol­low their curios­i­ty, strength­en their prob­lem-solv­ing skills, exper­i­ment with a vari­ety of approach­es to reach goals, and keep try­ing until they feel successful.

Play accel­er­ates children’s brain devel­op­ment and pro­motes learn­ing in all domains. You can play an impor­tant role in pro­mot­ing the ben­e­fits of children’s play by select­ing appro­pri­ate play mate­ri­als, pro­vid­ing an excit­ing learn­ing envi­ron­ment, and being respon­sive to children’s interests.

Choosing play materials

A thought­ful selec­tion of play mate­ri­als helps max­i­mize the effec­tive­ness of play in pro­mot­ing devel­op­ment and learning.

  • Open-end­ed toys can be used in many dif­fer­ent ways and pro­mote exper­i­men­ta­tion and cre­ativ­i­ty. Toys such as blocks, play food, dress-up clothes, and water tables allow chil­dren to exper­i­ment and use their imagination.
  • Closed-end­ed toys have a def­i­nite use and end­ing point. For exam­ple, puz­zle and shape sorter activ­i­ties are fin­ished once they are assem­bled. They are good for build­ing atten­tion and learn­ing to com­plete a task.
  • Loose parts are mate­ri­als that have no par­tic­u­lar or defined pur­pose. Hav­ing loose parts avail­able to chil­dren encour­ages cre­ativ­i­ty and imag­i­na­tion. Exam­ples of loose parts include card­board box­es, stones, scarves and fab­ric, and plas­tic bottles.

Vari­ety ensures that chil­dren enjoy many dif­fer­ent types of learn­ing expe­ri­ences. Include play mate­ri­als that offer vary­ing lev­els of dif­fi­cul­ty. Blocks are a per­fect exam­ple of toys that chal­lenge chil­dren at every lev­el of development. 

While ensur­ing that cer­tain toys, such as blocks, are always avail­able, rotate the array of toys and mate­ri­als avail­able for children’s use at any one time. Chil­dren will show much more inter­est in items that have been put away for a time than items that are always available.

Designing the learning environment

An invit­ing and func­tion­al play envi­ron­ment allows chil­dren to engage with play mate­ri­als to their fullest extent. When design­ing your play envi­ron­ment, con­sid­er the fol­low­ing questions:

  • Are learn­ing areas clear­ly defined and easy to supervise?
  • Is there ade­quate space for noisy and active play?
  • Are active areas close to each oth­er and sep­a­rat­ed from qui­et spaces?
  • Is there a cozy area for chil­dren to relax and enjoy quiet-time?

Facilitating play

Your respon­sive­ness to children’s needs and inter­ests is crit­i­cal in pro­mot­ing the ben­e­fits of play. When super­vis­ing children’s play, con­sid­er the fol­low­ing edu­ca­tion­al strategies:

  • Offer play expe­ri­ences that cor­re­spond to children’s inter­ests, diverse abil­i­ties, and learn­ing styles.
  • Engage chil­dren in mak­ing decisions.
  • Care­ful­ly observe children’s play and judge the amount of time, sup­port, and guid­ance they need at any giv­en time.
  • Observe and record each child’s devel­op­ment to assess their indi­vid­ual needs, mile­stones to be reached, and set goals.
  • Fre­quent­ly reeval­u­ate and assess the play and learn­ing envi­ron­ment to ensure that it con­tin­ues to pro­vide appro­pri­ate chal­lenges as chil­dren progress along the path of devel­op­ment and learning.
  • Sched­ule the day so that chil­dren have plen­ty of unin­ter­rupt­ed, unrushed time to engage in play and learning.

Care Courses’ Play and Learning in Early Childhood Course

Learn more about the fun­da­men­tal role of play in young children’s devel­op­ment, stages of play, ben­e­fits of dif­fer­ent types of play, and how you can sup­port children’s learn­ing through play in our course, Play and Learn­ing in Ear­ly Childhood.

Care Courses Support

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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