It’s a new year and that typically means goals and resolutions are being made. If you’re focusing on your child care career this year, we’ve got a great place for you to start. Here are the top 20 professional development courses that nannies and sitters took from ChildCare Education Institute last year:

20. The Importance of Play in Early Childhood

This course provides an overview of the importance of play for promoting optimal development across all domains during early childhood and beyond. Participants will learn about the benefits of play, different types of play, and ways to promote more play in children’s lives. More info here.

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19. Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic

Based on information obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services, USA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this course provides an overview of the requirements for preparing for an influenza pandemic. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to define a pandemic, identify the planning and coordination required to be prepared for a pandemic, identify infection control actions, list methods of communication during a pandemic. More info here.

18. Curriculum: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

This course examines the benefits of implementing a well-planned curriculum in an early childhood program. As a result of completing this course, participants should be able to identify the basic steps involved in selecting, planning, and evaluating an effective early childhood curriculum. More info here.

17. How Children Learn

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to define the four domains in which learning and development occur, identify Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, explain how children learn through the observation of models, and identify additional common learning theories and teaching strategies based on research into brain development. More info here.

16. Protecting Infants: Reducing the Risk of SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome

This course is designed to increase participants’ knowledge about ways they can protect infants from the risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and shaken baby syndrome (SBS). Throughout the course, participants will be introduced to risk-reducing and preventative strategies designed to keep infants safe. Information provided will also prepare participants to share this life-saving information with families. More info here.

15. Child Abuse: The Impact of Maltreatment on Relationship Skills and Bonding

This course educates professional caregivers about the impact of maltreatment on a child’s general relationship skills and bonding abilities. Participants will learn the major consequences of various forms of maltreatment on toddlers, young children, and adolescents, as well as the long-term impacts for adults who were abused as children. Participants will also learn about constructive measures that can be taken to help abused children overcome these disadvantages. More info here.

14. Creating a Multicultural Environment

This course explains multiculturalism and anti-bias education. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to define the goals of multiculturalism, develop an anti-bias classroom, incorporate multiculturalism into learning centers and other classroom activities, and promote cooperative social skills in diverse classrooms. More info here.

13. Practicing Positive Guidance with Infants and Toddlers

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify strategies for promoting self-identity, self-confidence, and self-control in infants and toddlers. This course also reviews and expands upon theories, theorists, and concepts regarding human behavior and early childhood development. More info here.

12. Preventing the Spread of Bloodborne Pathogens

This course covers OSHA standards and other information related to preventing the spread of bloodborne pathogens in the child care setting. Major topics covered include common infectious diseases spread by bloodborne pathogens, standard precautions, and other safety practices. More info here.

11. Practicing Positive Guidance with Preschool and School-Age Children

In this course, participants will explore the concept of positive guidance and why it is so important to use positive guidance in their work with preschool and school-age children. This course focuses on the use of developmentally appropriate practices as well as the child development theories that support positive guidance practices. More info here.

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10. An Introduction to Inclusion and Children with Special Needs

As a result of completing this course, participants will be able to identify important laws and current “best practices” regarding the inclusion of children with special needs in the classroom. Participants will also become familiar with different types of special needs and begin to formulate a “vision for inclusion” to support children of all abilities and their families. This course is a relaunch of CCEI968: Inclusion and Children with Special Needs. We have updated the content of the course and added 1 hour of new information. More info here.

9. Supporting Children and Families Who Have Experienced Trauma

This course explores the developmental impacts of different types of family trauma, from parent incarceration, family separation, and military deployment, to domestic violence, addiction, and loss of a loved one. Participants will learn ways, based on current brain research, to structure support for children and families who have experienced trauma. Specific classroom strategies and parent resources are also provided. More info here.

8. Food Allergies in the Early Care Setting

This course provides an overview of food allergies and basic food allergy safety principles to employ in the early care setting. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to identify the occurrence of food allergies in the United States, identify the program’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for children and staff who suffer from food allergies, identify the eight major food allergens, identify contact and airborne sensitivity, list the theories associated with the rise in food allergies, identify the importance of food labeling and packaging and define epinephrine. More info here.

7. Foundations of Positive Guidance

This is an introductory course to positive guidance, a philosophy, and strategy for guiding children’s behaviors and learning experiences. The course will explore the elements of child development that influence positive guidance strategies and some basic implementation practices for use in the child care setting. The course will also discuss the importance of working with families to establish consistent positive guidance practices at school and at home. More info here.

6. Coping With Crises and Traumatic Events

Emergencies and natural disasters can happen suddenly with little or no warning. This course provides essential information on recommended practices and strategies and other important resources to help guide the process of planning to survive and recover from disasters, emergencies, and other types of potentially traumatic events. More info here.

5. Outdoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting

This course identifies common outdoor injuries and appropriate ways to prevent them. Student will learn about the various components of playground safety and hazards, as well as the steps that must be taken to prevent accidental poisoning. Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to identify common outdoor-related injuries to children and describe appropriate ways to prevent these injuries, list the four basic components of playground safety, identify playground problems and potential hazards and identify the ways children may be exposed to poisons. More info here.

4. Indoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting

This course introduces early childhood professionals to indoor safety standards in an early childhood setting. Topics covered include toy safety, poison control, the development of appropriate play space, controlling high traffic areas in the center, and other safety standards. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to identify common indoor injuries and identify appropriate ways to prevent these injuries. Students will also learn about the basic components of toy safety, potential safety hazards with specific equipment, and ways in which children may be exposed to poisons. More info here.

3. Birth to Five: Child Development in Young Children

Think back to your childhood. How much do you resemble the person you were as an infant? A five-year-old? A teenager? Your life, as well as the life of every other individual, is filled with growth, change, and development. This course covers important developmental milestones from birth through age five, related to physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. More info here.

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2. Child Abuse: Signs of Abuse and Reporting Requirements for Early Childhood Professionals

This course identifies and defines the major categories of child abuse, explains the responsibilities of mandated reporters, lists methods of reporting, and emphasizes the importance of visual checks. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to identify and define the four major categories of child abuse, along with the signs, symptoms, and examples of each type of abuse. More info here.

1. Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 When Caring For Children

This course provides basic information everyone should know about preventing the spread of COVID19 in the child care setting. Participants will learn about recommended hygiene practices, recognizing signs and symptoms, criteria for excluding a child from group care, communicating with children and families, maintaining a clean environment, and more. More info here.

New Year’s goals and resolutions can feel overwhelming if you’re going it alone. When it comes to your professional development, you don’t have to. ChildCare Education Institute has even more than these top 20 courses. They have over 150 online child care training courses in English and Spanish that meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start requirements.

Sittercity sitters get a special 20% discount off of a year of courses. So all that’s left for you to do is to decide which course you’ll take first!

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