Latest News

Mar 14, 2018

When’s the last time you and your co-workers talked about adventurous, risky, or big body play? This type of programming is often something that people have strong opinions about but hesitate to discuss.

Mar 9, 2018

Taking Steps to Healthy Success: Family-Style Dining; Taking Steps to Healthy Success: Breastfeeding Support

Feb 23, 2018

On Demand is about to reach one million completed modules! That's a lot of professional development to celebrate. In anticipation of the millionth completion, we're giving away one million seconds of On Demand PD to the person who completes that millionth module!*

Jan 17, 2018

On December 19, 2017, Penn State Better Kid Care's CDA course was awarded the CDA Gold Standard following a quality review of their training and student services by the Council for Professional Recognition (the Council). The CDA Gold StandardSM is part of the Council’s early childhood education effort to help CDA students find the high-quality training and student services they need in preparation for the CDA exam and a career as early childhood educators.

Jan 12, 2018

Commonly heard responses are that early care and education (ECE) professionals observe children to monitor progress, to complete required assessments and screenings, and to identify learning or behavior challenges.

Jan 11, 2018

I-LABS – Why the First 2000 Days Matter; Prevención de la Obesidad Infantil en Español (series)

Dec 12, 2017

Relationships are the active ingredient for learning. Children's relationships with adults, peers, and the world around them are the foundation for all growth.

Dec 6, 2017

Online Learning: Best Practices to Maximize Professional Development; PYD Mastery: Learning Environment and Curriculum; Taking Steps to Healthy Success: Healthy Eating

Dec 5, 2017

Adults are very important in a child’s life. Children need nurturing adults to guide them throughout childhood. You can see empathy, caring, and compassion in your young children, but you need to cultivate these wonderful qualities for children to grow up happy, have better relationships, and have the skills needed to make a difference in the world.

Once this art is displayed, a teacher can have conversations with toddlers about it, recalling how they swung a pendulum back and forth to create the arcs of color. (Art photo provided by Shannon Clarke, EC Educator, MacKids Learning Academy, Kansas City
Nov 13, 2017

Do the children in your program sometimes demonstrate amazing creativity? Do they explore art media in interesting, unique ways? Celebrate their work through effective displays!

Oct 19, 2017

Almost 50 years ago a friend and colleague, Jim Van Horn, wrote an article about parenting. Read the article now, and you find everything he said is still relevant for parents today.

Oct 17, 2017

Children need the dizzying input that comes from spinning, rolling, and swinging. These important movement experiences help the child’s nervous system to mature and organize. Many adults eventually start to dislike the feeling of spinning or repetitive swinging, but for children, it is a crucial sensory and motor skill input.

Sep 19, 2017

How professionals think about and approach learning matters. Learn how to cultivate a commitment to learning.

Aug 3, 2017

Farm families knew what it took to raise emotionally healthy children way before the field of developmental psychology confirmed it.

Jul 21, 2017

Adventurous Play: The Whys and Hows; Dealing with Bed Bugs in Child Care Environments; PYD Mastery: Professional Development and Leadership; Toilet Skill Development: Support Children’s Learning

Jul 6, 2017

The simple act of reading aloud can be a powerful way to help children develop the necessary skills for school, work, and life.

Jun 14, 2017

Tooth decay is the number one chronic disease that affects young children and is five times more common than asthma. Untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infection, resulting in children who stay out of care and experience problems with eating and speaking. Dental decay (also known as dental caries) can affect children’s concentration and learning. Twenty percent of children between five and eleven years of age have at least one untreated, decayed tooth. Children from low-income families suffer from twice as much untreated tooth decay (25%) as children from higher income families (11%). (CDC 2014) Yet tooth decay is easily preventable. Regular dental habits such as toothbrushing and a healthy diet can reduce the occurrence of cavities greatly. To be most effective, both should be part of a child’s routine at home and at his early care and education program. Additionally, adults in the child’s life should model good oral health practices and participate in routines with the child.

May 23, 2017

Mindful Practice for ECE Professionals: Begin the Journey; Family Child Care: CLAD ­ Cultural, Linguistic, Ability Diversity; Family Child Care: Best Infant Care Practices in a Mixed-Age Setting; Family Child Care: Ethnic Foods Exploration; PYD Mastery: Family, School, and Community Relationships

May 9, 2017

Have you thought about culture lately, including your own? Working with children and families from diverse backgrounds other than the early childhood professional’s own requires continual self-reflection and learning. Children and families in early childhood education (ECE) programs are substantially diverse—whether the differences are cultural, linguistic, ability, family structure, race, religion, or socio-economic. An awareness of CLAD—cultural, linguistic, and ability diversity—is fundamental to working with children and families.

Apr 26, 2017

Providing high quality sleep environments and understanding Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) are an essential part of a child care provider’s job. There are about 4,000 sudden and unexpected deaths (SUID) in the United States each year. More than half of these deaths are caused by a commonly know type of SUID called SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This lesson focuses on defining SUID and identifying behaviors that affect and reduce the risk of sleep-related SUID. This module is available at no cost.