ChildCare Education Institute April Newsletter
Stress-Less Child Care Environments 
In This Issue...
Diminishing Stress with Primary Care
Handling Teacher Stress: Increase The Positive, Decrease The Negative
The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan
Lifelong Learning; A contribution from Penn Foster
CCEI Offers a No-Cost Online Course During WOYC
Penn Foster & CCEI Announce Articulation Agreement
Professional Development Partnership with Missouri's OPEN
Learn How to Better Manage Early Childhood Classroom Stress
Alumni Profile: Kesha Jones
Annual Training Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA Coursework, Director's Certificates, & Early Childhood Credential

Diminishing Stress with Primary Care     


Teaching can be stressful, no matter what age group you work with. Indeed, life can be stressful, regardless of your profession or anything else! Like everyone else, child care professionals must learn to cope with their own stress at work and at home; however, they also have the added challenge of helping young children learn to cope with their own stress. Even more importantly, child care professionals must understand the potential developmental impacts of stress during early childhood.


There is no question that consistent, high levels of stress can harm a child's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. Following daily routines, maintaining a safe environment, using positive guidance practices, comforting children when they are distressed, and remembering to include lots of play, joy, and laughter: these are all among essential recommendations for reducing stress in the early childhood environment. Adults also need to be aware of the "stress loop" created when children sense stress in a close caregiver, so the first step is to train yourself to leave personal stress on the doorstep when you reach the classroom.


Beyond the environment, however, one factor rises above all others: personal relationships. From the earliest bonds between infant and caregiver to the development of language, social skills, and self-esteem, close personal relationships play an essential role. But it is challenging if not downright stressful for a single teacher to try to build and maintain close personal relationships with a dozen or more individual children in a classroom. Here is one possible solution: assign "primary caregivers."


Under the "primary caregiver" model, several children are assigned to a teacher or teacher's aide for the duration of the year. This teacher becomes the "primary" for that group of children. During the course of the day, the children may rotate from one adult to another during various activities, but the "primary" develops a special, trusting bond with the child.


A child's "primary" meets and greets children and their families in the morning and sees them off in the afternoon. The "primary" can also be responsible for assigned children during certain mealtimes, naptime, toileting/diaper changing, and most aspects of parent communication and record keeping. As the child develops, the relationship with the "primary caregiver" can evolve to include qualities of a mentor and close friend, which in turn helps a child cope with stress and paves the way for optimal development. 
Volume 8, Issue 4

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Handling Teacher Stress: Increase The Positive, Decrease The Negative

By: Rae Pica with Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, Jeff Johnson, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed.   


Many people wonder why teachers - especially early childhood teachers - would be stressed. But, often, even the teachers wonder why they are feeling stressed, when education is a field they entered out of love. There are good reasons for those feelings and solutions to getting past them. Tune in to learn more.


Click HERE and then click Play to listen to the broadcast.


Broadcast courtesy of BAM Radio Network

The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan

Written By: Jennifer S. Middlebrooks, M.S.W., M.P.H., and Natalie C. Audage, M.P.H.


Stress is an inevitable part of life. Human beings experience stress early, even before they are born. A certain amount of stress is normal and necessary for survival. Stress helps children develop the skills they need to cope with and adapt to new and potentially threatening situations throughout life. Support from parents and/or other concerned caregivers is necessary for children to learn how to respond to stress in a physically and emotionally healthy manner.


The beneficial aspects of stress diminish when it is severe enough to overwhelm a child's ability to cope effectively. Intensive and prolonged stress can lead to a variety of short- and long-term negative health effects. It can disrupt early brain development and compromise functioning of the nervous and immune systems. In addition, childhood stress can lead to health problems later in life including alcoholism, depression, eating disorders, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.


View Resource

Resource Courtesy of the U.S. CDC 


Lifelong Learning: The Importance of Early Childhood Education and the Educators who Make it Possible

Written by: Ray McNulty, Chief Learning Officer of Penn Foster, & Sarah Lathrop, Early Childhood Education Professor at Penn Foster College 

Gone are the days when education was confined to young students in traditional classrooms. Today, a student may be a 50-year-old mother who finally has the chance to complete her education after her kids leave for college. A classroom may be a neighborhood coffee shop or a park bench on a sunny day. The definition of education and its components are constantly changing, a change that is unlikely to slow down. But, no matter how students, education and classrooms evolve, educators must continue to stress the importance of early childhood education for success throughout one's life.


This week marks the National Association for the Education of Young Children's 2013 Week of the Young Child™, which focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families, and recognizes early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. This special week emphasizes a theme that educators throughout the U.S. should carry with them throughout the year: Education is a lifelong process, which should be accessible for children from an early age.



CCEI Offers a No-Cost Online Course During Week of the Young Child

Critical Thinking Skills in the Preschool Environment is a no-cost online course during Week of the Young Child™ (WOYC), April 14 - 20, 2013. The celebration of the Week of the Young Child™ is an annual occurrence sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the intention is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. The 2013 Week of the Young Child™ theme is Early Years Are Learning Years® and CCEI provides its Critical Thinking training course at no-cost during that time. COG101 is available at no-cost to new and returning users of CCEI's coursework from April 14 - 20, 2013. In order to access this no-cost course, visit the training hour promotion instructions webpage. When enrolling in the promotion, users will need to enter the promo code WOYC2013, when prompted. Active individual or center-based subscription holders may enroll in this course at any time without the use of a promotion code.

Penn Foster and ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) Announce Articulation Agreement 

announces an articulation agreement that allows students from CCEI to transfer credits toward degrees at Penn Foster. Students who successfully complete the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can articulate 12 transfer credits toward the Penn Foster College Associate of Science Degree Program in Early Childhood Education. In addition, students who successfully complete the CCEI Online Instructor Supported CDA, Online College Credit Eligible CDA and the Online Self-Study CDA

 certificate programs can articulate nine transfer credits toward the Penn Foster College Associate of Science Degree Program in Early Childhood Education. For each of the certificate programs approved for articulation, three credits will be awarded in each of the following areas: Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education; Health, Safety, and Nutrition; and Child Growth and Development. In addition to these three, the Early Childhood Credential will also be awarded credit for Assessment in Early Childhood Education. On April 16, Penn Foster will host an online open house where experts from the school's Education and Child Care Academy will be available to discuss the CCEI partnership, current issues regarding early childhood education and Penn Foster's child care programs. Current and prospective students are encouraged to participate in the online discussion, which will take place from 1pm - 2pm EST. 
Professional Development Partnership with Missouri's Opportunities in a Professional Education Network (OPEN)

CCEI announces electronic verification of individual practitioner's online child care training via the Missouri Professional Development ID (MOPD ID) tracking system. CCEI is approved by Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services, Section for Child Care Regulation, to provide online child care training to the state's early childhood professionals to fulfill their annual continuing education requirements. With the new partnership in place between CCEI, Child Care Regulation, and the Opportunities in a Professional Education Network (OPEN) Initiative, Missouri child care professionals can now submit their MOPD ID, also known as their Missouri workforce ID, to CCEI when logged in to their account in order to track CCEI training completions electronically. The goal of this partnership is to enable convenient reporting of training course completions to OPEN so that the data is available to program directors, Registry members, and licensing staff. Missouri educators who need to obtain their MOPD ID can visit Once a user's MOPD ID has been entered in CCEI's system, all 2012 and 2013 CCEI trainings will be transferred to the OPEN automatically. Any future training completions will be included in the regularly scheduled data transfers.

Learn How to Better Manage Early Childhood Classroom Stress During National Stress Awareness Month

New users have the opportunity to try online learning by taking the trial course SOC102: From Chaotic to Calm: Managing Stress in the Classroom at no cost in April to provide new users the opportunity to try quality, online child care training at no cost and in recognition of National Stress Awareness Month. Infants begin experiencing negative stress while still in the womb and require guidance on how to cope with stress throughout their lifetimes. It's critical for early childhood educators to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stress in children, and to understand how to help children cope with stress. Excess stress can be detrimental to cognition, social interaction, and physical health. This early childhood stress management training offers recommended strategies and practices, activities, and other tools for easing children's anxieties and worries inside (and outside) the classroom. This course is available for purchase through online enrollment now. CCEI students with active, unlimited subscriptions can enroll in this course at no additional cost when logged in to their account. 

Kesha Jones

Brooklyn, NY   

Congratulations to Kesha Jones for successfully completing
CCEI's Online Child Development Associate (CDA) Renewal Certificate Program of Study!


Kesha began her career in early childhood education by working with Summer youth programs and currently works with four and five year olds. Her favorite time of the day with the children is morning circle time, when she can hear the children's stories and see what they remember from the previous day. The children in Kesha's classroom very much enjoy staying physically active and participating in group activities. Kesha is motivated to work with children by "their sense of humor and the amazing things they say; they always keep me laughing."


In her spare time, Kesha enjoys reading, cooking, watching movies, spending time with her two children, and taking her nieces and nephews to museums and the zoo. Years ago, Kesha completed her CDA Certificate program through CCEI, and has now completed her CDA Renewal Certificate online as well. Kesha recently renewed her CDA Credential with the Council of Professional Recognition, and plans to continue her education in child care and teaching, as she plans on working with children until she retires. Kesha recommends CCEI to anyone and states, "CCEI is a great program. I have been working with CCEI since 2008. All of my coaches have been very pleasant and helpful. I truly appreciate everything."


Congratulations, Kesha! CCEI is proud to call you a graduate!

Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for only $99 per year!
CCEI offers over 100 IACET CEU-awarded online child care training courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has professional development offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.

Center-Based Subscriptions
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for small and large centers, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!

Online CDA Coursework
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs of study meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Goals established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas.


Online Director Programs
CCEI offers several online programs for directors including the Online Director's Certificate and
Director's Certificate Renewal, Georgia Director's Certificate, Texas Director's Certificate and Texas Director's Certificate Renewal, and Florida Director's Certificate Renewal. These programs provide the professional development required for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. Each student receives support from an Education Coach (EC) and CCEI's Customer Support Help Desk. 

CCEI Early Childhood Credential

The CCEI Early Childhood Credential (ECC) is designed to give a basic framework of early childhood theory and application through online content-based coursework, reading assignments, practical application exercises, essays, parent interviews, classroom observation and oral and written exams. The instructional units and the 180 hours of coursework cover major topics in early childhood education including the Principles of Child Growth and Development; Safe, Healthy Environments; Social and Emotional Development; Motor, Language, and Cognitive Development; Principles of Child Assessment; Program Management, Families, and Professionalism. The credential awards 18 IACET CEUs, and is recognized by NAEYC to meet a part of the Alternative Pathways for directors to achieve educational qualifications. The ECC is a clear pathway toward higher education and raising the knowledge and skills of the early education workforce. Holders of the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can be considered qualified for Head Start positions that require a minimum of a CDA or other certificate.


CCEI coursework is eligible for college credit through articulation with one of CCEI's articulation partners, and has received college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), which has more than 1,500 schools willing to consider credit. Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit the ChildCare Education Institute website for more information or to enroll online.

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