Volume 3, Issue 12
In This Issue
Creating a Multicultural Classroom Environment
Diversity in Early Childhood Programs
Critical Issue: Meeting the Diverse Needs of Young Children
CCEI News
Professional Development
Online CDA Course of Study Programs
Dates to Remember
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute December Newsletter. This month, CCEI discusses Creating a Multicultural Classroom Environment.
Culture refers to the "traditions, rituals, beliefs, and values that are shared amongst a group of people."  Each person is a part of at least one culture.  Some families participate in several cultures.  

Multiculturalism refers to the "sharing of many cultures." 

The first goal of a multicultural program is to assist children with recognizing differences, as well as similarities, among all people.  Allowing children to explore varying cultures creates opportunities for them to see that even when people have different customs and traditions, they often share some common traits, too.

Children learn that people can be different and unique, yet still have much in common.  Such realizations help young children learn to accept differences and aid in eliminating prejudice and racism.  These realizations assist children with accepting and respecting people from all cultures and backgrounds.

The second goal of a multicultural program is to encourage cooperative social skills.  As children learn to accept differences and similarities among people, they can work and get along with others better.  They begin to see other's viewpoints and individuality. The multicultural classroom assists children from minority cultures in developing cooperation and social skills in a setting that may be unfamiliar to them.  Their self-esteem is boosted as they are recognized and accepted for their individuality. They feel good about themselves as other children recognize the worth of their traditions and customs.  The early childhood program that is culturally sensitive will build the self-confidence of its children by integrating the cultures of all the children into learning experiences.

The first ingredient for a successful multicultural program is the classroom teacher's knowledge of diverse cultures.  Take time to learn the backgrounds of your students, as well as the populations represented in your geographic area. Educate yourself on their beliefs, values, foods, and customs.  Share those with children as you incorporate them into learning experiences. Encourage children to ask questions that help them understand more about others who have a different background from their own.

Learn the traditions of each child in your classroom.  What holidays do they celebrate?  How do they celebrate birthdays?  How are they parented?  What are their favorite foods and family traditions?

The second ingredient a preschool teacher must have to successfully implement a culturally diverse classroom environment is an attitude of acceptance and respect for other cultures.  It requires an open mind that accepts and respects differences.  Children model what they see, so the teacher's inclusion and acceptance of different ideas, customs, and traditions helps them learn to accept and respect.

  Helping children to compare, contrast, and learn about
  other cultures without making judgments about them
  requires this attitude of acceptance and respect. As
  teachers lead children to respect others who are different,
  they will begin to appreciate individuality.  As children
  grow and mature with these attitudes, they will have social
  skills that not only accept, but also applaud individuality.

  The third critical ingredient for a teacher's success in
  implementing a culturally diverse classroom is the ability to
  add a multicultural perspective into curriculum planning
  and classroom management skills.  This requires careful
  consideration of children's cultures and traditions, and
  necessitates planning to help other children experience
  them in learning centers and activities.

How does your program "measure up" as a multicultural environment?  Do you have multicultural materials?  Is diversity accepted and applauded?  Is the community well represented? Having children of differing cultures in the class can offer firsthand experiences and insight.  The customs and traditions of their cultures should definitely be represented in the learning environment.

Remember that providing the children with a multicultural program helps boost self-esteem and teaches them about acceptance and diversity.  A multicultural program will help children understand and work well with others as they grow and mature.  

To learn more ways to create a multicultural classroom, join the CCEI Discussion Thread and share the strategies for creating a multicultural classroom .  To learn more about multicultural curriculums and classrooms, log on to www.cceifame.com and take class CCEI640, Creating a Multicultural Environment.

Diversity in Early Childhood Programs
Written By: Francis Wardle

Early childhood providers are called upon to do many difficult tasks. One of the most difficult of these is providing our children with diverse, multicultural experiences. Since the beginning of time, young children have been raised by their families, extended families, clans, and communities. Even today, most family child care homes and many early childhood programs tend to be fairly homogeneous and quite similar to the child's home background. High on the list of criteria parents use to choose child care and early childhood programs are providers and programs who match the parents' own view of education and discipline, and those who speak the same language and have the same religion (Willer, et. al., 1991). Thus many of our programs - family child care, Head Start, religious programs, and even some neighborhood public schools - are traditional reflections of homogeneous communities in religion, race/ethnicity, language, and socioeconomic status. But now these traditional programs are expected to provide our children with experiences outside of their groups, offering opportunities to teach them to be tolerant, respectful, and accepting of differences. It's quite a challenge!

Read Article
Printed Courtesy of Early Childhood News
Critical Issue: Meeting the Diverse Needs of Young Children
By: Ginger Rodriguez
  The increase in racial, ethnic, and cultural
  diversity in American schools is reflected in
  many early childhood classrooms. These
  classrooms also are receiving increased
  numbers of children with disabilities or
  developmental delays. The diverse
  composition of early childhood classrooms
  brings many challenges as well as many
  opportunities to educators. With a knowledge
  of effective practices, and with the support of administrators, colleagues, families, and the local and global community, teachers can create classrooms that are responsive to the diverse needs of all children.

Read Article
Article Courtesy of North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
Keep Children Safe this Holiday Season. Review the U.S. Consumer Safety Product (CPSC) Guidelines before purchasing holiday gifts for children.
The holidays are here and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has its list. Parents and gift buyers are encouraged to check it twice. Today, CPSC issued its annual holiday safety messages, joined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Safe Kids Worldwide, to remind parents to be diligent when making holiday shopping choices.

Read Article
Courtesy of CPSC
CCEI's Online Coursework is eligible for IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  CCEI is approved by the International Association for
  Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to award IACET
  Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  The International
  Association for Continuing Education and Training is a
  non-profit association dedicated to quality continuing
  education and training programs.

CCEI Announces National Administrator Credential Certificate Program
The CCEI Online National Administrator Credential Certificate Program is approved by the National Child Care Association to provide the 40 clock hours of business and administrative training required by the sponsoring organization for early childhood professionals seeking their National Administrator Credential.  Comprehensive online courses, eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEU), available anytime, are designed to address the practical skills required to manage the administrative responsibilities of early care and education.

ChildCare Education Institute Holiday Schedule
CCEI offices will be closed from December 20 through December 28 in observance of the holidays. You will still be able to access the system to complete coursework, but the Help Desk and Student Services Department will not be available for technical assistance, course grading or other assistance until the office reopens. We will re-open on Monday December 29, 2008 at
8am EST.

Happy Holidays from all of us at CCEI.
Last Chance for professional development subscriptions at $69!
ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a distance training institution, offers over 100 online, CEU eligible professional development courses that meet continuing education requirements. Courses are offered in English and Spanish and are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a week from any computer with Internet access.  CCEI is approved by the International Association for Continuing Education Training (IACET) to award IACET Continuing Education Units (CEU's).

In the month of December, individual professional development subscriptions are just $69*.  This is the last chance to subscribe at $69.  The price will return to $99 beginning January 1, 2009.  Go to www.cceionline.com for details.

Directors, center-based subscriptions are a great way to manage and administer continuing education.  Purchase a 50-user center-based subscription at regular price, $999, gain immediate access to courses but delay the start date until 1/1/2009, giving you the remainder of 2008 for free.  In addition, you'll get guaranteed Self-Study CDA pricing at $299 until 12/31/2009.

* Offer expires December 31, 2008. Promotion Code FAMEID01-P.

Child Development Associate Certificate
Meet the coursework requirements of the Council for Professional Recognition with 120 hours in formal child care training from CCEI!  CCEI is a distance training institution dedicated to providing online professional development for early childhood professionals.  CCEI offers online course of study options that allow you to work independently and at your convenience with access to courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  CCEI offers three online CDA program options, depending on your needs.  For those seeking college credit, the College Credit Eligible CDA is a great choice.  Students successfully completing all requirements of this program not only meet the CDA coursework requirement, but are also eligible to receive up to 26 quarter-hour credits from Kendall College.  This is an instructor supported program.  CCEI also offers a non college credit instructor supported program and a self-study CDA program.  The Online Self Study CDA is designed for students who can successfully work independently. 

Call CCEI today at 888.418.5358 to speak to an Admissions Representative for information and enrollment!

January 31, 2009 - 22nd Annual Southern Conference on Children, Statesboro, GA.

February 2 - 5, 2009 - Region IV Head Start Association 2009 Annual Training Conference, Atlanta, GA.

February 3 - 6, 2009 - National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Conference, Washington, DC.

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