Volume 5, Issue 4
In This Issue
Playground Safety
Maximizing Outdoor Play: Moving Interest Centers Outdoors
Ask the Expert: Supervision Challenges and Solutions for Outdoor Play
CCEI News - National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Alumni Profile - Mary Jane Aguilar
Professional Development - Individual annual subscriptions only $99 per year
Certificate Programs - CDA, Director's Certificate, FCCPC and more
Dates to Remember
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute April Newsletter!
This month, CCEI Discusses 'Playground Safety'!
 
As winter gives way to spring, the thoughts of both children and staff turn to the playground. Early spring is an ideal time to review the physical condition of your playground as well as how you incorporate the "outdoor classroom" into your lesson planning. Even if you are fortunate to reside in a more temperate area, now is a good time to complete that annual playground check-up!
 
Your beginning-of-the-season maintenance check should start with reviewing the condition of your protective surfacing. Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel. If you have a poured resilient surface, check to make sure that there are no holes or worn areas.
 
You will also need to review the condition of installed equipment including climbers and slides. Check for rust, sharp edges, and dangerous hardware like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends.

A playground safety review also includes evaluating the condition of your non-permanent playground equipment and toys. Are your toys in good, clean, and safe condition? Check the Consumer Products Safety Commission website for the latest information on recalls to ensure all your toys remain safe.
 
A once-a-year inspection is just the starting point for ensuring playground safety. Create for your team a daily checklist for "opening the playground". Each day, before children are allowed on the playground, assign a staff member to conduct the daily review. This review can include picking up trash or debris, raking ground covering to ensure proper fall zones, and checking the security of the area. A daily review can ensure that children have access to water for drinking, water for playing in, and tissues. First aid kits should also be available.
 
Regularly review playground supervision concepts with staff. Discuss with staff the procedures for ensuring that children have the proper clothing, creating good transitions from indoors to outdoors and back, and for applying the necessary sunscreen.
 
Spring is an ideal time to review the physical and practical aspects of the playground and it is a great time to review how you incorporate the "outdoor classroom" into your program. Do you have enough playtime scheduled? What indoor activities can be expanded and enjoyed outdoors? What outdoor events can be extended to indoor times? Finally, don't miss out on an opportunity to share ideas with parents regarding outdoor activities they can incorporate in the home environment.
 
Spring is a time of fantastic growth and renewal. It's more than just a time for one more inspection; make this a time to approach outdoor activities from a new perspective. 

What processes have you put into place to ensure the safety of children on the playground? What indoor activities have you successfully moved outdoors? Log in to the CCEI Discussion Thread and share how you have incorporated the "outdoor classroom" into your curriculum.
Maximizing Outdoor Play: Moving Interest Centers Outdoors
By: Nancy P. Alexander
Early childhood teachers often spend outdoor time enforcing restrictions against standing up in swings, fighting, or sliding head first down the slide. The underlying assumption in such situations is that outdoor time is a break from learning; a time for children to exert physical energy in order to return to the more valuable activities in the classroom. What a misuse of children's valuable time! Indeed, a playground gives children freedom to be physically active, but the playground can also be an outdoor learning laboratory with numerous exciting and challenging activities.

Read Article
Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
Ask the Expert: Supervision Challenges and Solutions for Outdoor Play
By: Angie Dorrell, M.A.
Why supervise during outdoor play? Take a few moments to observe most playgrounds in a home or school setting and you will more than likely see adults congregating and talking amongst themselves instead of supervising the children at play. The playground is a common place for childhood accidents to occur, and according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission more than 200,000 children were treated in emergency rooms last year for playground-related injuries. Let's do our best to work together to improve this statistic by improving our playground supervision with these simple tips.

Read Article
Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
CCEI Educates Child Care Professionals on the Signs of Abuse in Support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month
In April, ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) offers child care professionals the opportunity to learn about the signs of child abuse and reporting requirements by completing CCEI112A - Child Abuse: Signs of Abuse and Reporting Requirements for Early Childhood Professionals, at no cost.
 
Students completing this one-clock-hour online course will be awarded 0.1 IACET CEU and receive a certificate of completion. Participants will learn about:
  • The four major categories of child abuse
  • The signs and symptoms of various types of abuse
  • The responsibilities of being a mandated reporter
  • Guidelines for documenting and reporting abuse

To take advantage of this opportunity, use the promotion code 040110when prompted. It is easy to set up an account if you don't already have one. Click herefor details.
Mary Jane Aguilar, New Braunfels, Texas 
Mary Jane recently completed CCEI's Online Self-Study CDA program. She has applied to the Council for Professional Recognition to receive her CDA Credential. Her goal is to complete a Bachelor's degree in Education in the next five years. She would like to pursue her career and work one-on-one with children to provide individualized learning experiences.
 
Mary Jane Aguilar became involved in early childhood education as a parent volunteer. Her son's Head Start teacher encouraged her to be active in the classroom and mentored Mary Jane as she eventually became a substitute and now, a full-time teacher. Mary Jane works in a Head Start program that includes children aged three to five years. She enjoys center time with the children because she is able to work one-on-one with each child and provide them with individual instruction. Mary Jane is motivated by the appreciative parents who approach her and thank her for the time she spends with their children. She works to keep parents involved in the classroom so that they can enjoy their children's education and growth. Mary Jane enjoys watching the children progress during the year as they advance in their knowledge of colors, letters, and writing.

In her spare time Mary Jane enjoys jogging and spending time outdoors with her two children.
Annual, Unlimited Professional Development Subscriptions, Only $99!
CCEI offers over 100 online, IACET CEU awarded professional development courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has course 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.
CCEI has articulation agreements with Ashford University and Concordia University that give CCEI students the opportunity to articulate completed CCEI coursework for credit into their early childhood degree programs. For more information, visit the Partner section of the CCEI website.

Center-Based Subscriptions
Directors: Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way to manage and administer continuing education for your staff. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for 20 and 50 users, allow you to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
 
For more information, contact Admissions at 800.499.9907 or click here to enroll online.
Complete CDA Coursework Online with CCEI!
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs 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 Standards established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas. Each hour of completed coursework is awarded 0.1 IACET CEU.
 
CCEI offers three CDA programs. The CCEI Online Self Study CDA is designed for students who are comfortable with an online learning environment and can successfully complete work independently. The Online Instructor Supported CDA Certificate, available in English and Spanish, provides students with extra support from a CCEI Education Coach (EC). Each EC is an early childhood specialist with previous experience working in a child care center or school. Students seeking college credit should enroll in the College Credit Eligible CDA Certificate program for the opportunity to earn credits at Kendall College.
 
Online Director's Certificate
CCEI offers an Online Director's Certificate that provides professional development for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. The program is composed of nine instructional units that focus on the core areas of competency required to manage a child care center. Each student in the Online Director's Certificate receives support from an Education Coach.

Click here to enroll online.

April 29 - May1 - New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC) Annual Conference, Verona, New York.
May 4 - 7 - 37th Annual Head Start Conference, Dallas, Texas.
 
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