October is when I make sure I have all the paperwork together needed for my relicensing. That means CPR training, health record on pets, water tests, paperwork on children in care, and my training hours. For licensing at this time, I only need 12 hours of training, but being a Step 3 on the Quality Rating System for ME I need more. I also need CEUs for renewal of my teaching certificate. To acquire the variety of hours I need I take online webinars, monthly networking with local child care providers, college classes, and daylong conferences.
After 27 years in early child care following 10 in the public classroom, it’s also interesting what is triggered through conferences and training.
This past weekend I was involved in the Fall conference put on by MaineAEYC (NAEYC state affiliate) that was about the new Maine Early Learning Developmental Standards (MELDS) for 3-5 yr olds and how to meet them through Play. Not only did I get to work on this conference, but in attending I got to spend 6 hrs. with over 100 other professionals that through their work with young children understand the importance of quality child care. So much of my practice was reinforced through discussions, but a key point of reflection was that we can let too much into our spaces and that does not serve the engagement and learning of children. I had just that week started removing toys from the space that children where just leaving around. I was seeing first hand that there was too much within our space. So, I removed half. Stepped back and then removed half again. I then reorganized the storage containers to just 5 floor baskets and moved the large play pieces around. In removing items I made sure to keep in mind where interests as well as developmental needs are for the children in care. Play in the last 2 days has been more engaged, focused and actually I’ve even seen more movement with the additional open floor space.
I has also taken training around curriculum and assessment this summer which have lead to refinement of philosophy and policy on PLAY which can be found within the parent handbook.
There are changes coming soon with licensing and we just received a listing of new training areas they are going to be looking for us to have ~
- Prevention and control of infectious diseases
- SIDS and safe sleep practices
- Administration of medication
- Prevention/response to food allergies
- Building and physical premises safety
- Shaken baby syndrome and head trauma
- Emergency preparedness and response planning
- Storage of hazardous materials and bio contaminants
- Transportation of children
- First aid and CPR
We do not know if this will be yearly, take once or repeat periodically. I have taken trainings in most of these areas, but it’s good to redo as there is always new material to learn and refresh yourself on. To that end I just completed a 3 hr. training by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Prevention and control of infectious diseases. Information was not really new to me, but I will be refining my health and illness policy to support parent understanding around exclusion. I also want to share resources around illnesses to support families. I’ll included quick reference sheets in the sidebar for easy and continual access on the common cold, signs and symptoms and fever.
These will also be posted on my Facebook and Google+ pages to be viewed and shared.